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Rick Barnes & UT Basketball: It's About Accountability & Expectations

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I know for a lot of folks, basketball doesn't even begin until after football season, but UT will start practice in a few weeks, and Rick Barnes will welcome back four starters off last years Elite Eight squad.

As Barnes comments about each of the players in this article, a pattern emerges - one that has been a consistent part of the Barnes program at Texas.

A.J. Abrams: "I do expect his role to change, because I expect A.J. to be better"

Connor Atchley: "On the basketball side, we absolutely expect Connor to get better and add to what he did last year."

Justin Mason: "There is no area that Justin will not improve in, because he has so much pride in what he does."

Damion James is one of just six returning players in college basketball who averaged a double-double last year.

Damion James: "Like every player on our team, we expect more of Damion. No one is going to expect more from any of our guys more than our staff and our players."

Dexter Pittman: "We know how hard he has worked, but it's now time for him to put it in the books. Our expectations as a team have changed for Dexter."

Clint Chapman and Alexis Wangmene: "Both of them have been through it now, and we're expecting more consistency from both Clint and Lexi."

Texas is a consensus pre-season Top 20 selection for 2008-09, making a lot of Top 10 lists. In fact, even Dickie V thinks a lot of the Horns.

Barnes has built Texas into a nationally recognized basketball program by elevating the talent level and then getting those players to respond to his expectations.