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Shooting From the Corner: Kansas 65, Texas 57

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NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas vs. Texas William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

I finished watching the game at midnight so this is going to be relatively brief. Texas played pieces of a good game for moments at a time and if a handful of shots fell in the second half then we’d be talking about yada yada yada you know the score at this point. Texas needed to win, they didn’t. The next few days is going to be spent watching teams like Alabama to see if they do enough to slide in front of Texas, or watching mid-major tournaments for bid thieves.

The Good

Dylan Osetkowski

Credit due to the guy playing one of his final games at Texas like it was one of his final games at Texas. Osetkowski has his pros and cons as a player, but he put forth an effort good enough to win. His threes looked confident, he once again grabbed more rebounds than anyone else, and he had the sort of court awareness (like that sideline save) you expect from a senior. He even led the team in steals for god’s sake. There are at least two Longhorns who should be carrying his bag back to the plane, though one of them is small enough he might be stuffed inside it after his performance. (I’ll get to that guy.)

Jericho Sims

Sims was the only guy who could both stay in front of McCormack and have the strength to keep from getting buried under the bucket by him. I even saw Sims bark out a defensive adjustment at Jase Febres at one point, so he’s got these little signs that he’s coming back from the seventh circle of hell he was buried in midway through the year. If he could learn how to catch an alley-oop and dunk it rather than bring it down before leaping again, he could really make a leap (ha ha I made a pun...wait, is it a pun if I just said the word earlier in the sentence?) next year.

Three-Point Defense

Kansas is a decent three-point shooting team and Texas held them to three made threes on the game. While Kansas didn’t take as many threes due to their focus on feeding McCormack and opening slivers of daylight for Devon Dotson to dart through like an incredibly large quantum calculator, Texas still closed out on perimeter shooters well. There was no Desmond Bane today, thankfully.

It’s Complicated

Assists

Good news, Texas assisted on half of their made baskets! That’s a sign they weren’t doing a bunch of iso ball. Bad news, they only had 10 assists. It’s kinda hard to beat a team when you hit as many baskets as they hit twos. At least that’s what I’ve been told, I never took math on account of having no thumbs. It’s a long story, but it’s also why I have a hard time with doors. Ironically, I’m a fantastic hitchhiker; people pull over more than you’d imagine if you emphatically point at them.

The Bad

Defense on David McCormack

Bill Self made an adjustment from the previous meetings; David McCormack played a much larger role than in either of the two games beforehand and Texas had no consistent answer for him. This isn’t really surprising, McCormack is a grown-ass man who happens to be 18; I saw him at an AAU event last year and thought he was somebody’s father. He looked 25 in person. McCormack is a load for anybody to handle, he treated Royce Hamm Jr like his twelve-year-old nephew in a pick-up game. Jaxson Hayes didn’t fare a ton better, but Jericho Sims and Dylan Osetkowski had moments of competence defending the Kansas freshman/6th-year-senior. McCormack had almost as many offensive rebounds as Texas did. I do not look forward to 2-3 more years of that guy.

Royce Hamm Jr

RIP the fans who said Hamm was one of the six best players on the team, they were buried under the basket along with Hamm.

Elijah Mitrou-Long

Of all the games to try to go hero ball....why did he....I just can’t with that guy right now. He doesn’t get the Wild Card nickname, that goes to somebody who I strangely enjoy watching play even though they sometimes run through the court carrying lit dynamite. Long is the guy at LA Fitness who never passes the ball because he thinks somebody looked at him funny and he needs to teach him a lesson, except he’s 5’3” and the court is littered with dudes who played overseas. If Texas is reliant on Long to provide more than 7 minutes a game next season, we better strap our helmets on extra-tight because there’s a good chance a swatted rainbow layup is going to hit each one of us at some point in the year.

Jaxson Hayes’ Knee

Hayes knocked knees with Dotson and fell down in a heap. Here’s hoping it’s just a bone bruise and not something more severe.

Texas’ next game is....who knows. Best case is probably a first four spot in Dayton, worst case is the NIT. I don’t know where they’ll fall for sure, but a top seed in the NIT seems more likely than a NCAA Tournament bid unless there’s a ton of chalk in conference tournaments across the country. We’ll all find out on Sunday. As for Shaka’s future, I’ve posted what I think CDC and Shaka’s agent are trying to sort out in the background. Just like the tournament hopes, I’m not sure of the end result but I feel fairly certain of their intent.

That’s....not a no. Also, and for no other reason that it made me laugh:

BWG’s writing tunes provided by Arko Madley.