The Texas Longhorns sleepwalked through the first 32 minutes of their contest against the Appalachian State Mountaineers before pulling away at the end. Texas won the game 67-55 largely on the back of Cameron Ridley. Like a father driving the family van through the West Texas plains while everyone else slept, Cam was the only player to show consistent energy from start to finish. This was the kind of lackluster effort you might expect from a team that's been getting told how awesome they are for the last 72 hours, fortunately for Texas it came against one of the worst teams in D1(their victory over the powerhouse Liberty Fightin' Jesuses notwithstanding) so it wasn't a fatal flaw. Shaka Smart is definitely making the team run tomorrow. He might be making them run right now.
Cam had a 19/11/9 line, which is impressive until you learn the 9 is blocks and suddenly start to grasp just what he did to the poor Mountaineers. With one more block, Cam would have had only the second triple-double in Texas history. Cam should get to use the showers first, then the rest of the team goes in once he's done. After that, maybe they all pitch in and get the big fella a massage at a parlor of ill repute, too. The Mountaineers tried everything they could think of and Cam handled his business any way.
Honoring the 1990 Elite Eight Team
I was 12 when the BMW offense became fully weaponized, and it's the reason I fell in love with Texas basketball in the first place. I enjoyed the previous year, but this was the first season I lived & died with a basketball team. When Texas lost (to m*th*rf*ck*ng Arkansas and that Jabba-in-training Oliver Miller) in the Elite Eight, I begged my dad to take me to the Erwin Center ceremony for the team as they returned from the NCAA Tournament. I screamed my ass off as they were brought out and then forced Dad - a man who has voluntarily waited in line longer than 10 minutes approximately twice in his life - to stand in line for nearly an hour so I could get autographs from the team on a program.
It was great to see relations between Tom Penders & Texas thaw enough to make this happen, and it was great to see guys like Panama Myers, Benford Williams, Lance Blanks, Travis Mays, Joey Wright and the rest get some Austin love.
Texas had 15 blocks on the night: 9 for Cam, 4 for Prince Ibeh, and 1 each for Connor Lammert & Isaiah Taylor.
Yea, it was like that all night. The Longhorns held Appalachian State to 6-40 shooting from inside the 3-point line, which is a great number regardless of how you look at it.
Ho-hum, just 6-9 from the floor for the Amish Fire Hydrant. We're 10 games into the season and Felix is shooting over 50% from the floor, and there's no signs it's a fluke. I talked up Javan on Chad & Kevin this afternoon and he continues to show his decision-making acumen on when to fire away & when to pass. Felix's O-rating is nearly 40 points higher than any previous season.
Kendal is getting limited minutes, but this game was the best he's looked since the concussion. He drove the ball with resolve and showed good body control, and he may be carving out a role for himself as the 8th-9th man in the rotation. I don't know if he can make it much higher with the way Roach/Davis are improving, but he's still bought in and looking to contribute however he can.
The Mixed Bag
3-11 shooting isn't good, but 7 assists is nice to see because it means he's willing to facilitate the offense even when shots aren't falling. Also, hitting 5-6 free throws is nice because holy mother of god nobody else hit the broad side of a barn tonight.
On the good side, he did this:
On the bad side, that's the only time the ball went through the hoop for him. Kerwin shot 1-4 from the field & 0-3 from the line. Not his best night.
Free Throw Shooting
Non-Zay free throw shooting: 3-12
I'm running out of ways to describe this issue so I'm going to start using GIFs.
Causing a team to shoot 8-40 from inside the arc is great, but loses some luster when you notice the Mountaineers shot 12-20 from beyond the arc. Some of that is due to Frank Eaves going nuts, shooting 6-8 and draining damn near anything he shot in the second half...but that means the rest of the team was 6-12 from behind the line. Sometimes a team gets hot from 3, defending the 3 can produce randomly bad results even when you're doing things well. Time will tell if this is a big issue or a blip on the radar.
Texas' next game is Saturday night against the Stanford Cardinal with a fan-friendly 10:30p CT tip on ESPN2. Being that it's against a PAC-12 opponent, there's a non-zero chance we're graced with the dulcet tones of Bill ALIBABA Walton for 2+ hours. Prepare your drinks accordingly.
BWG's writing tunes provided by Boris (SFW).