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Harrison Wier

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Everything posted by Harrison Wier

  1. BY AUSTIN STEVENS Just when we thought Texas was going to get hot again as they did in their first five games, Iowa State and the crowd in Ames had other plans. The game began with Iowa State jumping out to a lead, although ESPN2 somehow found the end of the Sooners game to be worthwhile in taking away the first 4 minutes of the game. From that point on, Texas was playing catch up. Texas tended to use almost all of the shot clock early in the game, which was contributed to their early deficit. The Longhorns went down by as many as 13 points (22-9) with 8:50 left in the first half. Partly to blame was the reliance on the three point shot. In the first half, Osetkowski alone attempted two mediocre looks from behind the arc, contributing to his 1 three-pointer made to 21 three-pointers attempted. For a big like Osetkowski, getting penetration in the paint should be the primary goal. As the game continued, Texas tried to utilize a 2-3 zone more efficiently, and it puzzled Iowa State for a while. On offense, Texas had a more fast-paced approach, enabling a better field goal percentage in the process. Kerwin Roach helped to gain momentum for the Longhorns through good shot selection and great vision, with a crucial assist for an and-one to get the game within one at 28-27. Although the half ended 31-27 in favor of the Cyclones, Texas had the momentum, but it was primarily fueled by the lack of success for the key players of Iowa State. Marial Shayok had 4 points in the first half, which is not typical for the senior from Ottowa. Michael Jacobson played a huge roll in the first half for Iowa State with 9 points. For Texas, the first half was equally led by Dylan Osetkowski with 7, Kerwin Roach with 7, and Matt Coleman III with 6. In the second half, the Texas defense kept the 2-3 zone intact. This had some success, but the efforts on defense were at times lackluster at the beginning of the second half. Texas allowed multiple offensive rebounds in single possessions for Iowa State, which killed the time of possession at certain points in the game. There were also sloppy fouls committed by the Longhorns, as Iowa State changed their game plan in favor of picking up the tempo. This speed in tempo allowed for Horton-Tucker of Iowa State to get hot, as he ended with 15 points, a team-high for the Cyclones. Texas did have a hot streak of their own, as they figured out the defensive miscues, and they got their first lead of the game, capitalized by a three-pointer from Coleman to make it 46-45, Texas. They extended their lead to 3, which only lasted for 1:50. Iowa State responded to this shift by going on a 9-point run. Texas brought it back within 1 at 59-58 to cap a 7-0 run with 1:39 left, but they could not hold Iowa State back. Following a bank shot by Weiler-Babb, Marial Shayok made a clutch deep-jumper to make it 63-58 with 25 seconds left. The final score ended at 65-60. This was a decent showing for Texas, but they wasted a lot of opportunities. Shayok missed multiple scoring/creation chances, from going 3 for 14 in the field to only having one assist. Lindell Wigginton struggled as well, committing 4 turnovers and scoring just 5 points. The Longhorns did not help themselves with 13 turnovers, and only converted 26.1% of their three-pointers to 38.1% for Iowa State. Among other things, Texas needs to improve on maintaining a fast tempo, minimizing pointless turnovers and not relying on the three-point shot. Texas hosts Baylor (tied atop the Big 12) on Wednesday at the Frank Erwin Center at 7:00 PM.
  2. BY TRAVIS HLAVINKA Though he may be a stately 56 years old, Roger Clemens is no slouch. The seven-time Cy Young winner, who sat consistently in the low-to-mid 80's throughout his outing, started the day for the alumni, and while he may have only pitched one inning, the electricity from his appearance was felt throughout Disch-Falk Field. The more recent Clemenses brought their own personalities back to The Disch for another round, as well, but neither quite brought the bravado of Dad, who left his appearance to a standing ovation. In a game that the current Texas squad won 7-4, with all the fun had, it was easy to forget score was even kept at all. But while the return of the alumni is special in its own way, the game truly is about preparing for the start of the 2019 season, which is only a couple weeks out. While some questions that still surround the team cannot possibly be answered until the season does roll around, the game did provide some interesting information to speculate over. The Tate Shaw-to-first base experiment played out in full over the course of the game as Shaw got every rep at the position for the current squad on Saturday. While he only committed one error, it was clear that he, at least at this point, wasn’t very comfortable at the position. As the team’s most gifted outfielder defensively, it was puzzling that head coach David Pierce would make the possibility of moving Shaw to first base a reality. After watching freshman outfielder Eric Kennedy, though, it’s easy to see why. Pierce gushed over Kennedy and said that he’s a player that he has to get in the lineup. “(Eric) Kennedy’s been coming,” Pierce said. “Eric is just powerful and can run. He’s a guy that’s working his way into the lineup for sure” On a multi-hit day, Kennedy also showcased his major pop on a laser home run off of Connor Mayes that left the park in a hurry. It’s easy to see why he has gained so much attention from his coaches and teammates and he has the makings to be a very, very special player. The most impressive performance of the day, however, belonged to sophomore pitcher Bryce Elder. Seen as a long reliever in 2018, Elder was one of the potential players that was in the running to make the jump to weekend starter. After Saturday, though, his sights may be set on Blair Henley’s job as Friday night starter. Elder was near perfect as he went scoreless through 3.2 innings and struck out four of his final five batters. The only pitcher to get significant time, Elder took full advantage as he displayed more developed control to go along with a fast ball that sat around 93 MPH. Pierce called him “by far the most impressive pitcher of the day.” And Elder wasn’t shy about his desire to take over the role of a starting pitcher. “I think (being the Friday night starter) is what everybody works for unless you’re a bullpen guy,” Elder said. “I like starting. I like getting in a routine.” Bertelson’s Big Blast Sophomore infielder Sam Bertelson, who went hitless during every at-bat of his last season, started off the game with a bang. In the top of the second inning, Bertelson took Henley way deep out to right center. One of farther home runs you will ever see at The Disch, Bertelson’s power potential has to make Pierce and his staff salivate at the thought of getting him more at-bats. With an opening at first base, one has to wonder whether Bertelson’s ability to drive the ball out of the park will help him win the position or at least give him a small advantage. While fans may have been surprised to see Bertelson hit a ball like that, Pierce wasn’t necessarily surprised. “(Sam Bertelson’s) batting practice is so powerful,” Pierce said. “Then it becomes just about timing and swinging at the right pitches. He’s got major, major power.” Texas will begin regular season play in Lafayette, La. against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Friday Feb. 15th.
  3. Y'all give a warm welcome to our newest addition to the team, Austin. He is @joeywa's kin, so y'all be nice to him!
  4. BY AUSTIN STEVENS After a big win against No. 11 Kansas, the 12-9 Longhorns are looking to capitalize on another ranked opponent in Iowa State this Saturday. After a 6-game skid of going 1-5, the Longhorns' huge win against Kansas will help their résumé for the NCAA tournament. With a road record of 1-4, Texas has the perfect opportunity to make a statement to the entire conference. For the Texas offense, the key will be getting more inside penetration from Dylan Osetkowski and Jaxson Hayes, as well as better looks for Kerwin Roach. For the defense, they will have to figure out how to stop the Cyclones' hot hand of Lindell Wigginton as well as G Marial Shayok. A likely matchup to watch will be between Dylan Osetkowski and Michael Jacobson. Rebounding leaders for their respective teams, Osetkowski averages 1.8 more rebounds per game than Jacobson. With that being said, the Iowa State only has 5 more total rebounds on the season than Texas, so the rebound game will be a great matchup to watch. Another matchup to watch will be between the two highest scorers on both respective teams, Kerwin Roach and Marial Shayok. Shayok averages over 5 points more per game, so this could be a difficult defensive matchup for Roach. The matchup between ISU's sharp shooter Lindell Wigginton and UT's Matt Coleman III could cause a lot of issues for Texas, as Wigginton has been a hot hand as of late. Last game against West Virginia, he put up 28 points in only 25 minutes of play. Keeping Wigginton in check should be an essential point in Smart's game plan. The style of each team looks different, as Texas tends to use their forwards in their offense more, and ISU uses their guards heavily. This may cause for Jase Febres, Courtney Ramey, and Elijah Mitrou-Long to play bigger roles in this matchup, especially when it comes to containing ISU's offensive schemes. Three Things to Watch 1. How Texas handles Iowa State's well-balanced team Iowa State was named one of the five most well-balanced teams in college basketball in an article released by NCAA.com today. With the 14th-best offense and 22nd-best defense, Texas will not be able to make mistakes and recover. 2. Turnovers The bane to every team's success. The team with more turnovers almost always loses in most sports. Iowa State averages 11 per game, while Texas averages 11.6. Keep a watch on ISU's Tyrese Haliburton and Texas' Dylan Osetkowski, team leaders in steals. 3. Lindell Wigginton He seems to be the X-Factor for ISU. A product of Oak Hill Academy and Canada's top-ranked player from the class of 2017, the sophomore is a threat to any team. In the last meeting between these two teams, Wigginton put up 20 points and 8 assists, and Iowa State only lost by 4.
  5. Keep your prayers up for running back signee Derrian Brown. He was hospitalized following a rather serious medical situation. Out of respect for Derrian and his family, that’s all we can disclose at this time. Keep Derrian in your prayers.
  6. This one is a little more unique, but not all that surprising. Rowland was unseated by freshman Cameron Dicker this season, and probably wasn’t going to see the field afterwards. Rowland had a shaky career at Texas, after signing with the Longhorns as the top kicker in the JUCO ranks. In his career at Texas, Rowland hit just 61% of his FG attempts (11/18), but nailed all of his XP attempts. Rowland gained the reputation of being shaky from 40+ yards, which is why Tom Herman went for it on fourth down so much in 2017; it costed Texas some games. Rowland is a senior and a likely candidate to become a grad transfer.
  7. He's going to get a significant bump soon. He's a technician out there.
  8. BY TRAVIS HLAVINKA With the opening of the season just a week away, the Texas baseball team is beginning to take shape. On Saturday, the Longhorns will take on the former lettermen in the annual Texas alumni baseball game. There, fans will get their first taste of the 2019 season, as well as a first glimpse of the new bust of former coach Augie Garrido, which will be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. Though there are still some question marks, there was a bit more clarity on a few things that head coach David Pierce made the media aware of on Friday afternoon: 1. The middle infield appears to be set Though senior shortstop Masen Hibbeler wouldn’t admit it, he knows who will be his double-play partner up the middle will be. Freshman Lance Ford drew rave reviews once again from not only Pierce, but also senior outfielder Austin Todd, who mentioned Ford as the new face that has really impressed him leading up to the season. Maybe more telling was the fact Pierce made no mention of any other second baseman, except that freshman Bryce Reagan likely doesn’t have the experience or versatility to play second base at this point. When you look at Texas’ roster, there’s slim pickings at second base and even slimmer pickings on second base with any experience. In fact, only one player has shown the ability to do play the position collegiately, and that man is Hibbeler, who will likely spend most of his time at short. Don’t be shocked to see Hibbeler at second base in spot starts this year, though. Pierce mentioned that Hibbeler has two talented players “battling him for the position,” in Reagan and redshirt sophomore Bryson Smith. 2. No decision made on first base While I still believe Michael McCann will be the first player to trot out to first base to open the season, another interesting name has emerged as a serious contender. Earlier this offseason when I previewed the position, I briefly mentioned sophomore Sam Bertelson as player that I didn’t have a realistic expectation of to win the position. But when asked how things at the other hot corner were shaking out, Bertelson’s name was the first to come out of Pierce’s mouth. Color me surprised. Shortly after, McCann was mentioned as not only being in competition for the position, but as a guy that has earned the right to be an everyday player. This still leads me to believe that he will be the starter at least to begin the season. Zubia, who many hoped would take the next step to becoming an everyday first baseman feels like a player, who at this point, will see most of his time in the near future at DH. Pierce did say how he plans to use Zubia in the field in order to get another one of his outfield bats, most namely freshman Eric Kennedy, in the batting lineup. 3. Two weekend starting pitching jobs are up for grabs After losing its Friday and Saturday starters to the MLB Draft, the Texas pitching staff will have some major decisions to make as Opening Day inches closer and closer. Junior Blair Henley, who will take over the job as Friday night starter is left as the lone weekend man looking around for the two other pieces to complete the trio. Senior Matteo Bocchi, who made spot starts throughout the past season, including the game that sent Texas to the College World Series, is one of the more likely names to take a spot. From Parma, Italy, Bocchi played along Hibbeler at Odessa College before both made the decision to further their careers in Austin. Bocchi was as solid as a spot starter could be in 2018, compiling a 4-1 record to go along with a 3.05 ERA. Two other names to keep an eye on are sophomores Tristan Stephens and Matt Whelan. Both started at least one game in 2018 and are players with reliable arms to go the distance. If Pierce wants to incorporate a freshman, though, he’ll have his pick of the litter with guys like Cole Quintanilla, Coy Cobb, Ty Madden and Jack Neely, who are seen as important pieces of the future on Texas’ pitching staff.
  9. Would love to take credit, but this one was all Daniel! Majors is going to be a good one.
  10. Austin Westlake safety Doak Wilson is the newest preferred walk on at Texas.
  11. If he does enter the portal, he can attempt to be released from his LOI and be granted a waiver.
  12. The corner spots were held by two seniors, so he wasn’t overtaking them
  13. He’ll play a ton in 2019. It’s between him and Boyce for a corner spot.
  14. Texas tried to make this one interesting in the end, but no dice. The Horns had a chance with 12 seconds left, and true to form had an ugly possession end in an off balance three from Mitrou-Long hit the top of the backboard. Texas didn’t have great effort/energy in this game. It was apparent in the first half when Courtney Ramey failed to box out and gave up a put back slam on a missed three-pointer by TCU. Roach and Hayes gave solid efforts, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Texas was playing from behind all game, and a lack of defensive rebounds and offensive production led to their demise. Can’t fail to score a point for 6:00 at a time and expect to win. The Longhorns fall to 11-8 overall and 3-4 in Big XII play. Shaka Smart’s seat is getting warmer. Final Stats: Roach II: 15 pts, 3 ast, 3-8 3pt Hayes: 10 pts, 6 reb, 5 blk Ramey: 10 pts, 5 ast, 2-5 3pt
  15. Spring football is coming. Texas officially announced today that the annual Spring Game will commence on April 13. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. at DKR. Entry is free for fans of all ages.
  16. 10 Texas signees made the Top247 that was released today. The only gripe I have on this is that Kenyatta Watson didn't make it in.
  17. InsideTexas is reporting that Texas RBs Kyle Porter and Tristian Houston are entering the Transfer Portal. Porter mentioned earlier in the season that he may redshirt to preserve another season of eligibility. Houston has not received much playing time, if any, during his tenure at Texas. The potential transfers of both Porter and Houston is not surprising, but it does not bode particularly well for Texas' running back depth. If Porter and Houston both transfer out, here is what the potential depth chart could look like in 2019: 1. Keaontay Ingram (Soph.) 2. Daniel Young (Junior) 3. Kirk Johnson 4. Derrian Brown (Fresh.) 5. Jordan Whittington (Fresh.)

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