Texas Longhorns: NCAA Tournament Team Preview

texas longhorns

University of Texas Longhorns (7 Seed, Midwest Bracket)

Record: 23-10 (11-7 in Big 12)

Coach: Rick Barnes

Tournament Berth: At Large Bid

Big Wins: Kansas, Iowa State, North Carolina, Baylor

Big Loses: Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma State

The young and talented Texas Longhorns had a very solid regular season, despite their mediocre 11-7 record in the Big 12. After a great start of the season in which the Longhorns went 10-1, including a big win against North Carolina, the Longhorns ran into a rough conference schedule. Their great start was followed by tough losses to Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.

The best run of the Longhorn’s season came after a brief losing streak, and was from January 11 through February 4. During this run, the Longhorns won seven straight games, and the team managed to get in a groove with a high-scoring offensive attack and their big men dominating the court. Their most impressive feat through their hot streak included consecutive wins against no. 8 Iowa State, no. 22 Kansas State, no. 24 Baylor, and no. 6 Kansas.

Texas struggled with consistency after their impressive run, which was dampened by losses to both powerhouses and lesser opponents. They finished with a conference record that was slightly above .500, but it was still an impressive feat for a team that was not expected to do much in the season.

Highlights that will help make Texas a case for a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament include a huge win against a very powerful Kansas team, and the defeat of a very good Iowa State team. Texas recently lost to Baylor 86-69 in the Big 12 tournament, which was a disappointing outcome in their attempt to win the conference championship. Overall, the Texas Longhorns had a very impressive season that was unexpected and showed a promising future for a young team.

Team Leaders

POINTS

PPG

FG%

FT%

3PT%

Jonathan Holmes

13.0

.512

.742

.354

Isaiah Taylor

12.5

.352

.751

.222

REBOUNDS

REB

OFF

DEF

BPG

Cameron Ridley

8.1

3.2

4.8

2.2

Jonathan Holmes

7.2

2.7

4.5

1.3

ASSISTS

APG

SPG

TO

AST/TO

Isaiah Taylor

3.9

1.1

2.4

1.6

Javan Felix

2.9

0.9

1.3

2.1

 Starting Five

C – Cameron Ridley

F – Jonathan Holmes

G – Javan Felix

G – Demarcus Holland

G – Isaiah Taylor

Who’s Hot: Jonathan Holmes has been the most consistent player for the Longhorns in the 2013-2014 season. As a 6-8 Junior forward, Holmes led Texas in scoring and was second in total rebounds. His veteran leadership will be crucial for the Longhorns to advance in the tournament.

Freshmen guard, Isaiah Taylor, has been one of the team MVPs for the Texas Longhorns. Taylor has stepped up in a few big games, and he been one of the main contributors to the young team. While he still has some consistency issues, Taylor is only a freshmen, and he likely has a bright future ahead of him.

Who’s Not: After a solid start of the season, Demarcus Holland has not quite played to his full potential. In the past 18 games, Holland only has one game in which he reached double digits in points scored. However, Holland does have some good overall basketball skills, which could come in handy during the upcoming tournament.

Outlook: If Texas can get back into the groove that the team was in during much of January, then the sky’s the limit for this young and talented group. But the Longhorn’s play has been inconsistent as of late, and it has created several question marks that the team will have to answer if they are to go far into the NCAA Tournament.

Commentary by Glen Parris

Sources:
Burt Orange Nation
ESPN
ESPN

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