Blog Entry

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

Posted on: January 31, 2011 11:18 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 11:29 pm
B.J Holmes gets all squished by the Texas D.

Posted by Eric Angevine

This is what Texas was supposed to be last year. Sometimes chemistry takes a season off.

However they got here, the Longhorns are a Final Four team this year. The 69-49 destruction of No. 16 Texas A&M in College Station just nine days after a similarly fruitful trip to Lawrence removed all doubt.

There are stars here, but they play as a team, and that's where the chemistry comes in. It was on display throughout the blowout in A&M's Reed Arena.

Some examples:

Team Defense: Aggie shooters found it nigh impossible to break free, no matter how many screens they ran their orange-clad tormenters through. Especially difficult to shake was point guard Dogus Balbay, who was hampered by a knee injury last year. On the rare occasions when Balbay was scraped off of his man for a split second, a teammate would pick up the opposing ballhandler until the senior from Turkey could recover. The team D was absolutely astounding.

Passing: They fed the post. They reversed the ball with alacrity. They ran flawless transition. They broke the A&M press. It was like watching a team-wide Vulcan mind meld in action.

Depth: Matt Hill and Alexis Wangmene are seldom seen for Texas, but they are absolutely crucial to a long run in the postseason. The upperclassmen provide Rick Barnes with big bodies who can spell the starters, which could come in very handy if Tristan Thompson or Gary Johnson gets in foul trouble. Each player made his mark in the beatdown of A&M, with Wangmene adding 5 points and 2 blocks and senior Hill leading the Longhorn rebounding effort. Brown and Florida transfer Jai Lucas provide similar insurance in the backcourt

Bench Leadership: J'Covan Brown was a big part of UT's problems last season, and he hasn't completely shaken his tendency to make boneheaded plays. In the first half, with his team up twenty, Brown flipped a no-look pass behind his back that was intercepted and turned into a transition bucket for A&M. Barnes yanked him off the floor, and Brown started to pout. Senior Gary Johnson clamped an arm around Brown's shoulders and pulled him into the next huddle for a teaching moment. It was an instinctive moment that worked: Brown got his head back in the game and ended up with 8 points.

Killer Instinct: The Longhorns never let up. It's pretty common to see the gap close on a blowout in the final five minutes as the leading team relaxes a bit and the trailing team starts drilling three pointers. Duke's sudden three-point explosion at St. John's on Sunday is an example of the phenomenon. No such thing happened in Reed Arena. The men in burnt orange continued to close out on shooters in the final minute. In short, Texas choked the life out of A&M calmly and methodically on Monday night.

With Jordan Hamilton playing the starring role, and the rest of the team forming an impenetrable phalanx behind him, it's difficult to imagine a Final Four without Texas.

Photo: US Presswire

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 4:53 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

We have all seen this before haven't we?  I have nothing against any of the Texas programs, their coaches have a lot of class.  Their fans are not always so classy.  There have been many times I expected to see Texas in the Final Four, only to see them lose to lesser opponents in the tournament.

For the moron Texas fan who I wouldn't want as a close friend if I lost a loved one.  Thomas Robinson lost 3 close family members in 3 weeks.  His mom passed late on Friday night before the Texas game.  His friends/teammates saw how it he was feeling after hearing of it and stayed up all night with him.  I'm not saying it is the reason they lost or if it had any affect at all, but you are cold and heartless, not to mention classless when you dismiss it the way you do. 

Since: Dec 8, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 4:42 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

And that Final Four you speak of will be in Houston where the Horns always have great support and win more times than not.
This is the best chance Texas has ever had to win it's first round ball Championship.

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2011 4:02 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

No doubt that a well coached team KU team will respond with vengence.  I hope to see both teams in the Final Four! 

Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:55 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

Its easy to win the game when most of KU's starters were riding the pine for most of the second half.. The Jayhawks will turn it around and this life experience will make them even STRONGER going foward , i promise you..

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:48 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

Yeah, it's easy to get 'fatigued' when you are getting your butts kicked.

Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:44 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

Texas is for real, no doubt about it.. Kansas dominated the Longhorns in the 1st half of that game and then is the second half had 16 of thier 23 PF's against them.. No question fatigue was the difference in the second half of that game.. Season is still early and the Hawks have only lost 1 game..

Since: Feb 1, 2011
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:31 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

One more thing.  I meant no disrespect to any Kansas player or fan.  People handle death differently and I wouldn't blame a teammate if they lost sleep over a friend's parents death.  It is not a sign of weakness or toughness if you handle the loss of someone by losing sleep or not losing sleep or not being able to focus on the game.  Everyone does their best in these situations.  
All I meant to say is that whoever said "Texas got lucky" COULD have been making an excuse.  It's possible the players got more sleep than what the media is reporting and its possible that how much impact this loss on that particular game against Texas could have been exaggerated.  They probably did stay up until 5, but even so, Texas looks like a better team thus far through big 12 play.
Kansas almost lost to Nebraska at home and have not been as consistent over the last 10 games as Texas has been.  The teams are close to equal but the way Texas played against Mizzou and the Aggies is more impressive than how Kansas has played in the Big 12 so far.

Since: Feb 1, 2011
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:24 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

My last post was in response to 's post who made excuses for Kansas against Texas.

Since: Feb 1, 2011
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:22 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

Everything you said would be nice if it were true.  Did you watch the Kansas v. Kansas State game a few days ago?  One of the Jayhawks said, "The Longhorns got lucky." referring to some players "staying up all night."  I've lost a lot of people in my life that I have loved, including my father.  Many athletes lose a parent a day before playing a great game (Brett Favre comes to mind).  I can understand if Thomas Robinson didn't get any sleep and wasn't up to par.  But, you cannnot make an excuse for the rest of the team and for a player on Kansas to say that Texas "got lucky" is a cowardly act.  THEY DID COMPLAIN about the loss by saying Texas got lucky.  Bill Self showed class, but whoever made that comment by the Jayhawks has sour grapes and gripes.
Would you stay up all night if your friend's mother died?  I don't know anyone who stayed up all night when hearing of the passing of a friend's parent in my life.  For any other player other than Thomas Robinson to have an excuse is pitiful.  It is REPORTED that some players didn't get to sleep until 5am.  We don't know what happened. 
I don't think Kansas got tired in the second half.  I think Texas's dominating defense took over in the second half.
I think Texas would have won no matter what had happened.  That comment by that Jayhawk will add fuel to the fire the Horns have as a team now and if Kansas meets Texas in the Big 12 tourney, I guarantee you that Texas will come out ready to kick their a**.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:02 pm

Longhorn Laugher: this is a Final Four team

Good post nikerst, KU continues to look strong and has a great balance of players.  I am cautiously optimistic about the Longhorns.  This year we need more than back to back drubbing of the Aggies.  Final Four?  That would be very, very cool especially in light of the 5 and 7 football season.

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