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 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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He didn’t get voted in like he should have, but Kevin Durant has been named as a reserve for the NBA All-Star game. The first of many I’m sure.

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Hope you have NFL Sunday Ticket, but [tag]Vince Young[/tag] has become must-see-tv again. Just like when he in college at Texas, he was Superman today for the Tennessee Titans throwing for 387 yards and leading a 99-yard gamewinning drive with 2 minutes left in the game. And Matt Leinart was there again too:

Last week’s game had them talking about Vince Young as an awesome weapon playing quarterback. This was an incredible performance that left the NFL experts gushing about Vince Young as an NFL quarterback. He was poised. He was accurate. He was Vince Young.

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Texas ex Brian Orakpo is tearing up the NFL in his first season with the Washington Redskins, already with 7 sacks midway through the year. The Washington Post gets some good quotes from Redskins coach Jim Zorn, Texas coach Oscar Giles, and former teammate Rashad Bobino about Rak’s transition to a hybrid defensive end/linebacker.

Link: Redskins’ Orakpo finds success at two positions

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Yes, [tag]Kevin Durant[/tag] is still just a big kid. What does he do when he’s bored at home? (Which living in Oklahoma City is probably pretty often.) He gets in a slap fight with his brother Tony. And video tapes it and throws it up on Twitter.

The friend taping it giggles like a school girl. Awesome.

(via Deadspin)

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The Tennessean is reporting that the Titans have benched quarterback Kerry Collins and Texas legend [tag]Vince Young[/tag] will make the start Sunday versus the Jaguars. The Titans are 0-6 and Vince is due big money if the team wants to keep him after this season, it is only logical that the team throws him out there for the final 10 games of the season to see what he can do.

Link: Titans to start Vince Young against Jaguars

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Finally, some sense coming out of the Tennessee Titans. Team owner Bud Adams has told local media that he wants Texas ex [tag]Vince Young[/tag] to start at quarterback for the Titans this weekend. Head coach Jeff Fisher is apparently still interested in being awful with an old bad QB with no future than finding out what your possible future is capable of. Watch:

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Former Texas running back [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] had a huge 189-yard performance against the team that dumped him. Against the Bears he rushed for a career high in yards on 37 carries and now leads the league in rushing yards.

Link: Cedric Benson highlights versus Bears

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Great day for [tag]Ricky Williams[/tag] today against the team that drafted him. The Dolphins blew it in the fourth against the Saints but Ricky rushed for 3 touchdowns including this career long 68-yarder below:

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