MUCH LIKE ITS SEASON, TEXAS COLLAPSES VS ISU

5 THOUGHTS ON TEXAS' 69-67 LOSS TO IOWA STATE ON THE GAME'S FINAL SHOT

#1 ... Thursday night's loss to Iowa State in which Texas dominated for 36 minutes but then collapsed and found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory was a reflection of the Horns' entire, underachieving season.

For 36 minutes, Texas played tough, gritty basketball - holding Iowa State without a point for a 9:45 stretch late in the first half. Texas even shot an uncharacteristically high percentage from 3. With 3:56 left in the game, Texas was up 10 - 67-57 - and seemed to be in control.

The Longhorns wouldn't score another point in the game, missing their final 7 shots and turning it over 4 times. Texas was scoreless the final 3:56, going 0-for-5 FG with 4 turnovers while ISU closed on a 12-0 run, taking its first lead on the game-winning shot by Monte Morris as time expired.

Here's the final 3:56 from Texas:

Missed layup by Isaiah Taylor at 3:35 

Turnover by Connor Lammert at 3:34

Missed 3 by Taylor at 2:50 

Turnover by Cam Ridley at 2:00

Missed 3 by Jonathan Holmes at 1:13 

Offensive rebound by Ridley 

Turnover by Ridley at 1:10

Turnover by Holmes at :46

Missed floater by Taylor at :18

Offensive rebound by Lammert

Missed 3 by Felix at :09 seconds

The Longhorns haven't been a reliable 3-point shooting team in the final minutes of close games throughout the conference season, and they missed their last six 3-pointers vs Iowa State (J Holmes 0-2, Lammert 0-2, Taylor 0-1, Felix 0-1), including 0-of-3 from 3 the final 3:56 (Taylor, Holmes and Felix).

 

#2 ... I said before the game Texas couldn't be lulled into a 3-point shooting contest with an ISU team that makes more 3s per game than any team in the B12.

Even though Texas was 10-of-22 from 3, the Longhorns went 0-of-6 on their last six 3s in the final 11 minutes of the game. 

Texas totally got away from its inside game over the final four minutes of the game, because Iowa State started attacking Isaiah Taylor defensively to make sure Taylor didn't beat them the way he was when he scored 7 straight points from 9:20 to the 7:37, putting Texas up 10 (61-51).

Rick Barnes stuck with Cam Ridley the final 10:10 even though it was obvious Ridley was exhausted the final 4 minutes of the game, when he turned it over twice at the 2:00 mark and 1:10 mark.

 

#3 ... Myles Turner can't play just 10 minutes in any game for Texas - especially not one the Longhorns had a chance to win to get into the NCAA Tournament.

But Turner played just 10 minutes - 2:31 in the second half - and didn't step on the floor the final 10:10 of the game.

Turner, who was 1-of-2 shooting, including a made 3-pointer, was not hurt during the game. I confirmed that with UT.

So while Ridley was exhausted in the final 4 minutes, turning it over twice, and Lammert was going 0-of-2 from 3 with a turnover and a foul and 1 offensive rebound in the final 8 minutes, Turner was on the bench. 

Turner is the team's leading rebounder (6.6 rpg) and shot-blocker (2.75 bpg) and is UT's second-leading scorer (10.6 ppg) and is its best FT shooter (.839). 

Prince Ibeh played just 6 minutes vs Iowa State - less than 2 minutes in the second half.

When Texas is at its defensive best this season and plays with the most confidence, Turner and Ibeh have been on the floor together. Tonight, when offense (and uncharacteristic 3s - UT was 10-of-16 from 3 early in the second half) helped Texas get a big lead (UT led by as many as 16 with 2:32 left in the first half and by 15 with 17:53 to play), Texas' best defensive lineup should have been on the floor to help preserve the lead.

Unreal that Turner and Ibeh played a combined 16 minutes in UT's most important game.

 

#4 ... Texas held Iowa State WITHOUT A POINT for 9:45 in the first half - from the 12:51 mark (when Texas led by 1) to the 3:06 mark (when ISU's Georges Niang hit a jumper to cut UT's lead to 13) - and still lost the game.

During that stretch, Texas had 8 empty possessions - going 4 of 12 FG - or the Longhorns could have built a huge lead.

 

#5 ... I said before UT's games last week with Baylor and K-State that the Horns needed to win those two and two in the B12 tourney to be assured a spot in the NCAA tourney.

I still believe that.

There are no guarantees Texas will get in. The Horns don't have a meaningful road win this season  - not even that last-second win at UConn (RPI 79 and a team that won't make this year's NCAA tourney as defending champs).

UT is 3-13 vs the RPI Top 50.

If Texas misses the NCAA tourney this season, it would be considered 7 straight years of underachieving in March in relation to the talent on the roster:

2009 - Lost in 2nd round of NCAA tourney 

2010 - Lost in 1st round of NCAA tourney (after going to No. 1 at 17-0 and finishing 7-10 with Avery Bradley, Damion James, Jordan Hamilton and Dexter Pittman)

2011 - Lost in 2nd round of NCAA tourney (Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, J'Covan Brown, Jordan Hamilton, Dexter Pittman, Gary Johnson)

2012 - Lost in 1st round of NCAA tourney (J'Covan Brown, Myck Kabongo, Sheldon McClellan, Julien Lewis, John Holmes)

2013 - Missed the NCAA tourney (Kabongo suspended 23 games)

2014 - Lost in 2nd round of NCAA tourney (Isaiah Taylor emerges with veterans)

2015 - With 100 % of its scoring returning, plus adding 5-star 7-footer Myles Turner, Texas opens season No. 6 and goes 10-1 ... then finishes by going 10-12 and getting swept by Oklahoma State, OU, Kansas and Iowa State (3 times).

Now, the 20-13 Longhorns (3-13 vs RPI Top 50) will wait and see on Sunday ... and they shouldn't be shocked if they are left out.

If they are left out, does Steve Patterson pull the plug on the Rick Barnes' era?

 


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