Friday Longhorn Sports Page

Stay up to date on all things Burnt Orange with a daily stop at IT's Longhorn Sports Page, with links to the latest news and opinion articles on UT football, basketball, baseball, recruiting and other sports from around the web.


Kevin Durant is special
When a team manager broke his ankle in a pickup game after practice, a skinny freshman was the one who bolted downstairs to get a bag of ice. When a bunch of 8-year-old fans were hanging outside the locker room after a game earlier in the season, the very same 18-year-old emptied his locker with sneakers to autograph. Kevin Durant is special. Forget about on the court. He's even more gifted off of it.

Longhorns Mailbag: Missing a 14er, searching for an Eskimo
San Antonio Express-News
The man who would save the Texas basketball team arrived in town earlier this week. He is big and muscular. He is relentless and battle-tested. He rebounds and plays defense. He is, at his very core, the One Thing missing from this year's group of baby Longhorns. Too bad P.J. Tucker only stayed overnight.

For UT freshman Pittman, a chance after all
San Antonio Express-News
Dexter Pittman, Texas' man-mountain of a freshman center, likes to talk about all that he has lost since showing up to play basketball for the Longhorns. In the seven months since first stepping his two mammoth feet on campus, Pittman has lost 80 pounds, a fear of exercise and a hankering for cheeseburgers. Not to mention most of his wardrobe.

Texas defense ready to attack Baylor
Daily Texan
After the instant classic at Oklahoma State on Jan. 16, Texas coach Rick Barnes told his squad that if its defense didn't shape up soon, he was going to have to interfere and do something himself.

Freshman is a Texas-sized talent for Longhorns
USA Today
Yes, Kevin Durant says, he thinks about the money now and then. What is it that last year's upper lottery picks are making in the NBA? LaMarcus Aldridge went second in the draft and is pulling down more than $4 million. Adam Morrison, who went next, tops $3.6 million. That's a lot of coin. Durant could be one of them right now, maybe would be, if the league hadn't ordered young players to get at least a year of college seasoning. He didn't much care for the rule at first. But Texas' 18-year-old prodigy has come to appreciate it.

Football recruiting:

Kendall Wright Talks Recruiting
Kendall Wright is one of the most versatile athletes in the state of Texas. He played quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback at Pittsburg High School this year. Wright is drawing interest from several Big 12 schools and has been invited to attend two junior days inside his home state.


Horns' new pitching coach hopes to bowl 'em over
Austin American-Statesman
When pitching coach Tom Holliday announced his departure from Texas after last season, his UT boss went in search of a replacement who fully grasped the strike zone. Augie Garrido found none more qualified than Skip Johnson, who knows a perfect strike when he sees one. This skipper, you see, is a bowler. Not any run-of-the-mill, beer-league kegler, but a budding Pete Weber.

Baseball prepared for bigger challenge
Daily Texan
Crazy as it sounds, the Longhorns are more confident now then they were at any point last season. Wait a minute. Aren't they coming off their worst NCAA tournament performance this millennium? Shouldn't they be guarded, envisioning a Rocky-like climb up a snow-capped mountain if they hope to return to the College World Series? Perhaps, but that's never going to happen on an Augie Garrido-coached team.

Texas sets higher standard after last season's disappointment
Daily Texan
For the first time in years, nobody on Texas' baseball team is talking about building upon or repeating the previous season's success. That's because, by Texas standards, last season wasn't much of a success. For the first time since 2001, the Longhorns failed to make it to the College World Series. They didn't even make it out of the Austin Regional, losing to Stanford and N.C. State. The Longhorns start the season by hosting their fifth annual alumni game on Saturday at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The fan fest begins at 10 a.m. with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.


Benson: 'I'm naturally competitive'
Back in the preseason, Bears fans were worried that Cedric Benson might be a distraction in 2006. He chirped about wanting to be more involved in the offense, but since he's gotten his wish, the running game as a whole certainly looks better. Benson was talking in the locker room at Halas Hall on Thursday, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

Heisman belongs to Bush or no one
Jerome Solomon
So Reggie Bush might have been taking money under the table (located in a house that his parents might have been living in for free). Time for outrage? Hardly.

Women's hoops:

Longhorns look to regain momentum in Lubbock
Daily Texan
Following Baylor's win over No. 24 Texas at the Erwin Center Wednesday night, Bears head coach Kim Mulkey said her team "grew up" on the road. The Longhorns hope to have a similar growth spurt in Lubbock, as they face an unranked Texas Tech team Saturday at 3 p.m.


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