Does our mutual friend Kirk Bohls still have a direct line to Bellmont? According to the Statesman's statesman, Texas Longhorns Athletics Director Steve Patterson has given men's basketball Head Coach Rick Barnes a well-deservec vote of confidence.
"We don’t plan on making any changes," Patterson said. "He's the conference coach of the year. He had something like the second-best home record ever (at 16-2). I think everybody feels like we made a great turnaround this year."
This comes on the heels of Barnes winning the Big 12 Coaches' vote for Coach of the Year. Prior to the season, the odds of Barnes coaching the Longhorns in 2014-15 would have seemed beyond minute. Instead, Barnes declared that he never worried about keeping his job, and believed his team would make the NCAA Tournament. Well played, Rick.
With just one upperclassman (Jonathan Holmes) and a bevy of talent-maximizing freshmen and sophomores, the future looks good for Texas basketball and Rick Barnes. Still, some concerns abound. This is a roster with just one high school five-star prospect (Cameron Ridley). Beyond Holmes, the team lacks a size+quickness component necessary to consistently defend the larger wings and combo forwards that gave the young Horns trouble this year. And shooting. Shooting. Shooting.
Can Barnes capitalize on this season's success? With a Big 12 and NCAA Tournament run forthcoming, it may be too early to think about next year. But If Barnes can keep Ridley, develop his scorers, get something out of 6' 7" incoming freshman Jordan Barnett, and (fingers crossed) land five-star game-changer Myles Turner, next year really could be something special.