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Texas Stumbles Through 63-53 Win Against UT-Arlington

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A road weary Longhorn team or were the shots just not falling?

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the shots just don't fall for you, but games like this should be where Texas role players seize the opportunity to make a splash and drag disinterested or tired teammates into a ten minute stretch where they blow an inferior opponent off of the floor with infectious energy.  Didn't happen.  13 turnovers - many unforced - against an undersized UTA squad was an eyebrow raiser. Yeah, we miss Zeke Taylor - even against inferior competition.  I also had premonitions of a half-court offense in Lexington that was going to combine enough missed shots with silly turnovers to create a lot of fast break opportunities for Kentucky's thoroughbreds.

Right now, that game has a we lose by double digits vibe.

The Longhorns took wide open shots all night and couldn't bury any of them.  Overall, Texas shot 30% from the field and 18% from the 3 point line.  Fortunately, the Longhorns blocked 13 shots, doubled UTA up on rebounds and held yet another opponent under 40% shooting to secure the win.  The Longhorns had good ball movement, but several players repeatedly passed up wide open shots in rhythm creating a disjointed offensive feel which prevented any sense of game flow.  Once the clang fest began, we couldn't stop it.

Croaker and Barnett

The Croaker internet fan cult should probably go ahead and die.  Barnes tried to play him (dude was slated to get 20 minutes, I'm sure of it) and Croaker responded by drilling a wide open three and promptly followed that by allowing two 3 pointers on the other end and screwing up an offensive set.  He seems genuinely puzzled when he gets pulled.  He doesn't get it and doesn't treat these games with the effort level that suggests he understands his situation.

Barnett got up an impressive six shots in 8 minutes and missed them all.  College basketball is too big for him right now.  He does provide effort and Barnes will continue to try to season him in spots.

Myles Turner

Best player on the court.  It's an honor watching him play.  18 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks in only 22 minutes.  He was an incredible 14 of 17 from the stripe. He's our best player at the 4 and 5 spots, has impressive basketball IQ and given Ridley's level of play, we'll need to reallocate minutes against conference competition soon.

Connor Lammert

1 of 6 from the field (0-4 from 3) and passed up several open shots. Unless he has early success, he's not going to take more open shots.

Kendal Yancy

He clocked 30 minutes and contributed 9 points and 6 rebounds.  He's a little too turnover prone when we give him ball handling duties, but I like what he brings in terms of physicality and effort.  He and Holland are a nice combo when we ratchet up ball pressure.

Cameron Ridley

Had a better box score than basketball game.  I thought he actively hurt us and helped facilitate a turnover or two that wasn't credited to him.  I don't know his deal, but he leads the team in turnovers by a wide margin, isn't using his size to bury and pin small defenders and gives up on positioning battles if the defense flashes a brief double team.  He has a total of two rebounds in his last two games.

Jonathan Holmes

Holmes couldn't get his shot going but still finished with 9 points and 16 rebounds.

Demarcus Holland

7 points and 6 boards.  In some ways, his worst game of the year.  Repeatedly passed up wide open shots, had three turnovers and seemed a little out of sorts.  It happens.  I'm not worried about the guy.  He'll bring it in Lexington.

Javan Felix

His foot needs to get better.  He's missing open shots that he needs to bury if we're going to weather the storm without Taylor.

**

Every team is entitled to a stinker or two - basketball is a fickle game - but if the Longhorns play like that in Lexington, we're going to be on the wrong end of a 75-53 loss.