• AT&T U-verse adds Longhorn Network
  • Andy Katz: A&M Possible Jump to SEC Based on Ego
  • Guard Varez Ward will transfer from Texas
  • WTH Moments – Texas Men’s Basketball Regular Season Recap
  • Texas PG Dogus Balbay out for the year with torn ACL
  • Texas hoops continue slide with loss to Missouri

Posted April 30th, 2014 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Quick Hits, Recruiting

myles-turnerESPN’s number 2 player in the country Myles Turner has just committed to Texas on ESPNU. He chose the Longhorns over Kansas and Duke among others.

Huge commit for coach Rick Barnes who already had a good core team coming back for the 2014-15 season. Turner is a legit 7 footer who can play inside and outside. Barnes should be able to put Turner, Cam Ridley, and Johnathan Holmes on the court at the same time. A lot of comparisons to former Horn LaMarcus Aldridge.

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Posted January 22nd, 2014 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball

The hoops team had me saying “ugh” several times in the last 30 seconds Tuesday night against Kansas State, but thanks to the money 3-point shot of Johnathan Holmes the Horns pulled out their second straight win over a ranked opponent. Watch the buzzer beater below:

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Posted April 5th, 2013 by Ross
Filed under: Basketball

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Well, the Men’s Basketball team was clearly not up to the task this year. Suspension, stamina, resilience, and any other critical words you can come up with would fit this team. The prism that people use to look at this program is based on 14 years of Tournament visits with a few Elite Eights and one trip to the Final Four. What the fans should be looking at is a broken mirror that has the Horns in a 7 year lock of bad basketball dating back to our highest point.

That high point for the Texas program was the 2007-2008 season where the team was led by DJ Augustin, A.J. Abrams and Damion James who put up the most wins during the Rick Barnes era (31 wins). A trip to the Elite Eight plus the last time this program could claim a share of the Big 12 title were just a few of the highlights for this program. Ironically, the Kevin Durant led team a year before put up only 25 wins and lost in the second round. The Horns just finished the 5th year of this broken mirror curse. Since that high mark, Texas has gone 47-37 in conference play and the low moment for the program was missing out on the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time in the Barnes tenure.

Many fans have a looking glass that tells them a Big 12 championship and a deep run in the Tournament is coming closer with this group of talented players. Unfortunately, this is a rear view mirror approach on what it used to be around here. The biggest reflection needs to be taken by Rick Barnes to see if he has the stomach to continue fighting like another coach on the 40 acres. Barnes has created some great moments and recruited some unbelievable talent that went on to the NBA.

Now players are looking to transfer or getting fed up with Barnes’ coaching style. But just like another 15 year veteran coach at UT, the head man needs to realize that his legacy is set, and he needs to ask if himself if he has any more left in the tank.

But the biggest problem with the Texas Basketball program is who is looking at the mirror right now. The fans and I include myself in this assessment are the ones that broke the mirror. We do not demand more from our basketball coaches and players like other fan bases. We are quick to move on to spring football which allows the team to feel complacent and second class. When you start hearing coaches pleading for noise and asking for students to come make the Erwin Center a festive atmosphere, you know you have a much deeper problem than just a need for some more wins. Do you think ESPN will ever have a College Game Day visit at a UT basketball game? I know that people say that the product needs to be better in order for fans to show up. That logic works on professional teams where the athletes get paid. (Insert joke here on college athletics) Attendance at men’s home games continue to slip. Four years ago the average home attendance at the Drum was 14,629…and now the Hum Drum posted a 10,945 average attendance for the 2012-2013 season. The Frank Erwin Center (seats 16,374) with all the bells and whistles still does not configure the student section to get the most excitement generated at the games and the alumni show up late as always. The seating arrangement needs to be changed or make late arrivals have to sit up in the balcony until halftime and somehow get students charged up to attend games. I have even seen an article or two saying that this Texas job is one of the top 5 jobs in college basketball. We as fans have a long way to go to even come close to that type of ranking for the fan base. We need to be the ones to generate the change or pressure in order for the players and coaches to reflect our passions and demands.

The eerily similar path that the two head coaches on the two most high profile teams at UT are working with a lame duck athletic director makes for interesting fonder but does not help fans see any hope for change. Maybe the curse of the broken mirror will be done in less than 2 years. By that time DeLoss Dodds should be riding off into the sunset and a coaching change might be in order for us to change the culture and attitude about our program.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter @40AcresSports or follow me @Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted February 22nd, 2013 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball

Looking for something else this afternoon and stumbled on this month-old Grantland article with some extremely complimentary comments from Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry on former Longhorn PJ Tucker:

P.J. Tucker has come out of nowhere this year, stolen Michael Beasley’s minutes, and played really good defense. What is his single best defensive skill?

Determination.

That sounds like some classic coach-speak.

Yeah, it’s just determination. He decides he’s going to guard his man, and that he’s not going to let him score. I do think defense is one of those things where it’s 75 percent effort and 25 percent skill.

Really?

Oh yeah. He just brings it every night, against every single person that he plays against. Even the last two games, he’s guarded Paul Pierce and Monta Ellis, and Monta Ellis went 5-of-19, and Paul Pierce went 3-of-10. That’s two pretty good efforts from a guy no one heard of last year. [Note: Gentry nailed these shooting numbers exactly, without checking.]

When did you have an idea he might help you guys this much? Did you realize by the end of camp, or were you still wary of playing a pretty unknown guy in real games?

I saw it in training camp, but really first in the summer. The toughness he brought to our Summer League team, we thought, We may have something here. Our basketball operations guys did a great job finding a guy like him over in Europe. He’s one of those guys every coach would love to coach.

Tucker’s road to NBA success has been a long, winding one so it’s great as a Texas fan to see him having a good season and getting recognized for it.

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Posted August 31st, 2012 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, Basketball, Feature, Football, TV

Longhorn Network is now on AT&T U-verseIt was rumored on Orangebloods and Hookem.com earlier this week but early this morning the Longhorn Network went live for AT&T U-verse customers across the country. Longhorn fans everywhere are dancing in the streets over the news that they’ll get the chance to watch the season kickoff tomorrow against Wyoming live on LHN.

There wasn’t an official press release until late this morning, but LHN started showing up as channel 1609 (standard def 609) sometime overnight and by the 8am Twitter was blowing up with fans and former Horns fired up about getting access to the network.

Adding U-verse probably triples the number of people in the state of Texas that now have access to the network and gives them a second large national carrier (along with Verizon FiOS.) This is great news for Texas fans and could help nudge Time Warner, Comcast, DirecTV, et. al. into adding the network as well.

More: Official release from Texas

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Posted May 15th, 2012 by Ross
Filed under: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Softball, Volleyball

Well, the rivalry is over…at least for some time. The tussle between the Aggies and the Horns ended this year which also put to rest the State Farm Lonestar Showdown between both Universities. The made for internet contest was 19 events across women’s and men’s sports where the teams competed head to head for a possible 19 points for a trophy as big as Texas (it was a gaudy trophy at that). If the schools tied at the end of the year (which happened twice), the team that won the series championship from the previous year would be awarded the trophy. Check out the complete history at lonestarshowdown.net.

The contest went from 2004 until 2012 (8 years) where the Horns won 6 of these series over the Aggies. The two years the Aggies won were 2007-08 and 2008-09. Here are a few stats from this contest.

The biggest margin for the Aggies was 2 points in 2007-08
The biggest margin for the Horns was 10 points in 2004-05

Here are the teams that dominate during this 8 year span:

Texas Volleyball 6-2
A&M Women’s Indoor Track 6-2
Texas Men’s Cross Country 6-2
Texas Women’s Swimming 6-2
Texas Men’s Swimming 8-0
Texas Women’s Tennis 6-2
Texas Baseball 7-1

A&M won the following head to head battles during the 8 year time frame.

Soccer – Women’s Basketball – Women’s Indoor Track – Men’s Golf – Women’s Golf – Women’s Outdoor Track – Men’s Outdoor Track

Texas won the head to head battle on the following sports.

Volleyball – Men’s Cross Country – Women’s Swimming – Men’s Swimming – Men’s Basketball – Men’s Indoor Track – Men’s Tennis – Women’s Tennis – Baseball – Football

The two teams tied with a 4-4 record in Softball and Women’s Cross Country

A&M should feel proud about their sports program during this period because the program collected 8 of their 12 national championships during this time. (1) Men’s Golf (3) Men’s Outdoor Track (3) Women’s Outdoor Track (1) Women’s Basketball

Compare that to the Longhorns who secured 5 of their 48 National Championships during this series. (1) Baseball (1) Football (1) Men’s Swimming (1) Women’s Outdoor Track (1) Women’s Indoor Track

The Aggies will be quick to point out to that their football program since 1975 finished with a record of 19-18 against the Horns. We all know how the final game of this series ended to help Texas establish a decisive 76-37-5 record. During the Lonestar Showdown timeframe the Horns held a 5-3 record over the Aggies.

Isn’t it when you really want something bad enough, aren’t you suppose to get it? Many Aggies may have said that I need it, I really want it and I have to have it. You can possibly say that the Aggies wanted it more this year than the Horns, but as it turned out THE UNIVERSITY of the state took home the state title. Just don’t tell Baylor.

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Posted September 27th, 2011 by Ross
Filed under: Baseball, Basketball, Football

We have completed a quarter of the season and it’s time to start looking at conference match ups for the Horns. But before we get back to football, I want to look back at Realignment Armageddon 2.0. We can surmise that the Big 12 is back together and everything is back to normal. (Who believes that?) I do think we need to take a look at what was lost. Here is what I believe the PAC 16 would have looked like if Larry Scott and the rest of the universities on the left coast would have opened the door to the 4 schools in the East.

Northwest Pod

Oregon state
Oregon
Washington
Washington State

West Pod

Stanford
California
UCLA
USC

Mountain Pod

Arizona
Arizona State
Colorado
Utah

East Pod

Texas
Texas Tech
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State

The pod system would have played out by having the schools in the East only having to travel to the western time zone twice a year for football. The teams would play a home and away series for two years and switch to the other remaining teams in that pod. The travel schedule for most of the other university sports would be quite different due to the size of this conference, but we all know that football pays the bills. The media markets that this league would boast would cover 12 of the major 28 markets including the biggies such as LA, SF, Houston, & DFW.

Here is a look at the possible football schedule using the pod system for the Longhorns for the 2012 and 2014 season. The odd years would result in the teams switching destinations to accommodate the home and away series. The OU game would still be played at the Cotton Bowl every year. The remaining 3 non-conference games of the season would be a host of cupcake teams to offset a brutal but highly entertaining regular season (goodbye A&M)!

2012 – Pac 16 conference games

@ Oregon
Washington St
@ Standford
UCLA
@ Colorado
Arizona
@ Texas Tech
OU
@ OK State

2014 – Pac 16 conference games

Oregon St.
@ Washington
USC
@ California
Utah
@ Arizona St.
@ Texas Tech
OU
@ OK State

The Pac 16 games would provide better match ups and great destinations over the Big 12. The conference titles games would be the former Pac 8 schools (NW/West) against the Mountain/East division schools in locales such as Pasadena, Tempe or maybe even at Cowboy Stadium. Texas wants to play in large television markets for exposure and to play in mostly southern climates to recruit elite high school talent. The cons to this new frontier is that it would be much more difficult to reach a BCS bowl game or even the National Title game under the PAC 16 scenario. It looks like the Big 12 will allow the Longhorn Network to exist as long as the Tier 1 and Tier 2 television rights are shared among all schools in the league. There are probably some hurt feelings and back room deals that still need to be ironed out and another team needs to be added for this Big 12 conference to work. I just thought you might want to see what was lost last week when the Pac 12 was said that their full right now. I did enjoy DeLoss Dodds assessment of Texas during this entire upheaval. “We are who we are.”

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter @40AcresSports or follow me @Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted September 6th, 2011 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, Basketball, Football

The University of Texas has a contract with ESPN for the Longhorn Network that pays it at least $300 million over the next 20 years.

A contract.

For those who don’t know what that word means Wikipedia defines a contract as, “a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties with mutual obligations.” You can’t just decide you don’t want to be in a contract anymore because you feel like it. There are penalties and repercussions.

What no one (both journalists and message board experts) seems to mention when they suggest Texas should head to the new Pac 16 and dump LHN is that it may be worse than sacrificing millions in possible revenue. Texas might owe ESPN some huge sum of money for breaching the contract if they want to kill it.

Not only do UT, DeLoss Dodds, Bill Powers, and the BOR need to decide to modify Longhorn Network but ESPN would as well. What’s in it for them to do so when one of the reasons Texas got such a good deal on LHN was ESPN didn’t want super conferences??

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Posted September 4th, 2011 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, Basketball, Football

Video from ESPN on the latest in conference realignment caused by the Aggies running away from Texas to the SEC:

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Posted August 25th, 2011 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, Basketball, Football, TV

The Longhorn Network is coming, in HD, for Texas subscribers to Verizon FiOS TV packages. The LHN will be near the other sports programming on channel 579 (79 for standard def) for FiOS TV Prime HD, Extreme HD and Ultimate HD subscribers that live in Texas. Fans in other states will need to be Ultimate HD subscribers (the most expensive package) to see their Horns.

The press release:

Joining a growing lineup of regional and national collegiate sports networks on FiOS TV, the Longhorn Network has arrived on FiOS just in time for the start of the college football season. The Longhorn Network is a channel devoted to athletic programming and related activities at the University of Texas.

Verizon is the largest video service provider to date to announce the addition of the Longhorn Network to its channel lineup.

“The Longhorns have a huge presence in Texas, with a passionate fan base that extends across the country,” said David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “Verizon’s early commitment to this network speaks to the university’s popularity and the consumer demand for this content.”

Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon, said, “We know Texas Longhorn fans are among the most loyal and enthusiastic in college sports, so we’re pleased to add the Longhorn Network to our already robust sports lineup on FiOS TV. The addition of this groundbreaking collegiate sports channel adds to Verizon’s commitment to bring the best in sports and entertainment and overall video content to our customers.”

The national distribution agreement with the Longhorn Network will allow fans of FiOS and the Longhorns to start watching the network on Sept. 1. FiOS TV Ultimate HD subscribers outside of Texas can watch LHN on Channel 320. In Texas, FiOS TV Prime HD, Extreme HD and Ultimate HD subscribers can watch LHN on Channels 79 (standard definition) and 579 (high definition).

In the near future, the Longhorn Network also will be available online, on tablets and on smartphones for fans with a Verizon FiOS TV plan, making UT athletics and other programming easily available anywhere, anytime.

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