Because of a late-running game on ESPN2, the first few minutes of today's game went untelevised in most of the country. I turned on the game just in time to see Javan Felix air ball a wide open 3 by a couple of feet and for Iowa State to run the miss back the other way and knock one down. About five minutes later, I got a text from a friend saying he wished he had been in Las Vegas this morning to go all-in on Iowa State.
It was that kind of day for Texas, which hung around for most of the game but never really seemed in much danger of pulling out a badly needed home win.
The main story of the game was Kendal Yancy, who took his strong play over the last few weeks to a whole different level with an eye-popping 29 points on 17 shots. Were it not for Yancy's explosion, it's hard to imagine how grisly this game could have been.
This loss moves Texas to 6-8 and makes the possibility of missing the NCAA Tournament look more and more realistic. They close out the season with at West Virginia, at Kansas, vs. Baylor and vs .Kansas State. From there, barring a dramatic turnaround, they are looking at playing in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament and then facing the 1 or the 2 seed on Thursday.
Maybe the most interesting storyline of the game for me came on ESPN, where Shelden McClellan nearly lead Miami to a huge road upset at Louisville with 17 points. I got to see Jaylen Bond on Thursday when Temple played SMU and he's turned himself into a really solid starting PF for a team with a chance to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Sterling Gibbs, when he's not dishing out MMA punches on prone opponents, has become one of the most dangerous players in the Big East at Seton Hall.
You can draw a lot of conclusions from that but the one that jumps out to me is that it's pretty easy to bring good players into Texas. It's the same story with this year's team - for all their struggles, pretty much everyone in the rotation would be able to get minutes at 95% of the schools in the country.
If there's an exception, it's probably Javan Felix. He could probably be a decent player in a smaller role, but giving this guy the unlimited green light is one of the more bizarre coaching moves I've ever seen. When you are shooting 1-8 on the game and the two other guards on the floor have combined to score 53 points perhaps the heat check 3 with less than a minute in the game isn't the best option.
Whatever really. I don't want to blame Javan because it's not really his fault. There's still plenty of talent on this team so I'm not going to count them out. At the very least, watching Yancy figure things out and turn into a good player out has been fun to watch.