Preston’s Game Thoughts: Kent State

Shaka Smart giving orders against UTA (Will Gallagher/IT)

Shaka Smart giving orders against UTA (Will Gallagher/IT)

Texas lost 63-58 to Kent State at home, tonight.

I’ve written and erased this three times, now. I can’t make the ends meet in my mind. There’s no justification for what I just saw. No silver lining that can be alluded to.

It was a game that exposed Texas at a level of depth that hurt to watch.

Maybe that’s the best way to describe that.

Hurt.

I had a girlfriend dump me in high school. It was an outkicking the coverage sort of deal and I waited around by the phone (land line, obviously) all damn day only to finally get the call and hear that I was being dumped.

The first feeling, even before the sadness, was nausea. A pain in my stomach that lasted through a sleepless night.

Then, once the sadness set in, it was of the unavoidable kind. Consuming. Defeating.

It was stupid and childish and totally not worth the ridiculous time it took back then, but I didn’t know any better.

That was this game for me.

There’s just so much wrong about what happened in this game.

But, I still think it can be boiled down to the two things we discussed in the preview…rebounding and three point shooting.

Texas had looked better in both areas of late. And, while Kent State is obviously a strong rebounding team, their three point defense is poor and Texas was thought to have the kind of athletes that could at least compete on the glass.

Except…Kent State went +19 on the glass and Texas shot 2-18 from deep.

And they still only lost by five points (testament to how ****ty Kent State genuinely is?).

On a macro level, Shaka’s job is only getting harder. Whether he regrets it or not, his politically charged answer to a postgame interview question has put him on thin ice with many Longhorn fans who can point to a coach that preaches confidence, togetherness and toughness while fielding a team that is seemingly devoid of all three of those same things.

He’s fighting a recruiting battle against the bluest of blue bloods for a point guard whilst his team is .500 after an average non-con slate.

He’s staring at two point guards (neither of whom actually are one) who appear to be taking turns as to which one can look less competent.

He’s got two backcourt reserves with not quite enough confidence to fill a bottle cap and a third with the big ass case of delusional grandeur.

He’s…

To hell with it.

My response with any coach at any school is the same…recruiting or not…support staff or not…X’s and O’s or not…either he’ll be the right guy for the job or he won’t.

This is the kind of loss that plants seeds because of the narrative it tells.

Namely that this team isn’t progressing.

Want all Inside Texas has to offer from Justin, Eric, Ian, Scipio, Tim, Joe, and more? Click Below!