Luke Yaklich’s appointment as the associate head coach for the basketball program has led many to a quick dive into the defensive footprint of Michigan while Yaklich was there. If you’re unaware, Yaklich is widely regarded as the architect which saw the Wolverines skyrocket from a middling defensive team to an elite one.
Texas tried to three-point shoot themselves to an insurmountable lead over Iowa State early in the first half. Its lack of success led to a 10 point deficit the Longhorns would eventually come back from to make it a three point game at the half. After Texas figured things out in the first two minutes of the second half, Iowa State figured things out in turn. From that point on, it became a back-and-forth slugfest that Texas ended up winning, with freshman Matt Coleman’s mid-range jumper with 44 seconds remaining serving as the final blow. Seventh-seed Texas defeated the tenth-seed Cyclones in Kansas City, a.k.a. “Hilton South,” 68-64 to move on to the second round of the Big 12 Tournament.
AUSTIN -- In a recent media availability, freshman guard Jase Febres joked that the Longhorns probably lead the entire NCAA in meetings. On Monday, they added another one, though it was likely one of the more contentious get-togethers of the entire season.
Last season, Texas’ home loss to TCU on January 11 dropped the Longhorns to 7-9 overall, and (in my opinion) guaranteed there was no chance the Longhorns would return to the NCAA Tournament in Shaka Smart’s second year. While the record is improved this year, Saturday’s 87-71 loss to the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth might have done the same thing in year three.
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.
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.
This game was massive in many respects. First, the obvious, an emotional time in which a member of the team gets a heartbreaking diagnosis. As I’ve mentioned, Texas takes pride in how close-knit of a program it runs. If it wasn’t close already, it’s now tied tighter than a clove hitch. Texas rode the wave of emotion early, but as the game went on, it rode the wave of “hey, we can beat these guys.” Extra motivation aside, this team hung with and topped one of the teams near the top of the Big 12 after a 50 minute slugfest.
The Texas Longhorns’ trek through the Big 12 gauntlet continues on Wednesday night as head coach Shaka Smart’s team welcomes the No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs. Jamie Dixon’s squad enters the game 13-2, but just 1-2 in the Big 12.