Posted March 27th, 2011 by Ross
Filed under: Basketball

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
Chris Clack 1999 55th
Chris Mihm 2000 24th
Chris Owens 2002 48th
T.J. Ford* 2003 8th
Royal Ivey* 2004 37th
LaMarcus Aldridge* 2006 2nd
P.J. Tucker 2006 35th
Daniel Gibson* 2006 42nd
Kevin Durant* 2007 2nd
D.J. Augustin* 2008 9th
Avery Bradley* 2010 19th
Damion James* 2010 24th
Dexter Pittman 2010 32nd

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!!

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Texas ex [tag]LaMarcus Aldridge[/tag] has agreed in principle to a five year, $65 million extension with the Portland Trail Blazers. This should keep Aldridge and teammate Brandon Roy together through 2014-2015 season.

Link: Aldridge to get $65M extension

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Texas Ex [tag]Kevin Durant[/tag] was drafted number two behind Greg Oden but since then then their paths couldn’t be any more different. Durant was the 2007-08 Rookie of the Year while Oden missed the entire season due to an injury. This season Durant is averaging over 25 points per game and 6 boards while Oden is putting in 8.7 points and 7 rebounds for Portland.

There first head-to-head match-up in the NBA Friday night was even more one sided as KD came up huge in a 102-93 Oklahoma City win. He had his third straight 30+ point game while Oden played only 16 minutes and scored 4 points. Watch a nearly all-Durant highlight reel from ESPN below:

Think Portland GM Kevin Pritchard might be having a sleepless night tonight thinking about that draft pick? The Blazers are a great young team, but add a dominant player like Kevin Durant at small forward to a lineup that includes former Horn [tag]LaMarcus Aldridge[/tag] and they’d be tough to beat.

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How far can Kevin Durant take the Thunder?

How far can Kevin Durant take the Thunder?

Last week, Texas quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and then avoided the jinx when he went out and walloped the Missouri Tigers. The NBA preview edition is out and on the one of the regional covers of the magazine is former Longhorn basketball star [tag]Kevin Durant[/tag].

No big article on Durant or the OKC Thunder but he is of course the main feature on the team preview. Another form Horn [tag]LaMarcus Aldridge[/tag] is also the focus of the Blazers’ preview, but of course the overrated Greg Oden gets an eight-page story. Whoever the real star is, the experts expect another big improvement this season for Portland.

Click on the thumbnail on the left to view a larger version.

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Hedo Turkoglu named NBA’s most improved player, former Longhorn LaMarcus Aldridge is the runner up with 9 first place votes.

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Posted January 29th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Quick Hits

The book on LaMarcus Aldridge. Compares to Jack Sikma? Who the heck is that?

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Kevin Durant SupersonicsWith the second pick in the 2007 NBA Draft the Seattle Supersonics select [tag]Kevin Durant[/tag]…

Okay, it hasn’t happened yet but the Sonics won the right to pick second in the draft at tonight’s draft lottery. [tag]LaMarcus Aldridge[/tag]’s Portland Trailblazers secured the number one overall pick despite having only a 5.3% chance to win the pick. The Spurs and Mavericks are breathing a little easier after the Atlanta Hawks won the third pick and therefore don’t have to hand it over to Phoenix.

Seattle isn’t a great situation for Durant, but there’s certainly worse places to go (namely Atlanta or Memphis). The team is in a state of disarray both on and off the court. Not a great place from a marketability standpoint either, as most of the team’s games start too late for the other time zones to watch. Plus, there’s still the rumor that they want to move the team to Oklahoma City. That would mean Texas fans could drive up and see KD play, but then he’d have to live in Oklahoma.

I was rooting for the Blazers to get the number two pick so Aldridge and Durant could team up together. That still could happen, while Greg Oden is definitely the likely pick by Portland it is not a given. ESPN’s Chad Ford even mentioned a possible pick swap between Portland and Seattle since Durant might be a better fit for Portland.

It should come down to the very last minute before we know what’s going to happen with the first pick of next month’s draft. Should make for interesting TV.

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LaMarcus Aldridge named to NBA All-Rookie Team. Joined on 1st team by Portland teammate Brandon Roy.

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The condition that caused [tag]LaMarcus Aldridge[/tag]’s dizziness and irregular heartbeat has been diagnosed as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

Portland Trail Blazers Forward LaMarcus Aldridge underwent a series of tests today at Providence St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Portland. He was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) and was treated for the condition by Dr. Daniel Oseran at St. Vincent’s. The procedure was successful.

Aldridge will be monitored by a cardiologist and will miss the remainder of the season. He is expected to make a full recovery and be cleared to resume physical activity, including basketball, in the near future.

Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome can be serious if untreated, causing dizziness, chest palpitations, fainting, or possibly cardiac arrest. However, the procedure performed on LaMarcus is relatively simple and if successful everything should be back to normal only a day or two afterwards. Sounds like if the issue had come up earlier in the season he could have been back on the court pretty quick, but with the season winding down they went ahead and shut him down. Glad to hear it was nothing too serious and it’ll be great to see Aldridge back on the court next year.

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