Longhorns Move on Without Isaiah Taylor

The Longhorns will play their first game without an injured Isaiah Taylor tonight when they face Iowa at 6:30 p.m. CT at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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No. 10 Texas (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) vs. California (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12)

2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project Championship Game

Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 - 6:30 p.m. Central?Madison Square Garden (18,200) - New York, N.Y.


TELEVISION: The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2 John Saunders (pxp), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Jeff Goodman (reporter) will call the action.

SERIES: California leads, 2-1. Last meeting: Texas 57-54 (Nov. 15, 2000; Austin).



How will the Longhorns move on without Isaiah Taylor?

We reported earlier today that Taylor broke his left wrist when he went up for a dunk late against Iowa and was fouled hard by Gabriel Olaseni, who picked up a “Flagrant 2” and was ejected from the game.

Sources tell HD that Taylor will miss “at least a month.”

Until he gets back Texas will rely on junior Javan Felix and sophomore Kendal Yancy to run the point.

Felix, who has adopted more of a shooting guard roll for UT, averages 9 points and 1.3 assists per game. But He's also one of Texas' top outside shooters, which is a roll Taylor was also filling quite well so far (4-of-8 on three-pointers).

He won’t be afraid of the moment and should be able to run the offense just fine. Look for him to try to get UT’s big involved early to set the tone, which, in turn, should open him up from the outside.

Yancy has been one of the pleasant surprises on this team for Barnes. He's averaging just 3.7 ppg and 2.7 apg, but his contributions have been much larger than that given what he's been able to do defensively while also only turning the ball over once in three games.


Will Myles Turner stay out of foul trouble long enough to make an impact?

Turner showed off his vast skillset in Texas first two games but didn’t have much of a chance to against Iowa due to foul trouble. Texas’ talented freshman post played only 18 minutes while picking up four fouls to go along with five points and five rebounds.

Turner never seemed to find his rhythm on offense and only took three shots against the Hawkeyes. He’ll have to assert himself on O a lot more against Cal tonight if the Longhorns want to improve to 4-0.


Will Jonathan Holmes continue to shoot like he did in the second half vs. Iowa?

There wasn’t a better player on the court in the second half yesterday than Texas’ 6-8 senior forward.

Holmes came out with his hair on fire in the second 20 minutes of play and scored Texas’ first eight points. He finished the half with 17 points after scoring only two in the first half.

He did a lot of damage attacking the rim but his best attribute this season has been his three-point accuracy. Holmes is a team-best 7-of-10 from beyond the arc. He showed off his NBA range with one of his three treys on Thursday.

No Texas player creates shots as easily as Taylor. But if there was a second place it would probably be Holmes. He has to look for his shot, and do so early.


Will the Longhorns get more out of Cameron Ridley this week?

I posed this same question yesterday and am sticking with it today after another subpar game from No. 55, in which he had the same number of points (four) as turnovers.

Ridley leads the team with eight turnovers and is only sixth in scoring at 6.3 ppg.

He has to step his level of play up if Texas is going to have success tonight and moving forward. He’s auditioning for the NBA as well and the Association can’t be too pleased with what he’s showed through three games.


Will Texas continue to fall for pump-fakes?

I don’t know the total number of times the Longhorns left their feet on an Iowa pump fake, but it was more than enough for Rick Barnes’ liking. I can promise you that.

It’s alarming that the Longhorns would fall for those so much, especially given their length. Stay on your feet and make them shoot over you. Texas is too good a defensive team not to be fundamentally sound when it comes to this.

Texas limited Iowa to 29.6 percent FG shooting (16-of-54), including a 4-of-14 (.286) mark from three-point range. The Horns have held their first three opponents to an average of 53.3 ppg on a combined 28.9 percent FG shooting (52-of-180). UT has held all three opponents below 30 percent FG shooting.

Also, Texas survived a 15-turnover night last night. It probably won’t tonight.



The Golden Bears are led by their guards Jordan Matthews and Jabari Bird, who combined for 38 points in their 73-59 victory over No. 23 Syracuse.

Matthews scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half while Bird added 16 points, including a 4-5 performance from the three-point line.

Cal is lighting it up from the outside so far this season, connecting on 45 percent of its threes (25-of-55). It hit 8-of-19 against Cuse.

The Golden Bears, like Iowa, shouldn’t be intimidated by Texas’ size as they have plenty of length to throw around themselves. The best of those players is 6-foot-10 senior David Kravish, who has a team-high nine blocks so far.


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