I'm sure Trips will be along to give a more comprehensive breakdown of the Horns win over the Cowboys, but there were some nice differences in tonight's game that stuck out for anyone who follows the Horns.
First of all, that was fun. For the players, the fans, and I imagine the coaches as well.
Barnes went small at the start inserting Dogus Balbay for Connor Atchley, and I think it energized both players. Doge actually played the part of a point guard tonight -- in all phases.
Dogus Balbay got his first start as a Horn against OSU and he responded with 10 points, 7 assists and only 1 turnover.
Doge attacked the defense, and this time actually finished several times at the rim. He made one particularly swift move down the lane, pulling a 360 spin, and ending it with a left-handed layup. He didn't just dribble penetrate and then look to dish, he went to the basket strong, and ended up having better opportunities to then distribute the basketball.
The biggest change for Balbay came in the 2nd half. He came off a screen, had an open 15-footer right of the free throw line, started to fire, and then backed up. Barnes screams shoot the fucking ball! or something to that effect. Doge dribbles right back to the same spot, and drained the jumper.
Will miracles never cease.
Connor came off the bench, hit his first 3-pointer, and it changed his whole outlook. He was terrifc on ball screen defense, and he was active on offense. He also had the assist of the night, as he got a breakaway, and hit Damion with a perfectly timed pass for a dunk.
Both Damion and Gary Johnson seemed to be enthused about having Dogus in there as well, as they were active coming across the lane, and both were in double figures -- Damion had 19, and Gary had 12.
A.J. was active and selective on offense. He had 20, including a couple of 3-pointers just south of MLK.
The difference for me on the Texas offense with Doge at the point was pretty simple: move, attack and protect.
Texas had 19 assists and only 7 turnovers. Texas was also 26-31 from the free throw line. That is 84%
The "Share the Basketball" concept turned out to be catching. Now this needs to be tempered with the fact that Oklahoma State is a worse ball-screen defense than Baylor, and that is as bad as it gets in the Big 12.
But it was a great antidote for the disease that had been spreading on this team for the last 10 days.