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  1. — Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011 He will likely have to play in the Summer league in Las Vegas in two weeks which is a way for him to showcase his skills to all 30 NBA teams. Now, he could go D-League, but he wouldn't make much (~19K) but if he goes to Europe, he could make close to a million a year. Again, why he went is only something Isaiah can understand but my guess is that his draft stock wasn't going to improve that much over the next year so he wanted to use the years he has left to play high-level basketball to be years he gets paid.
  2. Texas basketball lands Arkansas-Little Rock graduate transfer PF Mareik Isom By Wescott Eberts, Burnt Orange Nation The 'Horns added some key depth at a need position. "Head coach Shaka Smart has another frontcourt piece in place for the 2016-17 season with the Sunday news that Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans graduate transfer Mareik Isom, a power forward from Austin Bowie, will join the Texas Longhorns program, his father told Horns247. So while the Longhorns missed out on Duquesne Dukes graduate transfer forward LG Gill recently, Isom could end up being a key addition to next season's team because he's much more of a known quantity than signee James Banks or even consensus five-star target Jarrett Allen. A 6'9, 215-pounder, Isom averaged a rather modest 5.9 points per game and 2.7 rebounds. However, he's an excellent three-point shooter, hitting 39.6 percent of his long-distance attempts on the season and leading the Sun Belt by hitting 49.2 percent during conference play. In what will likely be an increased role at Texas, he'll serve in a similar capacity this year as Connor Lammert did last year. So Isom's ability to stretch the floor and provide spacing for an offensive attack that will feature slashing players like Kerwin Roach, Andrew Jones, and Tevin Mack will be extremely important. The current frontcourt for the 'Horns next season will feature Banks and senior center Shaquille Cleare. Allen, the Austin St. Stephen's prospect, opted not to sign a National Letter of Intent, but is thought to be a heavy Texas lean as he continues to ponder his decision." As it stands, Isom will probably play a lot at the four and five in Shaka's system, but in reality he is a shooting guard/small forward more fit to playing on the perimeter. Welcome to The Forty Acres, Mr. Isom, and welcome back home to Austin.
  3. Given a choice, I'd prefer the new gym to be on campus UT Athletics Unveils Possible Erwin Center Replacement
  4. Article by Chris Flanagan The signing period for basketball recruits ends this Wednesday May 18th. All recruits must sign their letter of intent by then. So where will Jarrett Allen play college basketballl? Finalists for Jarrett Allen Recently, Jarrett Allen tweeted that Kansas was still on his list after a reporter tweeted out that Texas and Houston were Allen's final two schools. He did not mention Kentucky. I would be shocked if Kentucky swoops in at the last minute and gets the signature of this highly touted recruit. What does he bring to each school? Kansas Jarrett Allen is very similar to Perry Ellis. A great basketball big that may not immediately fit into the NBA. Bill Self also has a good record of developing bigs to being superstars in college and many going on to become NBA lottery draft picks. What he could bring is a continuation of the Kansas bigs legacy and he would get plenty of playing time because their front line is very weak. Houston The Cougars went 22-9 in Kelvin Sampson's second year at the helm. Houston is building up its athletics in impressive ways and landing Jarrett Allen would go a long way to re-establish Houston as a college basketball powerhouse program. Texas While Texas has a few bigs ready to play for next season, the Longhorns have no true power forward for next season and Jarrett Allen's versatility will add depth to a roster that could contend for a Big 12 title. Who does Jarrett Allen sign with? Getting anything out of Jarrett Allen is hard. He doesn't talk, tweet or indulge the spotlight. While he might make some of the older generation proud that he isn't a part of the "Me" generation, it makes covering his recruitment much more challenging. With that said, I do believe Kentucky is out of the Jarrett Allen sweepstakes. Kentucky basketball fans are like Alabama football fans in that they believe as soon as their school expresses interest, recruits will automatically sign on the dotted line to go to school in Lexington. Jarrett Allen isn't like most recruits and he won't sign with Kentucky. So that leaves 3 programs: Texas, Kansas and Houston. Houston is intriguing but at the end of the day, he will not be a Cougar because that program needs more foundation players before Allen could shine. That leaves Kansas or Texas. I believe he chooses the Kansas Jayhawks. For Texas fans, I hope I am wrong. But if Allen was serious about becoming a Longhorn, he would have signed by now instead of waiting for the last day of the signing period to make a choice. Kansas has the pedigree to develop big men and he will fit into Bill Self's system well in Lawrence. Since he's out of school for the summer, he is likely relieved of the pressure to sign with the hometown team. Again, I very well could be wrong but I fully expect Jarrett Allen to sign with Kansas.
  5. Well, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Rockets are at least interested. — Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011 I trust Marc Stein's sources in the NBA, but as he indicated, I doubt Shaka has much of a desire RIGHT NOW to coach in the NBA. Now if Bill Self could go to the NBA...
  6. As we move on from this past season, we take a deep look at what next season will bring to the 40 acres. http://www.hornsports.com/articles/texas-longhorns-football/texas-longhorns-basketball-season-in-review-r4900
  7. Story by Corey Elliot, HornSports Special Correspondent Traveling the world, touring foreign countries and experiencing different cultures has always been a top my bucket list. Mama always said not to live life in envy of others, but today, it’s hard not to be jealous of Texas’ junior point guard Isaiah Taylor. That kid is about to see all of Europe, and then some, when he is playing overseas next season. Because he definitely isn’t going to be playing in the NBA. On Thursday, Taylor announced he hired an agent, thus revoking his amateur status and making a "test-the-waters" NBA draft declaration an official decision. The junior averaged 13.6 points per game and 4.5 assists during his playing days at Texas, and at times, made impressive shots and athletic plays that wowed the crowd. But don’t expect it out of Taylor at the next level. And, boy, do I hope I’m wrong. But here is the basic, almost non-debatable truth about the point guard who had so many high expectations for his senior year: he’s not NBA caliber. Wait, pardon me. In several different facets of his game, Taylor is not NBA ready. There. That’s it. Or, for those of you who prefer a more straight-to-the-point analysis: don’t expect to see Taylor in an NBA uniform next year. The NBA announced this week it will begin the transition to jerseys with advertising space. Which, for Texas fans who like to buy the jersey of former Longhorns, that’s a bummer. However, if you’re looking at the glass half-full, wouldn’t you rather have a Kevin Durant Thunder or an Avery Bradley Celtics jersey with a small corporate logo on the front of it than the alternative? Because if you were planning on buying a Taylor jersey after his days on the Forty Acres ended, you’ll be buying an off-brand jersey on eBay with a team name in a completely different language -- that is if they even sell overseas basketball team’s jerseys. Facepalm. And facepalm one more time for good measure. If you’re rebutting any argument suggestion Taylor shouldn’t have gone pro, think about what he’s actually doing. Because he isn’t chasing the money. What money? I didn’t think NBA-Developmental League players were paid very much. Sure, he can make money, but that money will be overseas. I reiterate: Taylor will not be drafted. Not when you consider players like Indiana’s Kevin “yogi” Ferrell are going pro, too. And that isn’t even someone who will be drafted in the first round. But still a better point guard than Taylor. But, boy, do I hope I’m wrong. Never have I ever wanted a player to come back and make me eat my words the way I hope Taylor does. But I’m probably not wrong. And anyone who watched him should know this, too. He doesn’t have the physical stature. He makes athletic, agile moves to the basket look second nature to him, but for all intents and purposes, Taylor probably didn’t play one NBA-caliber big man this year. In fact, the only time he might have come close was going up against the likes of Joel Embid at Kansas two years ago when he was a freshman. So, that doesn’t count. Taylor isn’t going to be able to get half as far in the lane as he does now to make those runners and toss up those floaters. Never mind the fact that a big man would body Taylor and reject his shot, but the guards Taylor will go up against are going to be bigger, faster, stronger and more physical. Sorry, those guards are going to be too big, too fast, too strong and too physical. But, boy, I hope I’m wrong. And the question then becomes what would one more year at Texas do to change physical stature and height issues? It’s not about one more year spent trying to gain more weight in muscle, or become a better shooter -- because he needs both of those things to happen, too. Taylor returning was a platform and a golden opportunity wasted. The junior should have been able to work out for teams, get valuable feedback and translate that to his game next season after removing his name from the draft. Then, in Shaka Smart’s system, the then senior would have been arguably the Big 12 Conference’s best point guard and more than likely in the conversation nationally among the top three or four point guards. And thus, buzz is created. That’s when stats are bulky, expectations are high and nobody really pays attention to the fact you didn’t face an NBA-caliber big man, Isaiah. Next season was supposed to be your time to get better, actually be a late first- to- mid-second round pick capable of playing in the NBA and then do just that: play in the NBA. Instead, you’ll sign with a team for the summer league and just before you’re cut from an NBA roster at the end of training camp, a coach will sit you down in his office and talk to you about all the ways you need to improve to be NBA ready and make it onto a team. A conversation Taylor could have had with no consequences this summer, working out for teams with an entire senior season left to take those tips and suggestions and turn them into improvements in time for the 2017 NBA draft. Instead, Taylor faces the consequences so many before him have endured and suffered. So many that most couldn’t even begin to name all of the college basketball players who looked so good for 40 minutes each night, but never saw a single second of the 48 minutes in an NBA game. Many will say it’s Taylor’s future and he should chase his dreams. This is Taylor’s future and we don’t know his situation or his family’s situation financially. Fair enough. His life, not mine. Got it. But if this was about bettering his situation, or chasing his dreams, the whole process seems pretty contradictory to me. Because if his dream was to make the big bucks in the NBA, all Taylor did was further himself from that reality when he signed an agent on Thursday. Taylor will make his money overseas. I’m sure of that. He’s a damn good basketball player. He just isn’t good enough for the NBA, yet. And unfortunately, nobody made that clear to him in time. But, boy, do I hope I’m wrong.
  8. Article via Taylor Smith, HornSports Contributor The Texas women’s basketball team ended its 2015-16 campaign a week ago Monday in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns lost to the University of Connecticut, 65-86, holding the Huskies to their lowest offensive scoring night in the tournament through their first four games. Before the game, UCONN scored an average of 98.7 points a contest. It was unfortunate that Texas drew a No. 2 seed in UCONN’s region as the Huskies are aiming for their fourth consecutive national title, but the Longhorns never gave up. “I think everyone could see that our team was exhausting themselves trying to compete,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said in the postgame conference. Freshman guard Lashann Higgs and sophomore guard Ariel Atkins each scored 19 points, tying for the team high in points. Higgs came off the bench and utilized her 19 minutes wisely; the 19 points she scored created a new career high for her. Atkins played nearly the entire game, totaling 33 minutes of work. She hit three-of-four from 3-point range and swiped three steals. Higgs and Atkins both earned Bridgeport All-Regional Team honors, giving Texas its first spots on an NCAA All-Regional team since 2003. They accompanied three other UCONN players on the list. Atkins averaged 18 points and 2.8 steals a game through four tournament games, leading the Longhorns in both categories. Higgs recorded double figures in scoring for three games, giving herself an average of 11.5 points a game for the tournament. The 2015-16 season for the Longhorns ended up being one of their best seasons in recent years. Texas finished with 31 overall wins, marking a first in program history since the 1987-88 season. The Longhorns started the season undefeated, winning their first 16 games before losing to Baylor and finished with a 15-3 conference record. The team won its way to the Big 12 Championship game for the second consecutive year but came up short to Baylor. The No. 2 seed the Longhorns earned for the NCAA tournament marked their best seeding since 2004 when the team received a No. 1 seed. “I think we are a phenomenal basketball team,” said Aston. “I didn’t say that last year. We weren’t. But I think we are a really good. And very easily could have been in the Final Four had we gone in a different region.” The 2016-17 Texas women’s basketball team will have some big shoes to fill. Seniors Imani Boyette, Brady Sanders, Celina Rodrigo and Empress Davenport are all graduating and leaving the forty acres. Boyette ended her career as the only Longhorn to record more than 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career blocks. Rodrigo leaves the program as the active leader in career assists. She recorded 140 assists this past season, which was 51 more than second place. Davenport played in every Longhorn matchup this season, starting in 34 of the 36 games. Sanders, recovering from her offseason surgery, struggled to see much of the court this past season, but she entered her last year co-leading the team in career games played. Sanders played in 29 of the games this past season. Texas’ underclassmen have already been stepping up as seen through Higgs and Atkins performances during the NCAA tournament. Coming into the tournament, Atkins averaged 10 points a game. The 15 points she scored against Alabama State during the first round marked her lowest offensive showing during the tournament – She scored 22 against Missouri, 16 against UCLA and 19 against UCONN. During Big 12 conference play, Higgs only recorded minutes in 16 of the 18 games, averaging 4.1 points. Higgs ended the Longhorns’ NCAA tournament run with the third highest average in points on the team – Atkins and sophomore guard Brooke McCarty were the two teammates ahead of her. Texas had a good run this season, finishing with more than 30 wins, but Aston is ready for a championship, and reaching the Elite Eight this season should encourage the team to push for more next season, according to Aston. “As much as 31-5 sounds unbelievable, and I do think that we were an unbelievable team and had an unbelievable year, we still don’t have a ring,” said Aston. “We are still chasing championships. So, we should be highly motivated.”
  9. How about that 'Nova team? Wow. They have balls of steel. Did they get some help from the officials down the stretch? Yeah, but the officiating was sketchy the entire game. What a shot to win it at the buzzer. And kudos to Paige for the shot that tied it up with 4.7 seconds for UNC. Helluva shot. Great game to watch.
  10. Join the 2016 HornSports NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge! 1st place - $200 Amazon Gift Card and HornSports T-Shirt 2nd Place - $50 Amazon Gift Card and HornSports T-Shirt 3rd Place - HornSports hat Visit the link below to join and get started. http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/brackets/pool/7561A913D37BB8E1/ There is no entry fee to participate - it's FREE, like everything else here at HornSports!
  11. He had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 BLOCKS in 19 minutes. Pretty impressive. No timetable on a decision from him. For reference, Myles Turner didn't make his decision until April 30th of his recruiting year. — Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011
  12. Great piece on Kevin Durant from Corey Elliott - MR. RELIABLE (FYI, Corey Elliot is a contributor for HornSports.com. He is a Senior Writer at the Indy Sports Report and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Pacers and has full media access. Follow Corey on Twitter - @CoreyElliot)
  13. Northern Iowa leads Texas A&M 39-24 with just under 18 minutes to play, 2nd half.
  14. Smart’s vision started early Even early on, he won folks over By Mike Finger OREGON, Wis. — The morning after the first bombs of Operation Desert Storm fell on Iraq, an eighth-grade girl named Noelle Akrabawi stood crying in front of her parents, terrified. Half a world away from the Persian Gulf War, in the sleepy Wisconsin village 10 miles south of Madison where her Jordanian father had moved the family two years earlier, she knew what the missiles meant for the only Arab-American student in town. The slurs were about to get worse. The harassment was about to become even more physical. And she couldn’t count on anyone to protect her. “It was a horrific time for me,†Akrabawi said. “I was so scared to go to school.†Twenty-four years before he was hired as the men’s basketball coach at Texas, a scrawny teenage boy named Shaka Smart picked up on that fear and proved himself unwilling to ignore it. In an awkwardly quiet classmate he barely knew, he recognized the need for someone who understood what it was like to be an outsider. The need for someone who’d endured the pain of being denigrated by the ignorant. The need for someone with more smarts than any kid in school, and with more backbone than many of the adults. The need for someone like Smart. “Shaka always knew how to connect with people,†said Smart’s mother, Monica King. “He took it upon himself to step in. He wanted Noelle to know she wasn’t alone.†But it was more than that. These days, the events of that winter seem like “a lifetime ago†to Akrabawi, but she said she’s still moved by the memory of Smart telling the bullies to back off. And when she read last week that the boy who once made her life just a little bit easier was about to make $3 million per year to lead young men? She — like many others who knew Smart during his early years — said she believed all along he was worthy of such a job. “He wasn’t Batman,†Akrabawi said. “He didn’t swoop in and beat up the bad guys. He just did what he could do. Not many people do the right thing. He did.†It wouldn’t be the only time someone took notice. 'Voice of reason’ Will Smith never will forget the first time he saw Smart. After all, he couldn’t have missed him. It was 1993. One morning, Smith’s father pulled him out of school on the east side of Madison, where the 15-year-old had been running with the wrong crowd, getting into trouble and heading down a dangerous path. His dad had a job at the prison near Oregon, and he’d made a decision. From that day on, that’s where his son was going to live and attend high school. On his first trip down the main hallway, he was a bit overwhelmed. “I’d never seen so many white kids in my life,†Smith said. “Then I saw Shaka. We didn’t say anything, but we locked eyes. It was like, 'Oh, there’s another brother in this school?’†Of the approximately 1,200 students at Oregon in those days, fewer than 10 were black. They included Smith, Smart (whose Trinidad-born father left the family when he was 2 years old), and Smart’s adopted brother, Alfie Olson. Those three quickly became inseparable. Smith and Smart were the stars of the basketball team (“the best one-two punch I ever had,†former Oregon coach Kevin Bavery said), but their popularity didn’t make them immune to hatred. Racial slurs were painted on bathroom walls, Smith said. King, Smart’s mother, said the boys heard threats from people claiming to have ties to a nearby faction the Ku Klux Klan. (According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, newsletters for the United Northern and Southern Knights were distributed throughout a neighborhood in nearby Monroe, Wisconsin, as recently as 2006.) Smith, enraged by the taunts, said he “always wanted to fight.†Sometimes he did. But more often than not, Smart was there to calm everyone down. “Shaka always was the voice of reason — he made sense of things,†Smith said. “He’d say, 'What are we going to do? Fight them 2-on-20? And then we’ll be the ones to get in trouble? If you stop and breathe, we’ll be better off.’†When the racial tensions in Oregon drew outside media attention, Smart and Akrabawi spoke up, sometimes drawing the ire of locals who didn’t want the school to get a bad name. But Smart helped organize a multicultural event at the school, and Bavery remembers teachers talking about how impressive he’d been speaking to the school staff about the need for tolerance. “There was just a way about him,†Bavery, the basketball coach, said. “He just wins people over. People use the word 'charisma.’ There’s got to be another word that goes above and beyond that. 'Charisma’ doesn’t even begin to describe what Shaka has.†Tear-filled times Yes, it was heartbreaking. King won’t deny that. No mother wants to watch her 5-year-old son type letters to a dad who isn’t there and who never will be. “But I’m not big on allowing negative influences in your life,†she said this week, flipping through a photo album of Smart’s childhood. “And Shaka isn’t, either.†King wasn’t blind to the challenges her son would face. She’d grown up in upper-middle-class Chicago (“White to the hilt,†in her words), but she remembers the police officer who pulled over one night when she was walking down the sidewalk with her black boyfriend. “Little lady, are you sure you’re OK?†King recalled the officer asking. She attended college in Madison, got a job teaching health in Oregon, and had a son with Winston Smart, a man with a strong interest in education but little in raising child. He named his boy after a Zulu warrior chief, and Shaka Smart called it “probably the best thing my father ever did for me.†After his dad left when he was a toddler, he returned only briefly in 1994, and Smart hasn’t seen him since. But King had help. She had her father and brother. She had Bavery. And she had the willingness to do anything for her boys. One night, after a particularly ugly incident in Oregon, she sat down with Smart and Olson, her adopted son and offered to move the family away, Smart wouldn’t hear of it. “I didn’t want to leave my coach and teammates,†Smart said. More than two decades later, Smart and his mother had another conversation about leaving. This time, he’d received an offer to become head coach at UT, which promised the exposure of a nationally elite program and a wealth of opportunities for his wife and daughter. For six years, he’d been loyal to Virginia Commonwealth, the school that had offered him his first head coaching job. He’d been a father figure to his players, many of whom related to his own story. But this time, the offer was too good to pass up. “We all cried,†King said of her conversation with Smart and his wife. “It was such a close group (at VCU). He was such a part of their lives. But he will be at Texas, too.†'A vision very early’ How did the skinny kid from Oregon get this far? How did a point guard who played Division III college basketball and started his coaching career at an anonymous Division II outpost land one of the top jobs in the country the same week he turned 38? It’s no mystery to Bavery. From the moment Smart walked into his seventh-grade social studies class and started peppering him with questions about basketball strategy, about workout routines and about coaching philosophy, Bavery had no doubt where Smart would end up. “He had a vision very early,†said Bavery, who’s now the coach at nearby Middleton and still speaks to Smart regularly. “He understood not only how to find opportunities, but also how to pursue them.†Bavery has countless tales about Smart sneaking into the school gym for workouts. He shot baskets, sure, but he also would toss the ball into the air, deflect it, and dive after it, over and over again. He wore strength shoes. And he dribbled the basketball everywhere he went, even when it snuck into his social life. Smith, Smart’s friend and teammate, recalls a night when a group of kids gathered at Smart’s house for pizza. Some brought beer. And just when the party was starting to get lively, Smart excused himself to go down to the basement. “He had this thing where he had to turn off the lights and dribble two basketballs in the dark every night,†Smith said, laughing. “We were like, 'There’s six beautiful females here.’ He didn’t care. Pretty soon you could hear those balls bouncing.†A gifted student, Smart took his studies just as seriously, and King said he was accepted at Brown, Harvard and Yale. But when she took him to visit those schools, he was unimpressed. “He said, 'Get me out of here,’†King said. “That elitism was not for him.†Instead, he chose to attend Kenyon College, a liberal-arts school in Ohio where he studied history, became an academic All-American and set the basketball program’s record for assists. He chose that school in large part because of Bill Brown, the basketball coach who later offered him his first job as an assistant coach at California (Pennsylvania) University. “I had all the people at Kenyon mad at me,†Brown said. “They all thought he was going to be a professor.†Said Smart: “It was not even really a decision for me because I couldn’t imagine being away from basketball.†From that point, there was no slowing Smart down. He worked at every college summer camp he could, sleeping on floors and couches up and down the East Coast. He turned his first assistant job into one at Akron, then another at Clemson, and then one at Florida before making it to VCU. When UT Athletic Director Steve Patterson, coincidentally another small-town Wisconsin native, needed to find a replacement for dismissed Longhorns coach Rick Barnes, Smart was the only person he interviewed. Brown said he’s sure Patterson won’t regret it. “He’s touched so many people’s lives,†Brown said. “He’s done it because they still see that eager young man who’s trying to be the best he can be.†'Make sure they are the Shakas’ Last Wednesday, on a cold, dreary morning in the Midwest, three boys wearing football sweaters walked down Lincoln Street toward Oregon High School. Someone asked them if they’d heard of Shaka Smart. “No,†one answered. “Who’s that?†More than 1,600 miles away, an alumnus had an answer for them. Akrabawi, the girl who cried when the bombs fell over Baghdad, lives in Arizona now. She’s not scared to go to school anymore. In fact, she’s going back. One day this month, Akrabawi was scrolling through her Facebook feed when she saw a story about the difficulties faced by teenagers who are harassed by classmates. She couldn’t resist typing a reply. This is what she wrote: “I’ve thought a lot about bullying the last couple days because recently one of the people who tried to shield me from the bullies is now the biggest story to come from my hometown. He deserves all the fame and success that is coming to him. His name is Shaka Smart and even as a child, he was an amazing person. “We weren’t close, but he came to my defense many times, with the risk of damaging his own reputation. … It’s been 20 years since high school. I remember those who cared, not those who didn’t. Share this with your kids. Make sure they are the Shakas.†mfinger@express-news.net
  15. Article by Taylor Smith, HornSports Contributor It had to happen to someone. One team was going to fight to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament only to get the reward of seeing the University of Connecticut as its roadblock to the Final Four. The Texas women’s basketball team ended up as that team Monday night, earning the No. 2 seed in the Huskies’ region. Uconn, Notre Dame, Baylor and South Carolina all earned No. 1 seeds. Besides Texas, the other No. 2 seeds include Oregon State, Arizona State and Maryland. The Huskies ended the Longhorns tournament run last season in the Sweet 16, and the two schools could meet up this year in the Elite Eight. Texas cannot dwell on the past or the future – the Longhorns need to focus on what lies directly ahead of them. Texas drew Alabama State as its first opponent. The Lady Hornets won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship for the second straight season and earned a No. 15 seed in the tournament for the second straight year as well. “I’m so excited about playing Texas,” said head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson told bamastatesports.com. “This is a team we never played before so I know we have our work cut out for us.” The Longhorns finished the regular season and the Big 12 tournament in second place, behind Baylor. Texas beat six AP Top-25 teams this season, including two ranked in the top-10. Alabama State closed out its regular-season on a three-game winning streak and added three more victories in the SWAC tournament, putting the Lady Hornets on a six-game winning streak entering the NCAA tournament. This season the Longhorns earned 28 overall victories, marking the most by a Texas team since the 2003-04 season. The Horns also finished with 15 regular season conference wins, tying the 2002-03 team for the school’s record. Texas is hosting the first two rounds of the tournament with BYU and Missouri kicking off action on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Longhorns match up against the Lady Hornets follows with a tentative start time of 8 p.m. CT. Both games will be broadcasted on ESPN2.
  16. Our guy Shelby Mast has the Longhorns slated as a 6 seed facing 11 seed St. Bonaventure. Selection Sunday begins at 4:30 pm on CBS. Check out Shelby's work over at Bracketwag.com. He's the most accurate bracketologist out there IMO.
  17. We're a little over three weeks away from Selection Sunday! If you guys haven't checked out Shelby Mast's Bracketology work over at BracketWag.com I highly recommend it. Shelby is the bracketologist for USA TODAY Sports and he updates his work usually every day. It really helps with knowing where teams stand day-to-day and he's one of the more respected bracketologists in the biz. Currently Shelby has Texas as a 4-seed in the South Region slated to play the 13-seed Akron Zips. I talked to Shelby this morning and here's what he had to say about Texas, headed into tournament play: "They (Texas) are in good shape to get a protected seed (top 4) and depending on the bracket, a legit final 4 threat. I think Shaka is a bit ahead of schedule. If Cam comes back and gets acclimated into the lineup, watch out for Texas.​ It's been tough for Texas fans to get excited about the NCAA Tournament the last few years but this year the Longhorns are a legitimate threat to potentially make a deep run.
  18. The stage is set for the 2016 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Kansas City. Here, HornSports’ Chris Flanagan breaks down his tournament predictions. The Favorite Kansas Jayhawks The Jayhawks are on a hot streak and it seems like they cannot be stopped. An 11 game winning streak and essentially a home court advantage when they play makes them the favorite to win the Big 12 tournament. Not to mention that Kansas has won 9 tournament titles and hasn't won it since 2013. Darkhorse Oklahoma Sooners The Sooners are set up nicely for at least a Big 12 tournament championship appearance. They split the season series with Iowa State and they swept West Virginia during the regular season (assuming the Mountaineers can get past their Quarterfinal opponent). Then (assuming things fall into place), they would play Kansas who the Sooners played well against in the regular season. It wouldn't be a shock to see the Oklahoma Sooners hoisting the Big 12 championship trophy on Sunday. Upset potential? Texas Tech over West Virginia Texas Tech is a clear bubble team. While their bubble is much stronger than other teams given their #1 ranked strength of schedule, it's still tenuous at best. However, a win over the Mountaineers will secure Texas Tech's bid into the NCAA tournament. This will be a fun game to watch. Flanagan's prediction of the Big 12 tournament Wednesday Kansas State over Oklahoma State The Wildcats are an average team and the Cowboys are just trying to end their season with some dignity. Kansas State has a shot at the CBI tournament but that likely won't save Bruce Weber's job. However, he will have at least a Big 12 tournament win to add to his average resume. This might be the "who can stay on the job longer for one more day" game. Texas Tech over TCU Texas Tech must beat TCU to stay off the bubble. TCU will put up a fight but end their season on a losing note (which will end Trent Johnson's tenure at TCU). Thursday Texas over Baylor This one could go either way depending on which Texas team shows up against the Bears. The Longhorns will look at tape from the last time the two teams matched-up and improve on mistakes from the loss. Shaka Smart will have his playmakers ready and the ‘Horns will notch the win. Kansas over Kansas State The dagger for Bruce Weber's career will be from his in-state counterpart. This game won't be close. Texas Tech over West Virginia The first upset will happen at this point. West Virginia must be a good team to finish 2nd in the conference, but I have not seen anything elite from this team. This will ensure the Red Raiders' place in the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma over Iowa State (barely) Iowa State fans will fill the arena and likely could upset the Sooners easily. However, the Sooner seniors will be focused on the task at hand and will handle the hostile environment. Friday Kansas over Texas While Shaka Smart has rejuvenated the Texas fanbase, there is no substitute for the lack of size in the low post. Perry Ellis will continue to destroy the Longhorn defense and Kansas will walk into the championship game. Oklahoma over Texas Tech Sorry Red Raiders, I can't see a way you beat Oklahoma especially after beating them by two points just a few weeks ago. Championship Game Kansas over Oklahoma The Jayhawks will continue their hot streak and enter the NCAA tournament on a high note after beating Oklahoma. However, bad news for the Jayhawks. 3 out of the last 4 national champions did not win their conference tournament. Big 12 Tournament Winner: Kansas Jayhawks Complete Big 12 Tournament Bracket
  19. Ok St. kept it close, but Texas ends on a 16-2 run to open up the lead and get win #20! — Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011 — Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011
  20. #25/25 Texas (18-10, 9-6 Big 12) vs. #3/4 Oklahoma (22-5, 10-5 Big 12) When: Saturday, February 27, 2016 Time: 1:00 PM CST Venue: Frank Erwin Center Location: Austin, TX Television: CBS (Nationally Televised) Previous Meeting: Oklahoma defeated Texas 63-60 (February 8, 2016) Series Record: Oklahoma leads Texas all-time 53-35 In addition to this being a game against arch-rival Oklahoma on their home court, the story line in this game is Texas hosting another AP Top-20 team at the Frank Erwin Center. The Longhorns are 3-0 at home vs. Top-20 teams and 2-0 at home vs. Top-10 teams. Oklahoma brings a Top-5 ranking to Austin on Saturday for the showdown on the court with the Longhorns. The Sooners narrowly defeated the Longhorns in Norman earlier this month, 63-60, on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer with a couple of seconds left on the game clock. Texas is 5-3 this year against AP Top 20 teams and 5-5 this season against AP Top 25 opponents. Projected Starters: Isaiah Taylor Javan Felix Demarcus Holland Connor Lammert Prince Ibeh Off the Bench: Tevin Mack Danny Newsome Kendal Yancy Kerwin Roach Eric Davis Shaquille Cleare Ryan McClurg Joe Schwartz
  21. Story via Taylor Smith, HornSports contributing author Texas senior center Imani Boyette could create history for the women’s basketball program before she leaves the forty acres. Boyette needs 59 more rebounds to record at least 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocked shots. She would be the first in Texas women’s basketball history with that accomplishment. Currently, Boyette has recorded 1,245 points, 941 rebounds and 277 blocked shots. As a senior, she is averaging 12.6 points per game, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks. Boyette has played in all 23 games, recording a total of 12 double-doubles. She has earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors three times this season. The Los Angeles native enrolled at Texas as the third-ranked post recruit and 11th overall recruit from the 2012 class according to ESPN.com. As a senior in high school, she averaged 9.7 points per game and 10 rebounds. Boyette won a state championship her junior year of high school, scoring 18 points and grabbing 19 boards in the championship game. She left high school as a McDonald’s All-American. Basketball runs in Boyette’s blood. Her mother, Pamela McGee, won two national championships at USC, played in the WNBA and owns a gold medal for the 1984 Olympics. Boyette’s cousin Annette Smith-Knight played at Texas under Jody Conradt, winning the 1986 national championship. JaVale McGee is Boyette’s brother who plays in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks. When Boyette first arrived at Texas, she immediately made a name for herself. Boyette played in all 30 games, finishing the year with 13 double-doubles. She recorded a total of 75 blocks, setting a new record for Texas freshman. Boyette earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year and was a six-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week. She also was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team and Big 12 All-Freshman Team. As a sophomore, Boyette played in 33 games. She led Texas in blocked shots with 72 and scoring during Big 12 play with 206 total points. Boyette earned All-Big 12 Second Team honoree. Boyette’s junior year started out rocky. She missed the first eight games of the season because of an injury to her left leg. Boyette recovered and played in 27 games. For the third straight year, she led Texas in total blocked shots with 52. Boyette finished the season with All-Big 12 First Team honors and Big 12 All-Tournament honoree. This past December Boyette’s named appeared on the Naismith Trophy early-season watch list. The only Longhorn to win the women’s trophy was Clarissa Davis in 1987 and 1989. A midseason cut was made to the list on Feb. 10, but Boyette’s name still remained. Thirty other players accompany Boyette on the midseason list from the original 50. With six regular season games left, Boyette has the chance to reset Texas’ record book.
  22. See link below http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/rankings
  23. If you had told me back in October that the Horns would make the Dance, I would have laughed. Just didn't think we had enough to make a run in a coach's first year. We started out slow, losing one, winning one, losing another. We lost to TCU and Texas Tech after we lost our key center, Cam Ridley. We had to find ourselves again, establish a new identity. Find new ways to win. Now, he we are sitting in a tie with Kansas and OU for second place with a little less than half the conference schedule to go. The thing is though, we just keep getting better. Each game, a different player steps up. The play is exciting. Isaiah Taylor is relentless. Felix is nails. Ibeh has discovered himself. Cleare is creating his niche. Roach is a beast. Lammert is a nightmare to guard. Our date with OU on Big Monday will tell us a lot. OU just lost to K-State on the road. Are they having issues? Or was it just a slip up? We follow that with a trip to Ames in a dangerous game. Always tough to beat a good team twice in a season. Texas basketball quietly climbing up the Big 12 standings Don't ask the Longhorns about the standings, they will claim ignorance. But Shaka Smart and the players are aware, even if they don't mention it often, of the Big 12 standings and their place in them. And right now that position has never been higher. Following Texas' 69-59 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday and the other weekend conference games, the Longhorns are just one game behind West Virginia in the Big 12 standings. At 7-3, the Longhorns are in a three-way tie for second with Kansas and Oklahoma. In addition, Iowa State and Baylor are two games back at 6-4. It's a bunched group, and there's still plenty to be determined over the final eight regular season games. Six of Texas' final eight games come against teams in that five-team group, including two contests with No. 1 Oklahoma. Texas, once considered a team at risk of the NCAA Tournament after starting 1-2 in conference play, is also making a rapid rise in the national rankings with a now 16-7 record. The Longhorns received one vote in the Associated Press Top 25 last week, and they have a shot to be ranked Monday following a pair of wins against Baylor and Texas Tech. With the nation's 13th-toughest strength of schedule, Texas is ranked No. 20 in ESPN's RPI rankings. The Longhorns are also into the Top 30, at No. 28, of Kenpom's rankings for the first time all season. Texas will return to action Monday night for a road game against Oklahoma. The game will tip-off at 8 p.m. and can be seen nationally on ESPN. http://texas.247sports.com/Bolt/Texas-basketball-quietly-climbing-up-the-Big-12-standings-43551526
  24. Chris Flanagan’s notes & thoughts from Texas’ 74-69 win over Oklahoma State. 1st Half After struggling from 3 point range, Texas goes on a 13-2 run with big 3 pointers from Lammert, Taylor, and Mack to go up 15-6. That was big for the Longhorns after a very slow start. With 11 minutes gone in the first half, Oklahoma State had 4 turnovers and 3 made just FGs. Yikes. Shaq Cleare does the little things for this team. After a Kerwin Roach miss, Connor Lammert grabbed the rebound and overthrew it on the pass. Cleare’s hustle upcourt saved a backcourt violation and got the Longhorns 2 points. That's a play that doesn't go in the box score but is crucial to winning basketball games. Texas is starting to pull away, up 15 with less than 2 minutes until the half. I’m a little shocked about how poorly Oklahoma State is playing. However, it's not like Marcus Smart is walking through that door anytime soon. A nifty lay-up by Connor Lammert makes the halftime lead 15 points (Texas - 40, Oklahoma State - 25). Quick thoughts on the first half: This is a game the Longhorns need to win. A struggling Big 12 team comes into your house… you have no choice but to win. A 15 point halftime deficit isn't insurmountable, but Oklahoma State is not a good team. Texas hopes they see this same team in Stillwater in early March. 2nd half A quick 5-0 run extends the lead to 20. Good start for Shaka’s guys. Oklahoma State has a McDonald's All American? Oklahoma State is shooting 28% from the field. Longhorns are shooting 47%. That's the biggest difference so far. I like Texas's aggressiveness but Oklahoma State has cut the lead down to 14. Smart timeout by Shaka Smart to regroup the team. The Longhorns absolutely can’t lose this game. Oklahoma State cut the lead to 10. Closing out an opponent is still a major problem with this Texas team. Now it’s a 2 possession game. A big 3 by Oklahoma State cuts the lead to 4. Yeah, that happened. A 34-15 run by the Cowboys makes it a game. Texas fans are in disbelief. Oklahoma State TO down 4 with 1:15 to go. This has turned into a nail-biter when it shouldn't be. Oklahoma State misses, Longhorns rebound. Texas timeout. The ball goes to Eric Davis Jr., fakes the 3 point shot and drives and knocks down the layup. Up 6 with 40 seconds to go. Big block by Connor Lammert with 30 seconds to go. Floater by OSU’s Carroll. Texas up 4 with 26 seconds to go. Need the best free throw shooters on the floor. Oklahoma State fouls Eric Davis Jr. with 20 seconds to go. Davis hits both free throws and has a 12 point game. Juwan Evans hits a big 3. Lead is 3 points and Oklahoma State fouls Isaiah Taylor with 13 seconds to go. Taylor hits 1 and makes it a two possession game. He hits the second as well. Quick 2 from Oklahoma State and then they foul Taylor, who hits both FT’s. Texas holds on to win by 5. Final: Texas 74 Oklahoma State 69. Epilogue Texas has trouble holding big leads, but credit Oklahoma State for fighting and getting back into the game. Luckily the Longhorns were clutch from the line late to keep the Cowboys at arms-length, which helped secure their 3rd Big 12 win of the season. Similar to last season, Texas started 3-2 last season as well. Different perspective of both seasons makes the expectations a little different. The losses to Texas Tech and TCU are somewhat disheartening, seeing how those losses helped the Red Raiders and Frogs notch their only conference wins to-date. It’s easy to see how the Longhorns could be 5-0 in Big 12 play or at least 4-1. Texas will now go back on the road to face two of the best teams in the Big 12: West Virginia and Kansas. Win 1 of 2 of those games and the ‘Horns could make a bubble run. Game Photos

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