The Texas Longhorns improve to 15-4, 4-2 in conference in dramatic fashion. Jonathan Holmes hit a game-winning three pointer as time expired, giving Texas a 67-64 victory over the Kansas St. Wildcats.
@ oracle GIF me That's Levitation, Holmes.
I watched the game on tape-delay this morning. Here are some scattershot thoughts.
- The Cameron Ridley vs. Thomas Gipson interior battle was really good. I opined in the preview that Ridley would have a tough go since Gipson comes close to Ridley in size and bests him in experience. Scipio argued that Texas could just go over the top, which is what Ridley did en route to an 18 point, 6 rebound game. Not to be outdone, Gipson poured in 24 and 5. Both players flashed excellent post play and footwork as well as a spirited fight for offensive boards. MVPs on either side.
- When Javan Felix is on his game, he's so money and he knows it. He led the way with 23 points, and once he can consistently demonstrate outputs like that attempting fewer than 19 shots, he should be a A-level offensive threat. I'm unconcerned that he won't shrug off the two missed free throws at the end.
- Martez Walker's confidence has skyrocketed recently, and I loved the two stickback boards. It's the little things. Damarcus Croaker's alley-oop should've garnered him more than 3 minutes, but like Stillwater, Texas runs deep in the backcourt. Nice problem to have. When Felix isn't playing well, both Walker and Croaker offer instant offense as easy replacement options.
- I'm as amazed as you are, but Demarcus Holland is quickly becoming my favorite player. He locked down K-State's leading scorer, Marcus Foster, to a 3-12 shooting, 8 point night. The 4 points don't bother me; I far prefer the 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Those are stats that Julien Lewis should have had if he bothered to utilize his skills for anything other than scoring inefficiently.
- I'm not sure if Holland's time-out with 1.9 to go was premeditated by Barnes or if Holland just froze. It turned out to be the right call, but it also shows that Holland has a long way to go as a scorer. Dogus Balbay never got there; Justin Mason regressed from one. I'm really hoping Holland makes it the extra mile.
- Texas came in with a really good offensive game-plan to push the ball in transition and work the ball inside to utilize its interior height advantage. A 45.6% shooting night against a smothering K-State defense is a plus, and Texas had additional open looks that skimmed the rim but didn't fall. The Longhorns still need to do better than 60% from the line, but I'll take the low number of turnovers (10) any game.
- On a night with visible complaints about Jonathan Holmes' assertiveness, he still had 10 rebounds (3 offensive) and 8 points. But yeah, hitting the game-winner spins things in a positive light.
Next, Texas heads to Waco on Saturday to take on a reeling Baylor Bears team that has lost four of five conference games.