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Shooting From the Corner: Texas Longhorns vs. Washington Huskies vs. Bill Walton

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Oh look, Bill's talking again.
Oh look, Bill's talking again.
Danny La-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Shaka Smart Era, everybody! The Texas Longhorns lost to the Washington Huskies in Shanghai, China tonighttomorrowmorningtonight 77-71 in a game that I'd call a rock fight if it didn't impugn the subtle grace of rock fights. This pretty well encapsulates the level of play tonight:


The 2015 Barking Carnival Basketball Mantra

"The gamble with a press(particularly of the trapping variety) is that your team will create more good outcomes than bad and distort the game in your favor, but this means as a Texas fan you're going to need to increase your tolerance for bad outcomes as well."

This mantra applied to Washington more than Texas tonight. Surprise! Washington shot ~34% from the field, which was enough to help them setup a press intermittently. It bothered Texas some, and was probably a slight net-positive for them. Texas couldn't setup their press often thanks to shooting 27.5% from the floor, which holy shit 27.5% is that a real number? *checks Yahoo* Yep, that actually happened. (Somewhere, Brad Stevens is nodding appreciatively of the miserable shootingtough defense that was applied.) HAVOCTexas' generically-named press is a work in progress, and since we can't use The Other Name thanks to VCU's cadre of trigger-happy lawyers I've been forced to come up with another catchy nickname that encompasses what we're seeing on the floor. I think I've got it: Shaka's Havoc Alternative Resistance Theory, or SHART. Texas couldn't quite SHART as much as they'd like to in a normal game, but they'll have plenty of chances to SHART as the season progresses.

The Good

Frequent flyer miles? Excellent dim sum? I'm at a loss here...oh wait, I know.

Tempered Expectations

This Texas team is talented, motivated, and with a new coach that everybody loves there were some people talking up a team that will challenge the top 25 & the upper tier of the Big 12 for a conference title. The sins of Rick Barnes were cast out of the program, now the team plays loose and free with all the confidence in the world! Well, maybe it wasn't *all* Rick. Texas may still challenge for a conference title, but people needed a reminder of how ugly a team can look when they're not playing a D-II opponent. Washington isn't a world-beater, but they have talent and experience with the press. When you combine this with the referees locking down on fouls, you can get some remarkably ugly basketball.

Isaiah Taylor

If it weren't for Isaiah Taylor, Texas would have lost this game by 18. 25 points including 12-15 from the free throw line almost won a game Texas didn't deserve to win, and his ability to penetrate the lane against an opponent that wasn't packing in the paint was excellent. I'm not particularly keen that the starting PG for Texas didn't notch a single assist, but when the entire team can't hit water falling out of a boat there's only so much he can do.

Cameron Ridley

Cam had 1 more block (7) than the entire Washington squad (6). This game was a great example of how a big can influence a game without scoring much; a 6/7/7 line is unusual but appreciated in its way.

The Mixed Bag

Prince Ibeh

Prince Ibeh was active on defense and the boards, but he didn't adjust to the way the refs were calling the game and fouled out as a result. He wasn't the only guy who fouled out; 3 Washington players and Connor Lammert (on a late foul as the game was decided) hit their limit as well.

The Bad

The Freshmen

Eric Davis was 2-11 from the floor; Tevin Mack was 1-10, Kerwin Roach was 1-6. They combined for zero made 3s. Let's move on.

Bill Walton

Our SBNation brethren recapped his substance-altered Alibaba payola ramblings nicely, so instead I'll toss up a handful of tweets that I think give a decent flavor of The Night I Futilely Hope Seals His Broadcasting Fate:





(If you're listening, Lowell Galindo: I'm sorry for what I said about your basketball announcing. It can be so, so much worse.)

Texas has 8 days off before their next game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The tip is at 7pm CT on LHN.