Against a team designed to break opponent’s composure, Shaka Smart’s young Texas Longhorns played one of their most composed games of the season against the hard-pressing West Virginia Mountaineers, led by freshman Andrew Jones’ 17 points and freshman Jarrett Allen’s game-high 19 points and seven rebounds. Texas played a good all-around game, shooting 48 percent and making 78 percent of their free throws, but the Mountaineer defense forced 19 turnovers and played better than Texas did when it mattered down the stretch to defeat Texas, 74-72.
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.
We get asked this question every year at this time, just as we’ll get asked ‘what goes into a junior day’ next month. Official visits are the compilation of fun, business, and atmosphere. It’s the ultimate, and most importantly, the last time a prospect gets to see your school before he decides.
A bit of an exciting weekend looms with numerous visitors making their way to Austin as the cycle mercifully winds down. We don’t like to bother recruits while on their visit for obvious reasons but we’ll pass along anything of note we hear. Of course we’ll have a big recap when it’s all said and done.
But first, we’ll start with some light team notes and UT’s RB big board for 2018.
Once you get passed some of the NFL upper-class talent Charlie Strong inherited, Mack Brown’s roster was something of a mess. This is best personified with Mack thinking Terrell Cuney was fine as the lone OL take in 2014, and the absolute retooling Strong had to do from top to bottom with regards to assembling talent at every position.
Today marks in the end of the dead period in recruiting. There can now be face-to-face contact. Here’s what we’re hearing on Omar Manning, Gary Johnson, Joshua Moore, and quotes from the newest visitor, Larrell Murchison.
Most coaches have favorite schemes. Good coaches can adjust to the players they have on their roster, but there’s a reason that there’s a degree of challenge involved in doing so. Every coach has schemes or a system he believes in for teaching, training, and then deploying his players. Tom Herman and Todd Orlando have a few key schemes they believe in for allowing them to make the most of the players on their roster, today we’re going to start with the foundational schemes of Herman’s offense.
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.
It looked as if Texas was about to step on TCU’s throat with just under nine minutes left in the second half. Freshman Jacob Young laid the ball up and in to make it 53-46 with Texas in control of the game, the crowd loud and on its feet and Shaka Smart’s young Texas team with the opportunity to take control of the game for good.