Hot Shooting Horns Head East To Seton Hall

The Texas men's basketball team will face Seton Hall, Saturday, at 1 p.m. And if the past couple of games are an indicator, freshman point guard will Daniel Gibson will lead a three-point brigade in East Rutherford, N.J.

Texas (4-1), currently ranked No.15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 18 in the Associated Press poll, is fresh off of an 86-50 rout of Coppin State. In Monday's victory, Texas unloaded a barrage of three-pointers, converting 16-of-28 (.571). Long-range shooting has played a key role in a Texas offense that is averaging 88.0 ppg in its first five contests.

Gibson has connected on 14-of-30 treys so far this season. One of four Texas players shooting above 40% from three-point range, Gibson also leads the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) and assists (4.4 apg). D-Gib had a game-high 17 points during Monday's win and is averaging 18.0 ppg in a two-game stretch.

The Longhorns have also been strict on defense and hit the boards hard this season, limiting opponents to 37.5% FG shooting and posting a +12.6 rebound margin in the first few games.

Senior C Jason Klotz leads Texas in rebounding with an average of 8.0 boards per game coming off the bench. Head Coach Rick Barnes is still enjoying what is arguably the deepest bench in D-I hoops with six players averaging double-digit scoring on the young season..

Small forward P.J. Tucker is Texas' other chairman of the board, as the sophomore posted his third double-digit rebounding performance in the first five games with 10 rebounds in the win over Coppin State.

Texas last met Seton Hall in 2002 and defeated the Pirates 78-61 in the Space City Hoops Classic in Houston. The Hall (2-1) opened the season with a 77-71 loss vs. Richmond but has rebounded with a 59-49 win at Rhode Island and a 70-50 victory over Monmouth Thursday night.

After compiling an overall record of 21-10 last year, the Pirates grabbed a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the second round before being knocked out of the tournament by way of a 90-62 Duke win. The Hall reached the NCAA tournament finals in 1989 but lost to Michigan in overtime.

The Pirates court a veteran squad with all five starters being upperclassmen, including four double-digit scorers from last year's tourney team. Junior Kelly Whitney leads the team in scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (9.0 rpg) but watch out for J.R. Morris (8-of-20 from the arc) and Donald Copeland (a blazin' 9-of-14) on the perimeter. Seton Hall's depth falls short in comparison with Texas', as the Pirates have only two bench players averaging double-digit minutes a game this season.


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