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.
With 11:32 left to play in the second half of Saturday’s game between the Longhorns and the West Virginia Mountaineers, junior forward Dylan Osetkowski rattled home a step-through lay-up to cut the Mountaineer lead to just eight.
After that bucket, the Longhorns wouldn’t score for almost five minutes.
Chris Beard’s eighth-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders presented Texas with several challenges similar to those they had already faced this conference season. Could they survive without sophomore guard Andrew Jones? Could they hold serve with another top-rated Big 12 team? Could they hold a double-digit lead during conference play? Tonight, Shaka Smart’s Longhorns answered each with an emphatic yes.
Texas head coach Shaka Smart talks about Texas Tech, closing down the stretch, tinkering with lineups, and attacking the rest of the Big 12.