A few quick off the cuff observations from the game tonight.
* Eleven players suited up, and all eleven saw action with only Harrison Smith not getting in until garbage time. This is a deep, athletic bunch.
* Typical first-game offensive display -- especially in the first half. Ten turnovers, and once again Texas looked like the concept of attacking a zone was as foreign to them as passing up a dozen free Krispy Kremes is to Mangino. Stagnant comes to mind.
* A.J. Abrams shot is in mid-season form. He hit four deep threes in the first half, and also displayed a nice tear drop jumper from the baseline.
*Damion James showed that he has indeed been working on his mid-range jumper. In fact despite the sloppy play, the team as a whole shot well -- over 54% from the field.
* Free throw shooting on the other hand -- was as pathetic as the crowd. Varez Ward went 0 for 6 from the charity stripe, and most of them were bad misses. The team as a whole shot 37% from the free throw line. As for the crowd, it was announced as a little over 11,000. Yeah right, cut that number in half.
*Dexter Pittman is going to be a real contributor. He is more mobile around the basket, has the best hands of any big man, and moved well in man-to-man tonight.
*Clint Chapman started in place of Gary Johnson. Have no idea why, but I bet there is a story behind it.
*Chapman, Pittman, Johnson, and Hill all showed more confidence and balance when moving down low on the block.
*Texas employed full court man pressure pretty much the whole game, nothing serious, but obviously Barnes wants to ramp up the defense and create more offensive opportunities off of it.
*It is a helluva lot of fun to watch our bench, because Barnes doesn't stop teaching or coaching until the game is over.
No matter the score or the opponent, Rick Barnes is working right up to the final whistle.
*For instance, five minutes into the 2nd half, Texas had a 15-point lead. Stetson came down and Connor Atchley failed to switch on an open shooter, turned his back on one of Stetson's best 3-point men, and he drained it. The ball had not cleared the net before Barnes was up and all over Atchley. He continued to uh, lecture Connor throughout the entire offensive set for Texas. Then when Stetson got the ball and called timeout, Barnes was still lecturing Atchley in the huddle. He finally decided to take him out, and after play had resumed, he walked down the bench, and again lit into Connor. A few minutes later Atchley went back in and drained three straight pure 3-pointers.
*Texas was leading by 25 with two minutes to go. Dexter is striding from outside the 3-point line to the lane when the Stetson defender on him suddenly decides he is the OU punter and does the Fosbury Flop. Dex is whistled for the foul. Again Barnes shoots off the bench, and just rips into the ref. There is a 2-minute TV timeout after the foul, and Barnes, from in the huddle is still chewing on the ref. He finally leaves the huddle goes on the court and continues the discussion. You can finally see the ref nodding his head as the conversation ends. It was a meaningless foul at a meaningless time of the game, but you never know when you might see that ref again.
* Justin Mason looked comfortable at the point, but then who wouldn't against Stetson.
* Next game is against Tulane Tuesday night.