Surround by high preseason expectations, the Texas Longhorns' season took another disappointing turn on Saturday as the Horns suffered a loss at the hands of Arkansas, 77-74, in what was basically a home game at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Texas has struggled this season without the presence of a true point guard to run their offense, and the issues as a result of that lingered once again against the Arkansas Razorbacks, who took advantage of their weakness.
Arkansas turned them over 12 times. They forced pressure on the perimeter, and it lead to easy baskets in transition.
Texas' offensive efficiency, 117th in the country, is a major telling point of its lack of an effective point guard. The biggest deficiency is its inability to run the break and push the tempo. With athletes like Texas, they have freaks all over the floor who can finish in transition, but no one really built to run it themselves.
Without a floor general who has the ability to get out and distribute and finish things in transition, the Longhorns offense has slowed to a crawl. The possessions are being extended. And even worse, they just don't have the personnel to try and do what they are most successful at.
In adjusted tempo, KenPom has the Horns as the 253rd fastest team -- 68.1 points per game is good (or bad) for 285th in the country.
By no stretch is Texas' NCAA tournament hopes dead. After all, it's December! But the troubling downward trend of Shaka Smart's club is alarming. They've struggled in losses to Northwestern, UT-Arlington, Michigan and Colorado.
The Big 12 isn't a cakewalk. Things will get more difficult from here.