until Texas vs Kansas

Sunday, December 19


Wake Forest 89 Texas 88

Texas put forth a valiant effort on the road against Wake Forest but ultimately fell short, 89-88. P.J. Tucker had a coming out party for the season, scoring 27 points to go along with 14 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to get what would have been a monumental road win against a great team.

Nevertheless, the Horns shouldn't leave Winston-Salem hanging their heads. There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about this team. To begin with, this is still a young team learning to play without its senior leaders from a year ago (Mouton, Ivey, and Boddicker). Wake Forrest is a team that many believe can go to the Final Four, and to play them tight on the road is no small accomplishment.

Barnes clearly felt that the freshmen weren't quite ready for such a tough challenge on the road. He held Gibson and Aldridge to about 20 minutes each and gave significant playing time to Paulino at the point. That was a justified decision, though considering Texas lost the game, I wouldn't have minded seeing the freshmen in there more. I'm not at all opposed to trial by fire, especially early in the season.

In the end, this game confirmed what I've been feeling recently: Texas has the potential to be a very dangerous team in March. After we fight through the Big 12, it's reasonable to assume we'll be about a 5-6 seed for the tournament and playing our best basketball of the year. We'll be as deep as anyone in the country, tested by a very demanding, physical conference, and greatly assisted by a season of experience for our freshmen. Would you want to your team to play Texas early on?

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