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Shooting From the Corner: Texas Longhorns at West Virginia Mountaineers

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Who's excited for NIT Madness?

This is the look of a man who just beat Texas for the first time in 5 tries.
This is the look of a man who just beat Texas for the first time in 5 tries.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns are now incapable of posting a winning conference record after losing to the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown 71-64. Texas drops to 6-9 in the conference and plants itself firmly on the bubble for the rest of the season. It's fitting that the WVU crowd spent the last 10 seconds of the game chanting 'N-I-T' at Texas, because that's about where Texas seems destined to head at the end of this season.



There's not much more to say about this team or its season, but you're here so let's get through this.

Positives

  • Well, nobody died.
  • OK, Demarcus Holland had a solid offensive game, scoring 14 points on 5-7 shooting. It's approximately the 14th game in a row where a random guard has a great offensive showing in a loss. I'm choosing to ignore his attempts at breaking the press because I'm out of blood pressure meds.
  • Texas shot 53% from the floor, which is pretty good.
  • The team busted its ass all game. Sometimes it was literally busting its ass on the floor - like on the last press effort that led to the final WVU dagger - but the effort is still there. The team hasn't given up...yet.

The Texas Longhorns Memorial(™) Mixed Bag Category

  • Isaiah Taylor's first half was bad; 4 turnovers, 2 fouls before the first TV timeout, and some bad decisions with the ball. His second half was better; 11 points, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers. In the second half he was good enough that Huggy Bear went zone, which is a Moral Victory that we can totally redeem for a free pack of menthols next time we're in West Virginia.
  • While we're at it, basically the whole team was a mixed bag tonight. 12 turnovers in a half will wreck any positive momentum you're attempting to create with 73.5% shooting. Seriously, they shot 74% for the half and were down by 18 at one point. That's ridiculous.

Negatives

  • Oh, let's start with this:


I've been a fan of Jonathan Holmes for a long time and I've been rooting for him since he came to campus. He's dealt with more ups & downs than most any Texas basketball player in the last 17 years. That said, it's time to admit that he's kind of an asshole on the court. He gets more deserved technicals, gets in more on-court scraps, and ends up beefing with opponents far too often. I'm not saying he should be a wallflower, but there's a difference between being aggressive/assertive and being a problem for your team. If he was putting up 17/9 every night, he'd get more slack, but as it stands right now he's an issue in more ways than one. I'm not going to pin this on the team's struggles because he's been like this for awhile, it just doesn't get a lot of notice if he's not putting his elbow in somebody's throat. There's a good chance he gets suspended for the Kansas game, which is an even bigger issue than tonight. It's a brain-dead play, and something a senior should know better than to do.

  • Myles Turner got 8 minutes in the first half, which makes sense because why would you possibly want one of your better passers & scorers on the court to stem a run? Dear Rick Barnes: your season - and perhaps your Texas career - is circling the drain. Maybe play the good guy more early in the game.
  • Texas found yet another way to lose; the turnovers were big(arguably the primary reason), but it figures that they wait until near the end of the season to lose by way of poor free throw shooting. 16/23 is OK, but missing the front end of 1&1s and timely misses kept them from making the game even more uncomfortable for the home crowd.

The end result is that Texas is staring at its second 3-game losing streak with a visit to their personal house of horrors, Allen Fieldhouse, looming on Saturday. Oh, and the Kansas Jayhawks will have been chewing glass all week after losing to their rivals. So that game should be fun. Tip is at 4pm on ESPN.