until Texas vs Kansas

Tuesday, November 30


Texas 86 Coppin State 50

The Horns coasted to a 86-50 win against winless Coppin State tonight at home. The long ball and a tough second half zone showed up at the Erwin Center while the fans and noise stayed away. I love going to the Drum because I know that even if I have a mezzanine ticket I will have my pick of arena level seats. Tonight was no exception. Yes, Monday is the day after a long Thanksgiving break. Yes, this is the last week of class for the Fall semester. Yes, most students probably have tests and finals. And of course, who is Coppin State? But the 15th ranked team in the country playing for a university with over 50,000 students should be able to draw more, and consequently louder, fans. Attendance will definitely pick up with conference play and more familiar foes and with the conclusion of football season, but we can do better. Football and basketball are not mutually exclusive. You can be a fan of both and should be a fan of both. Come out and support the Horns.

Ok, to the game. Texas once again shot the ball incredibly well from behind the arc ending the game 16/28 for 57%. After playing with the international line in Maui, the college line must have looked like a layup for our sharp shooting guards. Taylor and Gibson broke the game open early with three after three, finishing with 14 and 17 points respectively. We also controlled the glass in the first half with a nine rebound margin and led by thirteen at the break. We ended another hot shooting night shooting just under fifty percent from the floor. But I will repeat my thoughts from after the Tennessee game: we are a better team when we have more balanced scoring. It is worrisome when the guards continue to shoot from the outside and our big men only get touches to collapse the zone and then kick the ball out to the open man. We are taking what the defense is giving us and this is exactly why Barnes is not complaining. But looking further down the road, when we play a tougher opponent, are we going to be able to score in the paint when the threes aren't falling at record paces? Are Buckman, Klotz, and Aldridge going to be able to get the around the rim too? Something to think about and watch as the season progresses.

A few other points: Aldridge is developing. He showed more energy in the second half than he has all season. He was calling for the ball, fighting for position on the low block, and even snagged six total rebounds. Those were the positives. The negatives include being pushed far outside the lane by a player not in the same league as Simien of Kansas or Graham of Oklahoma State, total failure to finish strong around the basket, and awful free throw shooting 3/7. Aldridge has a long way to go before he will be dominating the inside, but the desire is there and that is a very healthy sign.

Our second half defense looked excellent. We held Coppin State to a mere 21 points after the break, with at least five coming in the final two minutes. The Horns largely relied on a 3/4 court 1-2-2 trapping zone after made baskets that collapsed into the standard 2-3 in the half court. Coppin State was completely out of rhythm for much of the second half. The zone will be an extremely effective tool come conference and tourney time when points are at a premium and turnovers, half court defense, and free throw shooting decide games.

PJ Tucker is also still learning. He doesn't have the ball skills to play a true wingman position. He excelled the majority of time when Barnes went small: leaving Tucker at the 4 with Taylor, Gibson, and Paulino also on the floor. PJ is much better around the rim and with the exception of Klotz, is our best back to the basket player. This whole season may end up being a steep learning curve for Tucker. And with the eventual addition of Mike Williams, PJ may get even fewer minutes at power forward. He is a valuable player, maybe the most skilled on the team, but it will take some time before he is comfortable on the wing facing the basket.

Mike Williams is still on the bench and has not been cleared to play by the NCAA. The students, all 300 of them who showed up, chanted, "Free Mike Williams," late in the second half. A recent CBS Sportsline article says that the case of Williams' eligibility could all just be a misunderstanding, and Williams could possibly be cleared to play as early as Saturday. The article states the alleged infractions are bogus because of a bizarre case of mistaken identity. Mike Williams may be guilty of nothing more than having a common name.

Another solid win against an inferior opponent for the Horns. We play our first true road game of the season on Saturday against Seton Hall at 1 PM. Already looking forward to it. Hook Em.


More Useless BCS Info

Monday’s BCS rankings have the Horns .0013 points behind Cal in the standings, making a switch between the #4 Bears and #5 Longhorns more probable than seemed possible a week ago. Still, some voters will have to change their minds for Texas to be BCS-bound. In fact, the standings are so close, that a switch by as few as three voters could give the Horns the edge. Here’s hoping that Southern Mississippi gives Cal all they can handle…

Interestingly, under last year’s BCS formula, the Horns would be ahead of Cal in the standings. Last year’s formula weighted the computers more heavily, but after voter-ranked #1 USC failed to make the title game because the computers put them at #3 (behind OU and LSU), the BCS formula was altered to weight human opinion more heavily. As things stand today, the Horns are ranked #4 by five of the six computers, and #5 in the last. Cal is ranked #6 in five of the six computers and #10 in the last. Another year, another BCS snub for Texas. (We could avoid this nonsense if we would just beat OU...)

Not confused yet? Here’s some more useless information for you. If the BCS used the same formula that it used in 2001, Cal would still be ahead of Texas, but they might even be ahead of Auburn. Why? The old computer formulas were allowed to use margin of victory in their rankings (and Cal scores very, very high when you count margin of victory). After Nebraska’s ridiculous slide into the title game in 2001, margin of victory was forbidden from use in computer rankings. Were margin of victory still permitted, and were computer rankings still weighted as heavily, Cal would be pushing Auburn very hard for the #3 spot.

In the end, we always come back to the same thing: there’s no formula for picking the best teams. It should be decided on the field.


Monday, November 29


From the E-mail Bag

From loyal reader Mike Timmons:

"Could you please explain to me how Auburn, the undefeated champion of the best conference in the NCAA, is going to be left out of the Orange Bowl? The SEC has 5 teams in the top 25. Auburn's only CLOSE win was against #11 LSU. The PAC10 sucks this year, and the Big12 is as weak as it's been since inception. The only solid conference in the country fields an undefeated team, and they don't play for the national championship? USC almost lost to 4-7 Stanford and 6-5 Oregon State. OU stumbled against Oklahoma State, A&M, and UT. When it comes down to it, and there are three teams from powerful (or in the PAC10s case, once powerful) conferences, the two teams that consistently played the best should play for the title. It looks to me like that will not be the case this year. The undefeated winner of the best conference in the country should not have to settle for second place."

I can’t say that I disagree with you, Mike. Again (see my post below on Texas and the BCS), the only reason that Auburn is #3 instead of #1 or #2 is that they were ranked lower in the pre-season than both USC and OU. It’s no surprise that those three teams are ranked in that order now—that’s how it was when the season began (though Auburn was way behind the other two).

I will say, on behalf of OU and USC, that the computers like them better, especially when you factor in margin of victory (which I believe computer rankings should use). Even with pure won-lost records, though, Auburn comes in behind USC and OU in most computer rankings. The SEC is quite good this year, certainly a lot better than the Pac 10, but it’s not as strong as usual. Texas and Cal are better than every team in the SEC, save Auburn. The bottom of the SEC—Vanderbilt and Kentucky—might not even beat Baylor.

In the end, there’s no easy way to evaluate these teams, and yet again, we return to the inevitable conclusion that there needs to be a playoff. At the very least, let the top eight teams duke it out for the top spot. And if we have trouble agreeing on who is #8 and who is #9, that’s a hell of a lot better than trying to subjectively evaluate who is #1 and who is #2. Or in this case, who is #3…


Texas' BCS Chances

Texas’ BCS chances are pretty slim, at this point. Despite a solid 26-13 win over Texas A&M on Friday, the Horns weren’t able to move past Utah to #5 in the AP Top 25, though they’ve narrowed the gap to a mere 17 points. Since the BCS rankings now weight position in the polls more heavily than in years past, Texas really needed to move past Utah to make a run at Cal for the #4 spot in the BCS. Because Utah is going to finish in the top six in the BCS standings, they’re guaranteed a BCS bowl berth, which means Cal or Texas will be left out.

As things stand now, Texas only hope is that Cal slips in their season finale at Southern Mississippi. Should the Bears lose, Texas would certainly move to #4 and would be BCS-bound. The only other way Texas would get in is if Cal looked horrible in a victory and voters decided to move them down in the polls. Of course, Texas also has to hope that Auburn and Oklahoma both win their championship games. If not, Auburn or Oklahoma would take an at-large berth, while Colorado or Tennessee would steal an automatic berth. In the end, Texas fans should get used the idea of a trip to the Cotton Bowl…

On a side note, the pre-season ranking of teams is absolutely ridiculous and should be abandoned. If the BCS is going to weight position in the polls so heavily, then those who vote in the polls need to abandon the arcane pre-season ranking of teams which determines which one and two loss teams finish ahead of others.

Particularly annoying is the idea that undefeated Utah is ranked #5 in the AP poll, while undefeated Boise State is ranked #11. Is there any rationale behind this? In reality, pre-season voters thought Boise State would be down this year because they lost their two key offensive stars to the NFL while Utah brought back their core starters. Thus, Utah was ranked early in the year and Boise State wasn’t. Can anyone honestly tell me that Utah deserves to be ranked that much higher than Boise State? Frankly, I think the Broncos would beat the Utes in a head-to-head matchup. The computer rankings certainly recognize Boise’s dominance. And at this point, the pollsters love affair with Utah is keeping the Horns out of the BCS. Just in case we needed another reason to hate the BCS and demand a playoff…

Friday, November 26


Much to be thankful for...

Deep breath, we have a lot to be thankful for. I just returned from the A&M game, a hard fought, yet commanding 26-13 victory. Anyone who watched the entire game would agree. First the overview, this is a 10-1 football team with quality home wins versus Oklahoma State and A&M and quality road wins at Texas Tech and at Arkansas. This is the second place team in the Big 12 South and really the second place team in the Big 12. Texas has just one loss this season, a 12 point one to, I believe, the best team in the country on a neutral field in a rivalry game. We are the best one loss team in the country and deserve a BCS berth but will likely end up in Dallas once again. We have lots to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the Texas defense. This afternoon, they shut down a prolific Aggie offense holding them to just one score. This was not a one dimensional Aggie offense of old featuring Bucky Richardson or Greg Hill in the backfield and wide receivers only on the field to block. The Aggies have a throw it down the field mentality that stretches the defense vertically just enough to allow McNeil to beat you with his feet when you least expect it. The Texas defense stepped up, especially in the second half. We looked a little lost in the first half with the secondary playing way too far off Aggie wide outs. We were more reactive than proactive. We tried to keep the ball in front of us fearing the big play capabilities the Aggies have shown all season. The second half was just the opposite. We forced the action finishing with eight sacks and a defensive goose egg after halftime. The Aggies were the ones who looked lost. Greg Robinson take a bow.

I am thankful for DKR Texas Memorial Stadium and its fans. The home schedule looked weak this year with Rice and North Texas from out of the conference and no K St or Nebraska from inside. But Texas fans showed up every game and were as loud this afternoon as they have been in years. We forced McNeil and the Aggie offense into repeated delay of game penalties and never allowed the Aggies anything to yell about. I couldn't even hear their band from my seats. With sixty thousand season ticket holders, perpetual sellouts, and eye catching co-eds in burnt orange, Texas has an established home field advantage. This year's seniors finished with just one loss at home. Impressive. We may not have the loudest fans or the smartest, (the woman behind me asked if the flag was for tackling too early), but Texas fans take a bow.

I am thankful for the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry. Yes, it has been considerably one sided recently, but we still consider OU a rival. I love going to the games. The hatred is based in respect. I love the intensity. I love seeing the maroon and white visit Austin. Call me a Nazi if you must, but I love watching the Fighting Texas Aggie Band. I love hearing about Bonfire and yell practice and remember the pride I felt during the Hex Rally. I love traveling to College Station and walking on the grass and singing poor Aggies after we win. I love that this game has tradition and oozes desire. I love that there is always something to look forward to the day after Thanksgiving. I love that no matter the records or bowl berths, this game always means something. Take a bow college football--this is what it is all about.

I am thankful for Derrick Johnson and Cedric Benson. There haven't been two more important players in recent memory. DJ is the best defensive player in the country. You only have to watch him for a few plays to agree with me. He changes games. He changes the way offenses scheme instead of the other way around. A&M continually tried to take him out of the game early on forcing him to cover a slot receiver in their four wide out set. DJ takes the challenge and succeeds. He still dominated the game from sideline to sideline. He should sweep all the defense awards this season and will make some NFL team extremely happy and instantly better. And Cedric Benson dominated yet another game. Texas is undefeated when he rushes for over 100 yards. He is among the all time leaders in yards and touchdowns scored. He is the backbone of our offense. I can't even and don't want to imagine where we would be without him. He has never been the flashiest player in the country, but is arguably the best back in the country. For the last four years Johnson and Benson have been nothing short of amazing and have led this Texas team to win after win. And other than breaking down an apartment door in search of what was rightfully his, Benson has been a source of pride for all those who wear orange. We salute both of you and thank you.

Another great regular season completed and only the BCS debate and our bowl game remain. I didn't know about this team walking to the stadium this afternoon. They snuck by Kansas and sleep walked through the first half against Oklahoma State. But I am convinced, this is a very good Texas football team. A team with true character. A team with stand out players on both sides of the ball. A team that is fun to root for. And a team that is worthy of a BCS bowl bid. Here's to another great season of ten plus wins, home sellouts, a bowl bid, and a brighter future. We have a lot to be thankful for.


Texas 95 Tennessee 70

Texas bounced back successfully on Wednesday afternoon in Maui with a runaway 95-70 victory over Tennessee. The victory, albeit early in the season, was especially important for this young team. Barnes was able to motivate the team to do more than show up. They were ready to play when it would have been just as easy to pack it in, go through the motions, and get ready for the long flight back to the mainland.

I was not able to see all of the game: I had a case of the online poker flu, but was impressed by what I saw. Gibson was able to control his turnovers and the flow of the game nicely. Aldridge was much more active than he was against Iowa. This may have some to do with the quality of his opponents on the low block. Texas played more like a team as well with five players in double figures, led by Gibson's 19 points. Klotz also seemed more involved, finishing with a double-double 10 and 11. And wow did the Horns shoot the ball well: 86% from the foul line, following a mediocre performance from the stripe on Tuesday, 55% from the floor, and an eye-popping 48% from behind the extended arc. There are very few teams in the country that will be able to beat us when we shoot that well and put up 95 points.

Big 12 conference games usually end up being contests in which the first to 60 points wins, with physical play and low field goal percentages dominating most games outside of Lawrence. Texas has been, and I predict will be, a team that wins low scoring games. The three ball is such a double edged sword to me. When they fall we roll, and when they clank we look like a lost pick up team hoping divine intervention will allow the next one to touch nothing but net. I fully realize that we can shoot a lower percentage from behind the arc and still score as many as we would shooting 50% from two-point land, but with the strength of our big men, primarily Buckman, Tucker, and Klotz at this point, with Aldridge still developing, we must continue to play inside-out. We can't allow the defense to just sag into the paint and continually jack up threes. I am not saying this is all that we are doing: I thought we did a nice balancing act for the most part in Maui. I am only writing this as a caveat. We will win games in conference and beyond when we play solid defense, dominate the glass, and get balanced scoring both inside and out.

Looking ahead, we have four games in the next two weeks, with three at home. We take on Coppin State on Monday, who is always fun to watch, and travel to New Jersey for a match up with Seton Hall over the weekend. The following week we have intrastate games with North Texas and UT-Arlington before a true test at Wake Forest on ESPN. We should be 7-1 at that point with Wake likely undefeated and still number one in the country. I am already excited.


Texas vs Texas A&M Preview

It's been a while since this game had a storyline worth following, but this year is different for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Texas A&M is actually fielding a competitive team.

This game will certainly affect each team's postseason plans, as well. Texas is currently ranked 5th in the BCS standings but, should the standings not change from the way they stand today, would not participate in a BCS bowl. (The final at-large BCS berth would go to Utah who, though ranked behind the Horns at #6, are guaranteed a BCS spot for being a non-BCS conference team in the top six of the standings.) That means that the Horns would need to leapfrog Cal to the #4 spot if they are to get a BCS berth.

Meanwhile, the Horns only hold a one-game lead over the Aggies in the Big 12 standings. A Texas A&M victory would make them the #2 team from the Big 12 (because of the head-to-head tiebreaker) and send them to the Cotton Bowl to play a top SEC team. The loser likely goes to the Alamo or Holiday Bowl. I think I speak for all Horns fans when I say that a Holiday Bowl appearance is not anywhere near the top of my Christmas wish list.

So what should Horns fans expect from this game? Lots and lots of running. Both teams will work hard to establish the run and control the game. Texas has the superior running game, but the inconsistent play from quarterback Vince Young means Cedric Benson will face seven and eight men in the box all day long. Texas is used to that, though. Teams have known all year that the Horns planned to run all over them, they have put all the defenders up front to stop it, and have failed. The Horns offensive line has become one of the better lines in the nation, and Cedric Benson (while lacking breakaway speed) hits holes extremely well and is very difficult to bring down.

I've given up trying to predict what the Horns can expect to get out of their passing game. Some games Young makes a few great throws and there's some semblance of a passing game, and some games he's just awful. If Young plays reasonably well today, the Horns should score 30+ points and win the game. If Young turns the ball over and can't make any throws downfield, this game has all the makings of a tight game and an upset.

In the end, this is still a home game for Texas, they are the better team, and all three of the Aggies' losses have come on the road. I wouldn't bet on Texas and give the 11 points they're favored by, but I expect Texas to win, 31-24.


Is NBA Thuggery Sustainable?

This blog is generally an all-Longhorn sports commentary, but from time to time, general interest sports stories will be discussed. We won’t cover every day events, but big stories that are of interest to all sports fans will find their way into the discussion from time to time.

If you are alive and have a television, you’ve no doubt seen the countless replays of the Pistons and Pacers fight last Friday night. I won’t go into any kind of recap or talk about the historic punishments doled out by Commissioner David Stern, but there are some big issues that are worth discussing.

The best analyses of the whole incident focus not so much on what actually transpired in that particular fight, but rather on the bigger challenge that the NBA is facing right now: that there is an increasing gap between NBA fans and its players.

As the Washington Post’s Michael Wilbon correctly notes, “League and club executives decided to marry the NBA to hip-hop, and clearly didn't know what they were getting into.”

This is a marriage of significant consequence to the league for several reasons. For starters, most of the ticket-holders to NBA games don’t identify with the hip-hop culture. NBA tickets are outrageously expensive, meaning only the well-to-do can attend the games. Last time I checked, hip-hop’s audience is not the well-to-do.

But what about the marketing of the sport outside the arena? The hip-hop image of the league does sell well with the younger hip-hop generation of consumers, but many of those consumers can’t afford to go to the games. The music business does remarkably well selling the hip-hop image to younger consumers, but that’s because that generation of consumers will buy the CDs and go to the concerts. How many young fans are at NBA games without their parents or on their own dollar? Not nearly enough to fill the seats.

The NBA faces a serious dilemma. On the one hand, it’s profitable to sell the hip-hop image to the consumers outside the arenas who buy the jerseys and worship the stars that endorse products and permeate American cultural life. On the other hand, the increasing thuggery of the league is a real turn-off to most mainstream, older fans. I’m of the opinion that the league can’t afford to lose the latter crowd. Younger fans will still idolize the stars, even if they shed the bad boy images and just play ball.

But then again, maybe not. Tim Duncan, one of the three best players in the league, is among the least admired among younger fans. Nevertheless, the NBA has got to find a way to have marketable players with credibility among the younger crowds while not alienating its ticket-holding base. If not, the idolized entertainment stars will be putting on their show in empty arenas.


Wednesday, November 24


Is 'Fire Mack Brown' Talk Fair?

My friend and I had an interesting debate about whether Texas should seriously consider firing Mack Brown. It’s not difficult to find people who do want to fire him, but a lot of the talk you hear is just emotional ranting. But is it a legitimate question?

To begin with, yes, it’s a legitimate question. If you lose five times in a row to Oklahoma, it’s a legitimate question. Maybe that’s a tough standard, but the fans of Texas have high expectations. Mack Brown knew this when he came to town.

With that said, losing over and over to Oklahoma is not enough to fire Mack Brown. (Not yet anyway.) Not when the team is finishing in the top 10 every single year. Not when we’re consistently landing elite recruiting classes.

However, with that said, top 10 success alone is not enough for Mack Brown to be immune from firing. While losing one big game a year is not enough to fire Mack at this point, refusing to fire the most unimaginative offensive coordinator in the country is. Texas held Oklahoma to 12 points. That should be enough for a win.

Mack Brown gets unfairly criticized for not being some kind of play-calling genius. In my view, he doesn’t have to be. At least he doesn’t if he’s consistently surrounding himself with brilliant assistant coaches who are. With Greg Davis running the offense, that’s not the case. And it raises a serious question about whether Texas should continue to let Mack Brown be the head coach.



Iowa 82 Texas 80

This is not what I would call a bad loss, but it’s a game that may be pretty typical of this team for the first part of the season. Freshman Daniel Gibson had some brilliant moments, but turned the ball over five times, including what was, in my mind, the key play of the game.

After a Texas burst that tied the game at 74, Texas forced a turnover and got the ball back with just over two minutes to go. With a chance to take the lead, Gibson, ten feet above the key, tried a crossover dribble move to his left, but was stripped of the ball by Mike Henderson. Gibson fouled Henderson, who made both free throws and put Iowa up 76-74. Texas briefly retook the lead before Pierre Pierce’s game-winning 3-pointer, but that turnover was devastating.

I thought Texas played reasonably well, but it was not one of Rick Barnes’ finest games as a coach. P.J. Tucker inexplicably attempted only five field goals, most of them in the final minutes of the game. When Texas needed points down the stretch, they went to Tucker, as they should, but I couldn’t help but wonder why Texas waited so long to turn to their best offensive weapon.

Understandably, Barnes wanted to improve the inside game after a dismal effort against Chaminade. And Brad Buckman and Jason Klotz did play much better, scoring 18 and 11 points respectively. Nevertheless, Texas’ inability to get Tucker involved in the offense was costly.

Barnes also decided that Kenton Paulino should only play 16 minutes. Gibson played 36 minutes, which would be understandable if Barnes were committed solely to Gibson’s development. But Paulino had played significant minutes in both of Texas first two games—why not against Iowa? In some ways, I like the trial by fire approach for Gibson. Stick him in there and let him learn. But in a game in which a victory would mean a chance to play another high caliber non-conference opponent in the championship game, I would have preferred that Paulino have played more.

Texas also has an early-season affinity for the three-point shot. It’s a deadly weapon in the college game, and Texas shoots it well, but the ball needs to go inside to Tucker more. All too often the Horns are settling for long jumpers with plenty of time on the shot clock. Gibson, who did make a few spectacular long balls, has been especially guilty of this and really needs to learn to pick his spots.

The other freshman, Lamarcus Aldridge, needs to seriously hit the weight room, and I find it puzzling that he thought about going to the NBA right out of high school. The kid obviously has tons of talent, but he should probably spend at least two years in college to develop. He’ll make a lot more money if he does, that’s for sure.

In the end, it was probably a good learning game for the Horns, though many of these problems are probably not going to go away for a while. Barnes is probably wise to manage this team to peak in March, but it may be a bumpy ride at times as this team learns how to win.

Texas plays Tennessee this afternoon in a non-televised game for 3rd place in the Maui Invitational. Tennessee was blown out early against North Carolina and lost 94-81. This should be an interesting matchup for Texas against a team that wouldn't mind banging away in a physical, defensive-minded game. I haven't seen Tennessee play yet, but Rick Barnes is pretty good at bouncing back after defeats. I'll go with Texas in an ugly game, 71-65.


Tuesday, November 23


Texas 84 Chaminade 62

This was my first look at the Horns this year, and I obviously haven't seen some of the new guys live yet, but here's what I got from that first game:

I thought it was a solid win, about what I expected, and doubly pleasing because I bet on us to cover the 18.5 point spread. I thought it was a typical beat-up-the-smaller-team kind of win, which is fine. There were a few areas where we really stunk, though.

I was hugely disappointed in our inability to get the ball inside and do anything with it. We didn't work hard for position, and when we did, there was absolutely no entry pass to speak of. Klotz and Buckman were clearly being ordered to get something started inside, but they weren't getting the ball in good position and the passes were too slow to get there, resulting in awkward attempts to "establish the inside game." Teaching half-court offense is clearly not Rick's specialty.

Given that first point, it's going to be imperative that Gibson develop quickly. He looked a little tentative to me: not sure when to drive, when to shoot, and when to pass. My guess is he's got great instincts and will be better as he relaxes and trusts himself. And that is one area where Rick does excel—getting players to trust themselves and play their game.

Kenton Paulino is clearly the most improved player in the last 35 years. Where did that sweet stroke come from? Wow. I had no idea he had it in him. Nice relaxed stroke with great form. A real bonus if he's not just fluking.

Once Gibson becomes more of a confident floor-general, this team has lots of potential. We have enough size inside and plenty of perimeter shooters to keep the defense honest. Taylor, Paulino, Gibson, and Harris can all stroke it, while Aldridge, Buckman and Klotz give us legitimate strength in the paint.

I guess I like moving P.J. to the wing, provided that he doesn't spend too much time dribbling around the perimeter. During the last five minutes of the game he finally played like himself, getting to the hole and taking advantage of smaller and less quick defenders. He's still our best weapon and I hope Rick gets the most out of him.

Iowa looked good in spanking Louisville, but this is a team we should beat. I expect our defensive intensity to be stronger in this game, but I suspect we’re going to struggle on offense a bit. I’m sure Rick will try to get the inside game going, but from the looks of the Chaminade game, we’ve still got a ways to go before that aspect of our offense is going to click. I’ll be looking for a reasonably low-scoring game and think we’ll pull it out with a strong second half. I’ll go with Texas 79-74.


Monday, November 22


About this blog

Welcome to All Things Longhorn, a regular blog discussing the world of sports, with particular focus on the Texas Longhorns. The two authors of this blog--Peter Bean and Andrew Wiggins--were both born and raised in Austin and graduated from UT. We hope you enjoy the blog and encourage you to post comments if you have your own thoughts. The authors can be contacted at peterbean@gmail.com or awiggins80@hotmail.com

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