The State of Texas Basketball
Let’s face it, it’s been a long season thus far if you’re a Longhorns basketball fan. It’s hard to be satisfied when the best win of the year is against an unranked North Carolina team, while heavier losses include West Virginia at home, Baylor, a beating from unranked Georgetown, and the choke downs against UCLA and Kansas. Oh, and let’s not forget the blasting the Horns received from Chaminade (yes, the D-II team from Hawaii).
While many throw out the experience and injury excuse, just go to last year’s record books and see what Kentucky accomplished. The state of this years basketball team is despicable, but I’m not going to be the 50-year old booster that gripes for eight paragraphs. No, all I can say is to hang on, Longhorn Nation, because this team still has a run in them. It just might not come for a season or two.
The Season’s Premise
I’ll admit, like many other Texas students, I was praying for November 9th to come soon after the Red River Bloodbath against Oklahoma this year. Plus, with all the youth and immense talent (two top 5 recruiting classes in a row), our basketball team was slated to hold their own against many good teams this year.
With six freshmen and five sophomores at the 40 acres, fans were ready for some fab five-esque dunks and primetime play. Instead, they saw a lot of confused big men, and 16 turnovers a game.
The Current Struggles
When playing the scrubs, Texas was able to rack up the victories, but like any other fans, the students and alumni realized there was trouble ahead when D-II Chaminade out-rebounded and out-played the Horns for 40 minutes, and beat them double digits. Fun fact: no team has ever reached the NCAA tournament after losing to Chaminade in the Maui classic.
While the UCLA and Georgetown games weren’t any easier to swallow, conference play is when the players were truly out of their league.
How over their head you ask? Try 0-5.
To add on to these debacles, Myck Kabongo is still out for five more games, and Jonathan Holmes is out for possibly the rest of the season with a broken hand. Someone has got to step up.
What the Future Holds
Size is not the issue like it was last year. However, there is almost zero inside presence on offense. If Texas wants to be more efficient in scoring, they will have to learn to take it inside the perimeter.
More importantly than X’s and O’s is the intangibles, and who will step up to lead this team to a few victories, whether they come on the scoreboard or morally. Who is the 18 year-old that’s ready to put the team on his back (doesn’t necessarily need to be Greg Jennings style) and lead them on the floor?
One thing to look forward to is the fact that these players are coming back next year, and we should expect to see a big improvement. I said the same thing last spring when Texas finally signed Cam Ridley, but hey, if you’re not optimistic while being a Longhorn in these times, you have no hope at this University.
It’s a long road ahead, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of light at the end of the tunnel. Will Texas ever rise back to what they were a few years ago? One can only hope, but hey, atleast Texas Tech and TCU are each scheduled twice.