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Euthanized - The loss to Butler


Matt Cotcher
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 submitted Today, 04:36 PM in Texas Longhorns Basketball By Matt Cotcher   social_twitter.png@mlcotcher
 

FINAL SCORE: Butlet 56 – Texas 48

The 11-seeded Longhorns put up a solid fight against the No. 6 Butler Bulldogs, but the effort wasn’t enough to extend the season, losing 56-48. Several problems that plagued Texas throughout the season again reared their head, culminating in another disappointing loss.

The 2014-15 season started with a lofty ranking and even higher expectations from the fan base, but the season will be remembered by fans as a big disappointment. 14 losses from a team that started the year with Final 4 aspirations will be more than enough to fuel critics of Head Coach Rick Barnes.

The game against Butler proved nothing but a frustrating example of the majority of the season. Against Butler, Texas was hampered by ineffective offense for extended periods, and a collection of individual talents that refused to play as a team.

1st Half: Butler 26 – Texas 24

  • Texas moved the ball well early, but looked nervous and rushed shots. The looks are there, but the team has to relax and let them happen.

 

  • Isaiah Taylor can dribble penetrate at will, but the referees are watching him closely, as evidenced by an early offensive foul, and a double-dribble call. Those aren’t calls normally made on Taylor.

 

  • In the first ten minutes of the game, 50% of Texas shots are 3-point attempts. That’s an ineffective mix and another sign of nerves.

 

  • Jonathan Holmes didn’t score until there was only 4:52 left in the half. In the first 15 minutes, he only attempted two outside jumpers. That’s the Holmes from February. Starting at the 4:52 mark, his consecutive three pointers was the Holmes from March.

 

  • Butler put together a five minute, 14-2 run starting around 10:00. It is imperative for the Horns to narrow the Bulldogs’ lead before halftime.

 

  • 7 turnovers by Texas in the first fifteen minutes, and the Bulldogs capitalizing with fast break buckets.

 

  • Back-to-back 3-pointers from Holmes ignited the offense at the end of the half. He scored eight points in four minutes and cut Butler’s lead to four points.

 

  • Lammert & Turner are not scoring, but they are rebounding very aggressively – playing their role and finding a way to contribute.

2nd Half: Butler 30 –Texas 24

  • In the opening minute of the half, Texas took a lead on a 3-pointer by Holmes. But team defense and rebounding deserve the most credit for the 1-point advantage.

 

  • The teams traded misses for several minutes before Roosevelt Jones went to the bench (then locker room) with an injury. Texas retook the lead with two Felix free throws at the 15:00 mark.

 

  • Myles Turner is letting his lack of offense affect the rest of his game.

 

  • With the offense stagnating around the 12:00 mark, Texas started forcing the ball inside and drawing fouls. Those are effective possessions even though they aren’t resulting in points.

 

  • With 10:00 to go, Texas is in the bonus and Butler is in the double bonus. This game is going to have a long finish.

 

  • Taylor had a reverse layup at 9:30 – he’s been surprisingly quiet offensively since those early whistles. Taylor was 1-9 from the floor when he made the layup, but that reverse layup signaled his arrival offensively. As he has throughout March, Taylor carried the team for the next eight minutes.

 

  • Great hustle and team defense by Texas forced Butler to burn three consecutive timeouts.

 

  • Taylor did not convert on consecutive dribble-drives, and Butler built a 7-point lead as a result of the drought. The Horns have too much talent to rely on one player to create offense down the stretch.

 

  • A late three from Felix gave the Horns one last gasp, but Butler free throw shooting and a missed 3-pointer from Holmes effectively ended the game.

Top takeaway
For most of the season this team played more like a collection of individuals than a cohesive unit. Whether the blame for that is on player or Rick Barnes is debatable.

The stat story

  • The Horns had seven players score in the 1st half and only made 9 field goals. They also had 6 assists on those FG’s.
  • Texas shot 25% from the floor in the first fifteen minutes of the 2nd half.
  • Free throws: Butler shot 28 – Texas shot 12. That’s not a result of lopsided officiating.
  • The Horns finished with a +13 rebound margin and held Butler to 33.3% shooting. Those two marks normally indicate a Texas win.

Looking ahead
With the loss, the season is mercifully over. Now Steve Patterson will assess the basketball program, including head coach Rick Barnes, and make decisions about what is best for UT. The next 30 days promise to be interesting. 

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Chuck Carlton has an article in the Dallas Morning News about Barnes.  Carlton's quote: "But that contract contains a $1.75 million buyout if Barnes is dismissed before April; it drops to $1.5 million afterward."  

I would think UT would wait and save the $250,000.00 before letting Barnes go.  I surely hope for a change.  As I stated almost a year ago- it is hard to figure out what his offense is.

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Euthanized.... is a perfect word for it.

 

I have a BB hangover this AM.  Only 48 points?  Now I have lost a great deal of interest in what happens with the rest of the teams involved in March Madness.

 

The UT men's basketball season, and perhaps the Rick Barnes era, ended with a collective thud yesterday.  The last game was disappointing and sadly predictable, like so many others this season. 

 

The time has come.  Patterson must do the unpleasant part of his job.  Make tough decisions and then take actions that will make an athletic program better.  The time has come for Patterson to dismiss Barnes for all the reasons many of you and the experts have stated over and over again. 

 

The University of Texas deserves better than what the BB program has produced the last few years.

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A couple of notes this morning:

 

From the pro-Barnes category...

- The Longhorns fell to 35-35 (.500) all-time in their 32 trips to the NCAA Tournament. 

 

From the anti-Barnes camp...

The Longhorns were held to a season low in points

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how is that a pro-barnes stat?

 

UT was below .500 before Barnes. He's upgraded the program.

 

That's not to say the next coach wouldn't upgrade it further, but more to point out that UT really had nothing noteworthy in basketball beforehand.

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On your takeaway you questioned whether the team playing like individuals or a cohesive unit was the fault of the players or Barnes.  IMO, this is not an either or, it is entirely Barnes fault.

When players want to be individuals, you bench them until they get the message.

 

But, actually, what happened to Barnes is what always happens to him.  Somewhere, early in the season, he lost his team.  By that, I mean he lost the respect of his players.

 

But I'll give him credit for recruiting very well.

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On your takeaway you questioned whether the team playing like individuals or a cohesive unit was the fault of the players or Barnes.  IMO, this is not an either or, it is entirely Barnes fault.

When players want to be individuals, you bench them until they get the message.

 

But, actually, what happened to Barnes is what always happens to him.  Somewhere, early in the season, he lost his team.  By that, I mean he lost the respect of his players.

 

But I'll give him credit for recruiting very well.

 

 

Yet, as Myles Turner saw reduced minutes, fans cried that Barnes needed to play him more. It goes both ways.

 

It's not nearly as black & white as you make it out, IMO. If it was a simple as "Barnes lost the team" then why didn't the players play for themselves? Absolving the roster's guilt in the season's outcome is short-sighted.

 

Again, I'm not saying that Barnes is guilt-free - not by a longshot.

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On your takeaway you questioned whether the team playing like individuals or a cohesive unit was the fault of the players or Barnes.  IMO, this is not an either or, it is entirely Barnes fault.

When players want to be individuals, you bench them until they get the message.

 

But, actually, what happened to Barnes is what always happens to him.  Somewhere, early in the season, he lost his team.  By that, I mean he lost the respect of his players.

 

But I'll give him credit for recruiting very well.

i don't think anybody would argue he didn't get the most out of this group but the 'he lost the team' narrative is said a lot on message boards. it's kinda like 'patterson knows basketball' and everybody just seems to accept it as fact. is it really and how would you or anybody know?

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

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