As strange as it is to claim that a game against a 6-8 opponent is a big one, this is exactly the kind of game that Texas has to win in year four of Shaka’s tenure.
It was a bit closer than I assumed it would be, but Texas’ win over the Moutaineers has them sitting at 10-4 overall and 2-0 in the conference (the first 2-0 start in the Big 12 since J’Covan, Jordan, Tristan, Gary and Cory were manning the starting lineup for the Horns).
KenPom had Kansas State rated #34 before Texas’ win last night. The Horns 20 point win dropped the Wildcats down to 42.
Hindsight being what it is, the Texas Longhorns’ three game losing streak against MSU, Radford and VCU was altogether avoidable. Two-and-one was right there for the taking. Heck, for awhile in the first half against MSU, it looked like 3-0 was going to happen.
Tomorrow night, Texas steps back on the court for the first time since their time in Las Vegas where a win/loss against UNC/MSU saw the Longhorns catapult all the way up to #17 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls.
This game really shouldn’t be close, but we’ve made things tough on ourselves in both games already, so we’ll see.
Here’s a few things I’ll be looking for.
This was one of those weird games where the good was particularly good and the bad was alarmingly bad, so it’s been an interesting evening/morning of processing the game.
If you’ve been listening to our Pretend We’re Football Podcast (and judging by the analytic numbers…you haven’t), you’d know that one of the reasons for some of the heightened expectations this season is Texas’ quasi-veteran laden lineup.
AUSTIN — Shaka Smart and the Longhorns reeled in their second big-time recruit for the 2019 class when Bahamas-native (and current Brewster Academy standout) Kai Jones pledged to Texas this evening.
Depending on where one looks, Texas is either just in the tournament or right on the bubble. Win or lose, tonight’s game will likely go a long ways towards determining whether that bubble stands strong, or whether it bursts with Rick Barnes’ time in Austin along with it.