Three Thoughts: Texas 96, Dandenong Rangers 84

Andrew Jones and Eric Davis celebrating Jones' game winner (Will Gallagher/IT)

Andrew Jones and Eric Davis celebrating Jones’ game winner (Will Gallagher/IT)

Texas began their Horns Down Under tour with a solid showing against the Schweppes Dandenong Rangers, defeating the Australian side 96-84.

Andrew Jones: 16p/6r/5a/2s
Dylan Osetkowski: 15p/5r/3s
Mohamed Bamba 14p/5r/1s

FG%: 49%
3PT%: 48%
FT%: 75%
Points in paint: 36
Points off turnovers: 17

Thought 1: The most comes from the post

Mohamed Bamba and Dylan Osetkowski possess complementary skillsets. Bamba can close out on shooters in the midrange with his insane length, Osetkowski can remain down low to pick up defensive rebounds. Freshman Jericho Sims and sophomore James Banks can provide a good spell for the starters with their size on the defensive end. They don’t provide the same offensive skill, but they have measurables that make a difference on the defensive end.

Offensively, Bamba’s game is stellar. He can out-size most defenders. He’s got touch around the rim, and the ability to throw down lobs (which he did several times this morning). He can shoot from midrange, and even extend out to the three point line. He also hit his free throws. Texas ran a lot of the 1-4 offensive sets they did last year, starting much of the offense around Bamba at the elbow.

Osetkowski benefits from the attention given to Bamba. If double teams come, Osetkowski can either wait for a dump off for a layup, or back out to put up a perimeter shot. If Osetkowski doesn’t break to the basket, Andrew Jones, Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis can.

Worth noting, Sims’ spin move leading to a powerful two-handed dunk might have been the highlight of the game.

Thought 2: Andrew Jones thrives in the open floor

I thought Jones, Davis, and Roach played well in the offense. For a large chunk of the first half, the Rangers ran a 1-3-1, leaving the corner three open. All three guards shot well, contributing to Texas’ 48 percent clip from deep. Jones looked good in the offense, but he looked better in transition.

His moves and vision in the open floor are the best on the team. His ability to use his height to help finish at the rim or his eyes to find someone with him on the break was impressive to see. 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists are significant bumps from his per game averages last year. I think he can bump his numbers up to the 15-5-5 range this year and become one of the conference’s best players.

Thought 3: From the Bench

When the starters or first off the bench were in, Texas was in control of the game. When the deeper subs or reserves were in, Dandenong could make runs. Davis was the most experienced on the floor with this unit, but youthful miscues reared their head from the underclassmen.

Jacob Young struggled to make plays. Sims, Jase Febres and Royce Hamm don’t appear lost on the floor. Sims’ size might get him some decent minutes this year. Banks looked more comfortable around the rim.