Welcome back, Texas Longhorns basketball fans. Welcome back to everyone who is here watching this season unfold like the last 18 episodes of Lost, wanting to see answers to questions that have eluded you for years even though you know you’re probably not getting the answers you want, hate-watching Jack while he screams about needing to go back, knowing his screams are really all of us screaming for 2003 to reappear out of thin air. Welcome back to the 3 AM Winstar gamblers who are down $450, continuing to throw money at the roulette table because they think the sunk cost fallacy is for nerds with no balls, and because if they manage to win back their money their significant other might let them back in the house when they arrive at 8 AM the next morning smelling of stale Ziegenbock and grandma’s vape pen. You too are welcome if you shower before you comment.
This year will be unlike most before it; there is a mixture of fans hopeful for Shaka Smart to get things rolling, fans hopeful for decent basketball, and fans hopeful for Shaka Smart to GTFO. The proportions of each are up for debate, but they all share a common desire for a definitive answer as to whether or not the Smart tenure will be successful. This is the first year in which a final outcome is realistic, and I hope to put together a preview which helps inform your view as to which of the three camps you’ll be in, Team Shaka, Team Ambivalence, or Team Pass The Hat. Maybe you’ll go through all three in a single season - or a single game - which I’ve been told gets you a paper sombrero with a Barking Carnival logo on it. (Please direct all shipping inquiries to Sailor Ripley, he has the FedEx account.) I will go through the players, the schedule, talk about the conference, recruiting, and attempt a transparency report of sorts to set the table. The roller coaster is about to start; as Longhorn legend Ahmad Brooks delightedly screams any time he sees something with wheels gets going, choo choo goes the roller coaster.
- Intro piece - Uh, now. You’re reading it right now.
- Recalibrations & Blind Spots - 10/10
- New Coaches & A Note About Pro Leagues - 10/15
- The Backcourt - 10/17
- The Frontcourt - 10/22
- Minutes/Depth - 10/24
- Recruiting - 10/28
- Non-Conference Outlook - 10/30
- Big 12 predictions - 11/1
Let’s get to it.