AUSTIN — Shaka Smart’s four-year-long recruitment of blue chip point guard Matt Coleman (Oak Hill Academy) has finally paid off as Coleman committed to the Longhorns on Monday night during the ESPN telecast of Oak Hill’s game against Nathan Hale.
A valiant effort from an undermanned Texas squad fell just short as the #10 Mountaineers came into Austin and took down a Texas team that played with a passion and energy that belies their record.
Things really seemed to be okay a week ago. Texas had just beaten Oklahoma State on Wednesday before losing a close game at Iowa State where they were in the game in the final minute against a team that had just lost by two at number one Baylor. Not where Texas fans wanted to be, but headed in the right direction.
When little things turn into big things. That’s been the single, most exhaustive issue for a Texas team that can’t get out of their own way this season. More than the lack of a true point guard. More than the lack of veteran leadership. More than any systemic issues. It’s the little things. And, in their aggregation, how those little things become big.
In their momentary calm before the storm that is the next three games after tonight’s contest (WVU, @Baylor, @KU), the Longhorns (7-8, 1-2) host the TCU Horned Frogs (12-3, 1-2) at the Erwin Center. The Horned Frogs, under new head coach (and TCU alumnus) Jamie Dixon, have hopes for an ascension amongst their Big 12 brethren and hope Dixon’s hard nosed, purposeful brand of basketball will function in a talented, if not exactly headlining, group of hoops schools. So far, there’s little to see as far as a significant change between Dixon’s first squad and Johnson’s last, but he did a nice job at Pitt and he certainly is worthy of some leeway.
Early turnovers and some big three point makes from the Cyclones doomed an otherwise applaudable game from the Texas Longhorns as they fell to Iowa State *-* in Ames.
Coming off their first conference win (and one of the better games they’ve played all year), the Longhorns (7-7, 1-1) head north on I-35 to take on an Iowa State Cyclone (9-4, 1-1) team that one-part knows exactly who they are and one-part finds themselves searching for a new identity post Georges Niang. Is this a winnable game for Texas or simply another in the long line of UT teams who come up to Ames only to head home in disappointed fashion?
The Longhorns got big contributions from Tevin Mack and Eric Davis en route to a not-quite-as-close-as-it-looked win over the visiting Oklahoma State Cowboys on Wednesday night at the Erwin Center. Plenty of good things to talk about, but a win (any fricking win at all) is enough to rejoice in for Texas fans.
Texas will look to end its two-game skid tonight in a home matchup with the Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-3, 0-1). OSU’s new coach, SFA’s Brad Underwood, has the Cowboys playing an up tempo, aggressive style as he leans on three of the better guards in the Big 12 in Forte, Carroll and Evans. The Longhorns (6-7, 0-1) will have their work cut out for them as they look to hang with the offensive firepower of Oklahoma State.
A terrific first five minutes…a furious last five minute rally…and 30 minutes of yuck in between saw the Longhorns lose their first conference game on the road in Manhattan, KS.