The Texas Longhorns managed to *breeeeep* TWO SHOTS
The TCU Horned Frogs found themselves dealing wi-*breeeep* TWO SHOTS
Dammit, who let the refs in he- *breeep* TRAVELING, TEXAS BALL
*insulates door with sound-dampening foam*
*muffled whistles fade into the distance*
Better. Texas and TCU played a game marred by overactive referees, racking up 56 fouls en route to a less than fluid 71-54 Longhorns victory. Texas rode the hot hand of Kerwin Roach and silky-smooth free throw shooting by notoriously reliable Prince Ibeh to a win that wasn't really in doubt for most of the 2nd half. I'm going to keep this relatively brief as I've spent the better part of 3 hours talking to DJ Mel about how to
strangle the life out of encourage the sedentary Texas crowd to get rowdy and it's pretty late.
Prince Ibeh, Free Throw Savant
Prince going 5-6 from the line any night is like hitting the lottery, but to really drive home what he managed from the line consider that he made more free throws tonight that he has made in the previous 19 games. He's now 8-27 on the year for 29.6%, which means he doubled his free throw percentage in one game. The thing about watching Ibeh shoot free throws is you can tell from the second it leaves his hands if it's going to be good. Either it has a wonderful backspin or it's like a knuckleball with zero spin. Tonight he had the backspin and I was calling out the makes before it even hit the apex of its trajectory. Good on Prince for making them; I've never seen a crowd so energized by a pair of free throws in the middle of a game. Lest we forget, he ended up with 17 points(career high), 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, and two fouls in a game where every breath of contact was being whistled. He deserves every bit of praise he got tonight.
Kerwin Roach, Jr.
6-7 from the floor(great), 10-15 from the line(above his average), and 29 minutes of mostly solid action from the freshman. He was able to give Isaiah Taylor some rest, which will help as the season progresses, and he didn't dribble the ball off his foot once while trying a Hot Sizzle crossover. He ended up dunking on a breakaway, and we're at a point where a 2-handed flush seems like a letdown because we're all expecting him to murder the world every time he gets a lane. You could feel the whole crowd get excited as he got the pass, watch him elevate, then half-heartedly throw up a 7 from the judges' table. We don't have any right to expect him to put up a highlight in a game, but we still hope.
24 minutes of action and he still manages a 7:1 ATO. Floor general, thy name is Zay.
They snagged 74% of their possible rebounds, limiting TCU to one shot on most of their possessions. You want to overcome poor shooting? Limiting your opponent's chances to take multiple shots is a good way to negate issues.
The Mixed Bag
Forcing 19 turnovers through a variety of means(the press, ball-hawking on passing lanes, etc.) is good, especially when it means you force an opponent to hand the ball over 1 out of every 4 possessions. However, turning it over 15 times yourself negates a lot of the good that comes from the aforementioned 19. One down side to giving Zay a breather is it means somebody else is holding onto the ball. It was a problem all over the roster, there are plenty of 2s & 3s in that column.
3-15 on the night is awful, and the non-Felix crowd was 1-9 from 3. It didn't kill Texas against the Frogs, but it will doom them against better teams in the conference.
Texas is now up to 5 wins in conference, which means they need to snag at least 3 out of their last 10 to have a solid chance at the NCAA Tournament. With 2 games against Oklahoma & Baylor, plus road games against Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and home visits from West Virginia & Kansas still on the ledger, this is far from a done deal. A win like tonight is important because it keeps Texas from having to flip yet another game where they are the decided underdog. Lock down the W and move onto Vanderbilt, Saturday at 11am CT on ESPN2.
BWG's writing tunes provided by a noisy Hyatt Place fridge.