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Shooting From the Corner: Texas 73, Iowa State 57

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NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Texas rode hot three-point shooting (yes, really) to an early lead they never relinquished, and held Iowa State to its second-lowest point total of the season in a 73-57 win at home. Texas rolled ten-deep (yes, REALLY) getting some of their main players a bit more rest than they’ve had of late. Texas had a lead that swelled to 16 at times, and Iowa State kept trying to come back but were never able to get the lead below six in the second half. It was a game without a lot of drama thanks to the stifling defense of the Longhorns.

Steve Prohm tried using his bigs to seal off Bamba & open up lanes for guards to get to the rim without getting their shots rejected, and it worked a fair amount. It is worth watching future conference games to see if other schools can do this effectively, and to see if Darrin Horn and the rest of the staff can help Bamba learn to anticipate this action. It’s about the only way opponents can generate decent looks at the rim right now.

The Good

Non-Eric Davis Jr Three-Point Shooting

Texas was 8-20 from three, which is a very solid 40%. If you remove Davis’ 1-7 from three, Texas as a team shot 7-13 (53.8%). That includes 4-5 from Kerwin Roach II and 2-2 from Mohamed Bamba. In eight conference games, Roach is shooting 8-20 (40%) from three and Bamba is shooting 9-26 (25%). Suffice it to say while they’re both trending up, expecting them to combine for 85.7% from three is probably a smidge optimistic. Not that I’d complain if they did. Not that anyone would complain. We’re not complaining I guess is the point I’m getting at here.

Kerwin Roach II

The 4-5 from deep aside, Roach consistently drove to the rim with purpose and authority. He didn’t finish as often as he normally does (4-10 from two, below his average) but the idea was good and led to a number of free throw opportunities, which he converted (2-3) at a solid rate. Roach also notched four assists, four rebounds, and a couple of steals. Pretty good all-around effort for Snoop.

Mohamed Bamba

Bamba hit 9-11 shots, 2-2 from three, 4-4 from the line, 6 offensive rebounds, 6 defensive rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and still got 7 minutes rest. He didn’t own the paint quite at the level he has in previous games (see previous comment about being sealed off) but that’s a minor complaint for a guy that notched a fairly effortless 24/12. I’ve already started frowning while watching games, knowing that he won’t be there next year to torment the conference. We really have to take the time to enjoy him and his last 12-15 games in burnt orange, there won’t be another like him.

Royce Hamm & James Banks Are Alive

Hamm is seeing a few more minutes lately, and while he’s flirting with the Club Trillion VIP club due to his complete disappearance on the offensive end it’s good to see he’s at least giving effort on defense. I would be surprised if he gets more than 3-4 minutes/game on average the rest of the season, but reps are reps and he’ll need them for next year. As for Banks, well...he’s trying.

Holding an Opponent to 60 or Less

Texas is 10-1 when they keep a team to 60 points or less. The lone loss is Michigan, because Michigan doesn’t let us have nice things.

Free Throws

Texas shot 15-18 (83.3%) as a team, including six in the last 63 seconds to ice the game. Texas is shooting 72.5% from the line in conference play, which would be hovering in the upper 13 of the country if it held over a season. It’s up to the team to continue to improve on this mark.

Texas Swept Somebody

Iowa State is a team Texas needed to sweep to keep a .500 or better finish in the conference a plausible option. They probably need to sweep another team or two if they want to ensure that kind of finish; the remaining potential sweeps: Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas State, and Oklahoma. Sweeping any one of those four would be nice — especially Kansas State and/or Oklahoma, since Texas has yet to play either — and getting more than one would help Texas start to climb the seed lines in March.

The Mixed Bag

Matt Coleman

I don’t want to say Coleman has hit the freshman wall because he’s still doing a number of things well. He still passes the ball well, he still gets the ball to his teammates at the right time and in the right place more often than not, and his defensive energy is good. He just isn’t shooting the ball well; he reminds me of freshman-year Isaiah Taylor in that he sees what he needs to do but is either a touch too slow getting there or isn’t quite strong enough to finish shots that should fall later in his career. I went back and looked at Zay’s freshman campaign, and some of the numbers line up.

2014 Taylor: O-rating 100.5, eFG% 39.8, Assist Rate 26.3, Turnover Rate 18.3, FT 74.8%, 2-point % 39.8%, 3-point % 26.3%.

2018 Coleman: O-rating 96.3, eFG% 40, Assist Rate 26.7, Turnover Rate 20.8, FT% 73.9%, 2-point % 43.8%, 3-point % 21.8%.

It’s not an exact fit, but it’s pretty close. I’m not worried about Coleman long-term, but it seems useful to view his pros and cons this year similarly to Zay’s first year on campus.

Dylan Osetkowski

The process behind most of Osetkowski’s shots tonight was decent, but he didn’t convert enough. He was bailed out by some calls that felt more like rewards for aggression than actual fouls, and I kind of feel like maybe in conference play we’re seeing the limitations of Osetkowski. That is to say he’s a smart player, a strong player, and mobile enough to get open on the perimeter from time to time. But he’s not going to blow by Big 12 wings and forwards without utilizing deception (shot fakes, spin moves, etc.). He has to use his basketball IQ to get buckets against the big boys of the Big 12, and to his credit he does. He’s shooting 33.3% from three in conference play, which is decent enough to keep defenses honest but hopefully will tick up above 35% next year so he can present enough of a threat all over the court that it enhances his overall game. This may come across as being down on Dylan; to the contrary I think he has a lot of value for Texas over the next 14 months. I’m just seeing certain limitations that I’m not sure he can hide without becoming a better three-point shooter.

The Bad

Eric Davis Jr

You’ve been good the past few games, but tonight was not his night. I feel like a 1-7 from three night deserves an reverse Lebron Super Saiyan gif, where all the flames get bottled back inside his body. Shake it off and get ready for Saturday.

This Jericho Sims Sequence

I don’t have the right to use the phrase BRUH, but if I did I would have totally used it here. How do you reject your own dunk on the bottom of the rim? That was something else, man.

Texas gets a bit of a breather, both from conference play and from games in general. Their next game is Saturday hosting Mississippi in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, tip is 1 PM CT on ESPN2. The next conference game is the following Wednesday, January 31st at Texas Tech.

BWG’s writing tunes provided by Ruben de Ronde.