Tuesday, January 18
Texas 63 Nebraska 53
A warm welcome back to Andrew, who has been on vacation...
Texas found a way to win in chilly Lincoln, 63-53. The Horns started as cold as the air in central Nebraska. They were quickly down 11-0 and looked like the same cold shooting team from earlier in the week at College Station. Luckily for Texas, the Cornhuskers cooled off and the Horns outlasted them with timely second half scoring from Daniel Gibson.
I haven't seen Texas play the last few games because I was on vacation. I was impressed with the wins last week at home against UNLV, Memphis and Baylor, but then equally unimpressed with the loss against the Aggies. Bean and I have both written about the over-reliance on the outside jump shot, primarily from behind the arc. Texas was outhustled this afternoon, appeared to be outrebounded (ended up tied at 29), and largely outplayed save performances from Gibson and Aldridge. The most disappointing stat to me was 4/18 from three point land. Gibson went 0/4 and Harris, although scoring in double figures, went 2/8. If we don't get production from Klotz, Buckman, and Tucker on the inside and our outside shots don't fall, we will lose more than our fair share of Big 12 games, especially road ones.
Positives: Gibson went successfully to the basket in second half when his jumper was not falling and took over the game in the final ten minutes. Aldridge played brilliantly. This was his best game of the year. I remember seeing him run the floor clumsily in one of the pre season games and thinking to myself, how in the world did this guy think he was ready for the NBA? But he has become aggressive on both ends, rebounding and blocking shots, and has controlled the paint. Without these two freshman, Texas loses. Thank Coach Barnes for solid recruiting. Overall, an ugly victory, but a Big 12 road victory is huge, no matter what it looks like. This one could end up being very costly though. Aldridge left the game late in the second half with a not impact injury to his left knee. Let's hope for the best. We need him.
Aside, the fans in Lincoln were great. I don't know the exact attendance, but the fans were loud and engaged. The announcers mentioned that many ofthe students slept outside last night for front row tickets. That is not that unusual except the temperature in Lincoln was -17 last night. If they can do that for a basketball game in football haven, Nebraska, shouldn't we be able to do the same here in Austin? Looking forward to our toughest home game of the season against Oklahoma State on ESPN's Big Monday. I will be there. If you are in Austin, please join me. Tickets are still available.