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NCAA Tournament Instant Preview | The Texas Longhorns

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The Basics

Coach Rick Barnes
Conference Big 12
NCAA Appearances 29
Best Finish Final Four (3X) 2003 Most Recent

This the 14th season at the helm of the Longhorns for Rick Barnes. Incidentally this is also the 14th time that the Horns have gone dancing under Barnes. In short Texas is one of the best programs you will find out there. Even though the results of this year aren't exactly up to snuff compared to previous teams.

The Resume

Record 20-13 (9-9)
RPI 53
SOS 21
vs. RPI Top 25 3-9
vs. RPI Top 50 4-11

The Longhorns certainly scheduled very toughly in the non conference. Three of their RPI top 50 opponents were in the non conference Temple, North Carolina and N.C. State with the lone win of the bunch being against Temple.

Texas wound up 6th in the Big 12 behind Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, Missouri and Kansas. Against those five teams the Longhorns were 2-8. And neither of the two wins came outside the confines of the Frank Erwin Center.

Style of Play

Texas plays at a reasonably fast pace. They average right around 67 possessions per game which is basically the same pace that UC has played at this season (64.9). The big thing that jumps out to me looking at the Longhorns stats is that they don't utilize the three point line all that well. They are middle of the pack nationally both in terms of attempts (581, 148th) and makes (190, 187th) and near the bottom in percentage (32.7, 244th). Just 23.6 per cent of their points have come from the three point line. UC for comparison scores 31.3 per cent of all points from behind the arc.

Two other things that jump out to me are a low assist to turnover ratio just .98. And it isn't so much about the assists. UC and Texas both assist on basically half of made field goals. The difference is that UC almost never turns the ball over while Texas gives possessions away with a shocking regularity. 18.7 per cent of all longhorn possessions end in a turnover.

Player(s) To Watch

It really starts and basically ends with J'Covan Brown. If the Longhorns are going to go anywhere and do anything Brown will have an outsized role in making it happen. Brown seems like he has been around forever but is only in his third season. And he made a massive leap from his Sophomore year to his Junior one with career highs in points, minutes and field goal percentage. In short he is a load and the number one priority for the Bearcats.

The other guy who I really like is Myck Kabongo who is a point guard and the latest in the pipeline from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas to Austin. Kabongo is a young point guard who I have really enjoyed watching on the couple of occasions when I have caught the Horns on ESPN. He scores about 9 per game and leads the team in assists at a little over 5. I just really like his style of play.

Stay tuned to Down the Drive for all your NCAA tournament needs.