NASHVILLE -- Shaka Smart’s Texas squad played the game it wanted to through the first 20 minutes of its first round matchup against 7th seed Nevada. The second half and overtime played to the Wolfpack’s style, and that allowed them to erase a 14-point deficit to win in overtime, 87-83.
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.
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.
Texas' win in Tuscaloosa against a 'Bama team which refused to read the tea leaves of collapsing on defense allowed the Longhorns to grab their second true road win of the season. Here are some takeaways from the victory...
In my notes, I like splitting the game up by TV timeout sections (20:00 to U16, U16 to U12, etc.). This allows me to make more divisions in the game than simply first half, second half. It’s a subjective system (I determine who wins the section and how many points are awarded), but I think it is a good way to measure control of a game for certain sections. The team who wins more divided segments should get the win.
Texas head coach Shaka Smart entered this season with high expectations. Friday’s season opener against the Northwestern State Demons gave him an opportunity to see if his young, talented team could live up to those expectations.
While the 2018 class is coming together quite nicely, let's take an early look at the 2019 Texas targets and the relationships being built. While there are roughly 12-14 spots left in 2018, the 2019 class could and should be Herman's biggest class in Austin to this point. Here's who they love, like, and will further evaluate. Also, some potentially huge hoops recruiting news. It's a two-Scoop kind of week.