until Texas vs Kansas

Thursday, December 23


Texas 97 Centenary 52

The Longhorns coasted to 97-52 win over Centenary on Wednesday night at home after an overwhelming first half effort. This game was a mismatch on paper and was never close. Texas dominated the first half more completely thanthey have all season. The Horns held the Gents, what a great nickname, to twelve total first half points. Centenary had only four players score points with their high man tickling the twine for four.

Texas dominated down low with Aldridge, Williams, and Tucker. Aldridge finished with a season, and obviously career, high of 19 points. I was a little down on Lamarcus after the first few games. I almost wanted to write him off as too passive and too light to really contribute this year. But he has really blossomed. He looks ready to catch the ball on the low block and routinely tries to make a move. On the defensive end, he is even more active consistently blocking or altering shots. He only finished with three total board tonight, but when his rebounding improves with added weight, he will be something to watch. Equally as impressive was Daniel Gibson. He runs the show like he has been playing with these guys for years. His game looked ready from day one. But he is also already a better player: controlling the flow of the game and making the correct passes at the correct times. Gibson still occasionally goes for the spectacular over the practical but with his skills the spectacular probably looks plausible.

Granted this wasn't stellar competition, but the development of both Gibson and Aldridge says tons about the coaching abilities of Rick Barnes and his staff. I might get some baseball fans to disagree with me, but I say Barnes is the best coach at UT. I am not comparing him to the diving coach or the softball coach, only to the head coaches in major sports. Brown may be the best recruiter. Barnes simply gets more out of his talent than anyone else. And to me, taking players to heights above their innate talent levels is what coaching is all about. Anyway, Kenny Taylor also contributed a career night from the outside going 10/13 for 23 points. Barnes must be pleased with the win. He apparently wasn't too happy with the defensive effort over the weekend at Wake Forest. Nothing could have been more pleasing than what he saw tonight, especially in the first half.

Aside, for those of you not living in Austin and only listening to the games on the radio, bless you. Craig Way is great. Eddie Oran is awful. There is no other way to say it. Complete thoughts are his kryptonite. He struggles more with the english language than President Bush does fielding reporters' questions. It is difficult to enjoy the game. And for those of you watching on Fox Sports SW, you don't have it much better. They basically employ high school sports fans to call the games. Bean has ranted about athletes being poor announcers. And I agree with him, but ex coaches and local announcers are not much better.

Looking ahead, UT gets four more games at home before their first road test in conference at College Station on Jan. 12th. Texas should easily handle UT San Antonio and UNLV before a decent test from a solid Memphis club and then another easy one against Baylor. If the defense plays anywhere near like it did tonight and the freshman continue to develop, including Williams, this team could be very, very good. I don't think we will be with Kansas and Ok St in conference, but we should not be too far behind come March.

Merry Christmas all.

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