Andy Katz thinks pretty much every other recent conference move made sense, except of course the Aggies moving to the SEC. Some quotes from Katz:
This move specifically is done because Texas A&M didn’t like the way Texas was getting favored status from the Big 12.
They didn’t like being treated as the second child.
The best one comes from the other host though…
A&M has been in the shadow of Texas for quite some while now.
Too bad for the Aggies. Instead of being little brother to Texas and Oklahoma whipping boy, they’ll now be fighting Mississipi State for fifth place in the SEC West. Aggie fans somehow think they’ll be better in SEC. They couldn’t consistently beat Texas Tech and Baylor but think they can hang with Bama and LSU.
As we conclude another Longhorn basketball season, we are left again unfilled. The men’s basketball team was a crucial moment away from a visit to the Sweet Sixteen which is seen by many fans as a benchmark for success. I am not going to lament the fact that we have only reached this plateau 5 times under Rick Barnes. We need to realize what we have in Austin. There is an NBA team playing on the 40 acres. Let’s take a look at the NBA players that have been drafted while playing for Rick Barnes:
|Player (*active)||NBA Draft||Pick|
This is a very impressive list of NBA players especially if you compare it to other schools. Currently there are only 6 other colleges that have more players that are active in the NBA (bet you could name the schools without looking at the next sentence). Those 6 teams are the true blue bloods of college basketball: UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, and Connecticut. We are tied for 7th with the team we just lost to which is Arizona. Oh yeah, everyone of these schools has won a NCAA championship in the past 15 years while Coach Barnes has been at the helm for 13 of those years. I know that Barnes was quoted by ESPN saying “We would love to win a national championship, but we’re not obsessed with it because we’re obsessed with these guys trying to live their NBA dreams”. I share the same feelings of Jay Bilas who was quoted that “Coaches will down play the importance of winning the title, until they actually win it”. But you can understand the frustrations of Longhorn fans when so many players are at the elite level with no NCAA championships to validate your program.
The Horns program is very similar to many NBA franchise. Go to a men’s home basketball game with the suites, the lack of attendance and the lack of electricity unless the scoreboard calls for noise or a highly ranked team has to make a visit. The brand of basketball played here is entertaining like you would see at any NBA game. The problem is that this team looks like the team you would travel north on I-35 to see which are the Mavericks. The team is fun to watch, entertaining, great in the regular season but nothing substantial to speak of in regards to conference or league titles. I wish the Horns were more like the NBA team that is located just south of us that brings home the championships.
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 at 40AcresSports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK EM!!
It’s not official yet but all sources are reporting that injured guard Varez Ward is leaving the Texas basketball program. The sophomore from Montgomery, Alabama only played 3 games last season before tearing his quadriceps in pregame warmups. If he transfer to another Division I school he would have to sit out one season but his injury may force him to miss time this season anyways.
This news is not surprising if you follow him on Twitter (@vward50) as he’s been hinting at needing to move on since the middle of last basketball season. Orangebloods is reporting that he wants to be closer to home due to some family health issues.
Rumors are that he’s headed to Auburn, but I’m not sure if even he knows where he is headed as according to him “need a drink… i need to get in somebody school asap.” To me that tweet means that if he is headed to Auburn he may still be waiting for the academics to be sorted out.
Good luck to Varez. I hope he gets healthy and gets it done in both the classroom and on the court wherever he ends up.
WTH?! (What the Heck?) Moments are attempts to find the memorable and the off-beat perspective on Longhorns sports. Here are some interesting moments from the Texas’ Men’s Basketball Season.
Pre-Season WTH Mr. April?! April is the month when most high school basketball players sign their letters of intent. Coach Rick Barnes, Mr. April, has out did himself by coming up with an incredible freshman class that includes McDonald All-American Avery Bradley (6-2, 180), Jordan Hamilton (6-7, 226) and J’Covan Brown (6-1, 185) to go along with highly touted transfer Jai Lucas(5-10, 150). These additions with three seniors Damion James (6-7, 225), Justin Mason (6-2, 195) and Dexter Pittman (6-10, 290) had this team starting the preseason ranked #3. An ESPN article reported that Barnes would rather develop players for the NBA than win an NCAA championship. I believe this is a misinterpretation because Mack Brown finally shed his stigma as Mr. February with his national championship, let’s hope that Coach Barnes does the same soon.
Nov. 25th WTH Practice?! The season was starting fast with a win over highly ranked Pittsburgh 78-62, but during pregame warm-ups Varez Ward right knee gave out ending his season. “We not talkin’ bout a game – we talkin’ bout practice” nod to AI. Who knew his backcourt experience (only as sophomore) would be sorely needed throughout the year?
Dec. 22nd WTH DJ?! Damion James was making claims early in the season for player of the year honors with back to back 20+ points and 13+ rebound in wins over #10 North Carolina (103-90) & #9 Michigan State (79-68). DJ also established himself as UT’s all time leading rebounder by surpassing James Thomas. The problems of poor foul shooting and any lack of a half court game was covered up by the Horns posting 17 straight wins through mid-January.
The struggling Texas basketball team suffered a setback even in a win Saturday against Texas Tech. Early in the game starting point guard [tag]Dogus Balbay[/tag] went down in a non-contact injury and Monday we learned the junior from Turkey had torn the ACL in his left knee. He will at least miss the rest of the season.
From the Statesman…
“I think it just buckled on him,” coach Rick Barnes said. “As soon as he went down, he knew.”
Balbay, a junior who started 22 of the Longhorn’ 27 games, led the team with 3.9 assists a game. He had a 2.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He was also the Longhorns’ best defender.
“We’re gonna miss Dogus’ toughness,” Barnes said. “We’re gonna miss his defense.”
With Balbay done, the Horns will need a guard to step up from among the trio of [tag]JCovan Brown[/tag], [tag]Jai Lucas[/tag], and [tag]Justin Mason[/tag]. A week ago Brown would have been the overwhelming favorite to nab Balbay’s minutes, but after starting two straight games the freshman only played 5 minutes against Tech. Hopefully someone steps up on both ends of the court or the free fall will continue.
It wasn’t pretty (especially late) but with the way the Longhorns have been playing they’ll take a win any way they can. The team blew a 15 point lead and [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] had a chance to tie the game with less than 10 seconds to go, but a clutch rebound and 2 made free throws (!) by [tag]JCovan Brown[/tag] gave the Horns a 71 – 67 win in Lubbock. Watch brief video highlights from ESPN below…
Despite strong performances from freshmen Avery Bradley and the newly patient Jordan Hamilton, the Longhorns continued their freefall Wednesday night at Missouri. The team fell to the Tigers 82-77 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score. Video “highlights” of the Horns falling to 6-5 in conference play are below…
Follow along live with 40 Acres Sports on Twitter and below for our thoughts and analysis during today’s Texas game versus [tag]Baylor[/tag] on the Big 12 Network. We’ll be live right around tip so join us to discuss the game at 3:00pm Saturday.
Feel free to leave comments and questions using the live tool, but not all comments will be published. Read below for more notes on comments and how the live blog will work. Hook ‘em!
Follow along live with 40 Acres Sports on Twitter and below for our thoughts and analysis during tonight’s conference basketball match-up on ESPNU. We’ll be live right around tipoff for Texas versus [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] so join us to discuss the game at 8:00pm Wednesday night.
Things might be a little less wordy than normal, but please feel free to leave comments and questions using the live tool, but not all comments will be published. Read below for more notes on comments and how the live blog will work. Hook ‘em!