Games Observations

Inside Texas' Ross Lucksinger was down in Houston this past weekend and was on hand for both Vince Young's overtime win over the Houston Texans and Texas Basketball's overtime win over LSU.

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans
Reliant Stadium

-To watch Vincent Paul Young, Jr. play the game of football is truly a treat. Of course keep in mind, Vince Young is doing amazing things now, but he won't be able to do this in the NFL…oh wait.

-It was curious to watch the crowd reactions to the game. There was a curious mix of pro-Vince, pro-Texans, pro-both, pro-Titans and interested onlookers. When the game began, Young was given a rousing applause from his fans, then boos from the pro-Texans crowd because of the cheers, then louder cheers, then louder boos. The two elements battled each other throughout the game, but as Young performed feat after feat, his cheers became louder and louder. With the number of pro-both in attendance, there were opinions to be swung and they swung the way of Vince.

-Texans QB David Carr was met with a mix of boos and applause as he exited the field, but the boos were not so much directed at Carr, who had a decent game and is having an above average year under center…well ok, maybe a few of those boos were directed at Carr, but primarily they were directed at the fact that Carr is the Texans quarterback and not the hometown hero, Young.

-A large portion of the crowd stuck around to cheer for Young when he left the field after conducting post-game interviews. It seemed bizarre to watch the opposing quarterback run around the stadium, pointing into the crowd and drawing cheers from people in both Titans and Texans jerseys. Young also threw up a Hook ‘em Horns as he left.

-Mario Williams is Sam Bowie.

As many of you will remember, Bowie was selected No. 2 overall in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, just ahead of somebody named Michael Jordan. It is generally considered the most foolish move in the history of the Association, and perhaps in all of sports.

This is not to say that Williams is entirely untalented. Bowie averaged 10.9 points per game over 10 seasons in the NBA and was by no means a terrible player. But Jordan is the greatest player since James Naismith hung his first peach basket.

No one will fault the Saints for choosing Reggie Bush, just as no one faults the Houston Rockets for passing on Jordan to select Hakeem Olajuwon with the top pick. Curiously enough, the Rockets actually used their pick to select their hometown hero (Olajuwon was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but played his college ball for the University of Houston).

The 2006 NFL Draft also reminds me of the 2003 NBA Draft. In this case, the Houston Texans are the Detroit Pistons. When the top of the draft includes superstars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and T.J. Ford, you really don't want to be the team who ended up with Darko Milicic.

Texas vs. LSU
Toyota Center

-We've reported in the Scoop of the development of this team off the court, but that gelling is finally translating into results on the court. It was a thrilling victory for the Horns, but it was also the first time that Texas didn't have to rely on their primary scorers. Forward Kevin Durant was held under 20 points for the first time this season, but points came from unexpected locations, including Connor Atchley. The sophomore forward/center, who was removed from the starting lineup earlier this season, may have earned some more playing time with his performance. The Houston-native had 9 points in 27 minutes played. He had the occasional foul, but played a solid game overall. Atchley also came close to winning the game at the end up regulation, as his tip-back just barely fell out as time expired.

"I really wanted to see him get that tip at the end of regulation because he's had such hard luck this season," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes.

-It was an emotional game for all involved, but the one who seemed most affected by it was LSU center Glen Davis. The 295-pound "Big Baby," as he's called, played every single minute of the slugfest and laid motionless on the floor when the clock finally hit zero in overtime, completely drained. As his teammates and head coach fielded questions from reporters, Davis spent almost the entire post-game press conference with his head leaning against the microphone.

-Most of the press at NBA arenas have been moved from courtside to the top of the lower section of arenas. Many NBA beat reporters have complained to the Association about it. Personally, I thought it was a great place to watch a basketball game, but we were also backed up to the club-level where a group of fans were watching both the Texas-LSU game and the Cowboys-Saints game. Naturally, many fans of each of the basketball teams were interested in the outcome of the game and cheers could be heard from behind anytime something happened (usually a Saint's touchdown). Three LSU fans spent the entire game watching the TVs at the bar. I wonder, if you spent the money to be in the club level, why would you spend the entire game watching it on the TV at the bar? However it was quite amusing to hear three middle-aged, and from the sound of it inebriated, white guys chanting in unison: "Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Who dat! Who dat! Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Who dat! Who dat!"

-Loud cheers from the massive contingent of D.J. Augustin fans could be heard as each of the freshman point guard's buckets fell. The New Orleans native did a great job of consistently deflecting questions about what this game meant to him personally, spending a great deal of time talking about his teammates.

"It wasn't just a big win for me, we all wanted it," said Augustin.

After the game, Barnes said that there was more than just the negative force of the crowd that made Augustin want to play his best.

"It meant more to him because of the way he played in the Gonzaga game," said Barnes. "He was upset he didn't play very well that game. We need him really running. We need to make people start worrying about us."


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