If you have not already read the excellent posts from srr50 and Trips Right, then do so now, or I will give HenryJames your IP address which could lead to you being the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.
I'll try not to rehash the above posters excellence and get straight to the meat.
I'm not uncomfortable running the offense through Damion James right now. I can't believe I just typed that sentence. His decision making has been excellent. His ball handling has improved (though it still makes me Scipio around minors level uncomfortable). There are new jumbotron profile shots of the team where they all try to look mean. Dexter looks like he is trying not to laugh at Trips' jump shot. Avery Bradley looks constipated. Doge Balbay looks like he is trying to translate Miley Cyrus lyrics into Turkish. Damion looks like he is going to kill me and eat my previously undiscovered young.
Doge just straight up outplayed Kalin Lucas and Larry Drew. Read that sentence again.
I have a confession to make and owe Balbay an apology.
After one of the September football night games where I spent the day drinking then got to experience the greatness that is booze in the club seats, I topped the night off doing ridiculously immature things on Sixth Street. Some say thirty one is too old to grope sorority girls while romping on the dance floor at 311 to the greatness that is Joe Valentine. I say judge not, lest you too would be judged you glass McMansion owning hypocrite. What is unforgivable is running into Balbay at about 2:30 in the lounge area of a parking garage with his Turkoman posse and challenging him to a game of H-O-R-S-E using a trash can and a beach ball sized wad of bar receipts that I conveniently had in my pocket. The lesson, as always, is that I am an asshole.
Luckily, for all involved, Doge decided that he couldn't understand my particular brand of drunken verbiage, instead of choking me out with his hookah, which would have been perfectly reasonable.
I think Jai is the near perfect balance between Doge and J'Covan. He can handle well enough to limit turnovers. He can hit open threes. And, he reverses the ball at the top of the key so we get a little perimeter ball movement in our offense. On defense, he moves his feet and stays in front of people. He can't bring the ball pressure that our other guys can, but who does? He came in in the first half and settled us down at a key point.
I am in the Trips Right camp in that AB should be taking 15 shots per game. I don't know why he quit penetrating in the second half, because he seemed to be the only guy that could do it in the first half.
I think Gary is like a tailback that needs 25 touches to really punish a defense. When he gets extended minutes he seems to get stronger as the game goes. The only person that I wish had two more inches more than Gary, is of course myself. Sometimes I wonder what GJ's rebounding numbers would look like without the Human Carom Vacuum on the other block.
Everybody looks great when they hit their shots, eh? The difference in this game and UNC for Jordan was he made a few. He still hasn't figured out why it is so hard to drive baseline in Barnes' offense, and his decision making has not improved. Turning this kid into Matt Bullard is a problem. Hopefully, he will start driving to the elbow where he can dish or pull up. Overpenetrating so you can shoot runners at 6'8" is a bad strategy. Hopefully, Jordan pulls some confidence from this game so he can settle down to be the all around assassin that he has the skills to be.
I think we can put the head case business to rest with J'Covan. One of the great things about live basketball is that you get to see how the players interact with each other during the game. J'Covan is a true team leader at this point. Seeing him do things like grab Damion and talk him down after a galactically stupid foul call, work the referees during time outs, and slap Barnes' ass after getting a butt chewing show you a portrait of a dynamic and passionate leader. I think Ed Hightower would let J'Covan date his daughter.
I knew the game was fucked when I took my seat and saw Ed Hightower's fat, lazy, ass in stripes on the court schmoozing with boosters before the game. He was probably a decent referee before his ego outgrew first class airline seats and his waistline. The other two zebra's on his crew take their lead from him, and genuinely suck. In all fairness, this crew doesn't have any Dick Bavetta in them though. They suck gigantic, saran wrapped, donkey cock for both teams. Hightower has been buttfucking Horns games since I moved back to Austin in 2006. May he be infested with the fleas of a thousand camels in the general vicinity of his gunt.
Bellmont has evidently won a hotly contested bidding war for The Landing Strip's DJ and installed him as the PA announcer at the Super Drum. If I hear the phrase, "LOVELY LADIES OF THE FORTY ACRES WORKING HARD FOR TIPS AND TIPS ALONE," again I am going to choke a ballboy. Okay, so half that sentence was a fabrication, but can you guess which half?
The Drum was The Morgue in the first half. It was really embarrassing when the eighty seven State fans in the upper deck were louder than the entire Texas crowd during our free throws. Texas pressure in the second half got us off our asses though.
My usual last minute ticket mooching avenues came up empty when I left my tickets in my desk drawer at the office. I am a moron. Luckily, the Erwin Center has the worst scalpers in the Western Hemisphere. When you start at the asking price of $150.00 for a single mezzanine ticket, and I talk you down to thirty bones with three words and a fake walk off, I am afraid the Darwinian processes of your trade spell doom.
The last laugh was with the scalper though. I ended up second row mezzanine in one of the odd number section seats that are singles next to the handicap row. The width of the seat is roughly half of the already too small for my girth seat found everywhere else. But, it is a great view to watch the refs blow calls from.
Even though I liked Jai Lucas' play in the first half, I agreed with Barnes going with the rotation he did in half number two. We feed emotionally off our defense so much, that we need to have that ball pressure group of guards in the game when it is time to assert our dominance.
Looking into the future, I am interested to see Texas in true road games at Fayetteville, Storrs, and Manhattan. K State is rounding out to be one helluva good basketball team. If they continue on the current projection, they may be in the top ten by tourney time. I wish they had more on the non conference schedule than Ole Miss and Alabama, but they get Texas and the Agriculturals at home and I would gladly accept whatever amount of points they are getting from Kansas in Manhattan.
I watched some Oklahoma v UTEP on Monday, and if there has ever been a basketball team that was less than the some of its parts more than the Sooners, I can't remember the team. TMG looks like a guy I wish we could have taken and Willie Warren is still an assassin, but they had no answer for UTEP and Randy Culpepper whose jump shot is either a perfect swish or comes off the side of his tiny carnie hands and injures a bystanding cheerleader.
Watching Tiny Gallon take low post position like Derek Caracter had H1N1 was comedy. He would start with deep position, then Caracter would touch him with his finger tips as if fondling a recalcitrant butterfly and he would take a step out until the touching had him posting up 18 feet away and wondering why they weren't entering the ball to him. I think we could invert the defense and let Jai Lucas guard him.