AUSTIN — In a recent media availability, freshman guard Jase Febres joked that the Longhorns probably lead the entire NCAA in meetings. On Monday, they added another one, though it was likely one of the more contentious get-togethers of the entire season.
Texas struggled out of the gate in the first half, but was able to play the Baylor Bears even in the last nine minutes of the half to make it just a one possession game after the first 20 minutes. Texas again struggled out of the gate in the second half, but was able to play Baylor even in the last five minutes of the game to tie it at the end of regulation.
Last season, Texas’ home loss to TCU on January 11 dropped the Longhorns to 7-9 overall, and (in my opinion) guaranteed there was no chance the Longhorns would return to the NCAA Tournament in Shaka Smart’s second year. While the record is improved this year, Saturday’s 87-71 loss to the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth might have done the same thing in year three.
On the surface, it appeared the reason the Texas Longhorns dropped a Big 12 home game to the Kansas State Wildcats was because freshman Matt Coleman’s lob attempt to fellow freshman Mohamed Bamba was swatted away before it reached the Harlem big man. Diving deeper, it wasn’t just one play. It was 40 minutes of a team that played uninspired after one of its most inspired and energetic performances of the season.
AUSTIN — Texas plugged into a hyped-up crowd to run down No. 12 Oklahoma in the second half Saturday, beating the Sooners 79-74 in a raucous – and full – Frank Erwin Center.
Trailing 40-35 at halftime while shooting just 40 percent from the field, the Longhorns blitzed the Sooners in the second half, outscoring Lon Kruger’s team 44-34 to earn the win. Matt Coleman and Kerwin Roach led the second-half rush to push the Longhorns to a 15-8 overall record and a 5-5 Big 12 mark.
AUSTIN — After a brief reprieve from the toughest conference in the country, Texas heads right back into the sandstorm when they face the No. 10 Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock on Wednesday.
Chris Beard’s bunch is undefeated at United Supermarkets Arena this season, but they face a Longhorn squad that topped them in Austin only two weeks ago.
During the offseason, Texas head coach Shaka Smart made sure his entire roster knew how he wanted Texas basketball to operate. He was welcoming a host of young players expected to contribute early, with just three upperclassmen, juniors Dylan Osetkowski, Eric Davis, and Kerwin Roach, playing big minutes for the Longhorns.
What Texas had on Saturday was a confident team. A team confident its best player would play like the projected lottery pick he is. A team confident in its ability to make shots. A team confident in its defensive intensity. A team confident it could make the opponent have to play to its weaknesses.
AUSTIN — The Vandegrift Vipers are in just their second season as an UIL 6A athletic program after being in 5A for the rest of their existence. This places them in a district with some of the best teams in Central Texas, including Westlake and Lake Travis. There’s tough basketball competition in this district, but the Vipers have one of the best sophomores in the nation to help them in their battles in forward Greg Brown III.
Texas took care of business at home in conference. That’s a must a this point. Here’s five thoughts on the performance.