Monday 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.


The 'Will' to Win
Texas officially introduced Will Muschamp as the team's defensive coordinator on Friday. Muschamp took the opportunity to voice his intention to bring fire, attitude and accountability to the Texas defense.

Rucker Takes the Reins
If ever a man and a job were made for one another, surely it is this pairing: Ken Rucker and the title of director of high school relations and player development for the Texas football program.

Muschamp could help offense as well
Austin American-Statesman
Friday's news conference at Bellmont Hall offered a stark contrast to recent events involving the Texas football program. Finally, someone was coming to Texas instead of leaving.

Animated Muschamp ready to get going
Austin American-Statesman
It's usually not difficult to pick out Will Muschamp from the mass of bodies toeing the sidelines during any football game. He'll be hunched near the first-down marker before the snap. After a great play by his defense, he'll celebrate, as much as any of the players who made the tackle, big hit or interception. Sometimes, he'll get three inches away from a defender, staring him in the eye to emphasize a point. The 36-year-old Muschamp will bring his animated antics and sophisticated defenses to Texas this fall.

Rucker to oversee players' off-field doings
Austin American-Statesman
Seven suspensions, numerous arrests and overall embarrassment last offseason led Mack Brown and the Texas football team to create a new position. This offseason, it will be Ken Rucker's job to make sure those events don't happen again.

Texas' Mack Brown makes changes on defense, discipline
Dallas Morning News
Texas coach Mack Brown is wasting no time in addressing the problems that plagued his team in 2007 – a poor defense, off-the-field issues and even developing more depth by playing younger players. Brown on Friday introduced new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Brown also introduced former running backs coach Ken Rucker as the new director of high school relations and player development. Rucker will help institute a curfew Brown has put in place as a result of off-the-field issues before last season that resulted in seven UT players having brushes with the law.

Longhorns' Muschamp to build 'relentless' defense
San Antonio Express-News
Texas Longhorns fans got a taste of new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp way before he was officially introduced at the school on Friday. And they have YouTube to thank for that glimpse. Video clips on the Web site show Muschamp cursing and slapping pads with his players on the sidelines. Muschamp doesn't make any bones about his fiery sideline demeanor. Quite the opposite, actually.

Muschamp mum on new defense
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Will Muschamp, Texas' new defensive coordinator, is undecided what scheme the Longhorns will use as their base formation next season. Muschamp said Friday that he'll decide during spring drills, when all returning defensive players will be given a "clean slate" with open competition at all positions. Muschamp said he would be comfortable with a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment, depending on the best fit for existing personnel. And he'll make that decision based on personal observation, rather than reviewing video tapes of Texas players.

New coordinator takes control
Daily Texan
Will Muschamp doesn't want to watch film. He wants to coach.

Football recruiting:

Player Journal: Russell Shepard
Cy Ridge quarterback and 2009 Texas target Russell Shepard gives the second of his player journals, allowing him to speak unfiltered. Shepard takes us day-by-day through last week, talks about the recruiting process, which school just got back on his radar and a special connection he has with LSU.

Is Walters Headed to Austin?
By wrapping up the majority of their 2008 class last February, the Texas Longhorns have likely spent a lot their time over the last two months trying to decide who to invite to their annual junior days. IT caught up with Wolfforth Frenship offensive tackle Mason Walters to see if he had been invited to one of Texas' junior days and where the Longhorns would sit if they were to offer.

Competitive spirit nothing new to Scott
Rocky Mountain News
Darrell Scott loves competing with himself, which, thus far, has created a pretty good matchup. No. 2 on his list is uncle Josh Smith, a freshman receiver at the University of Colorado.

Texas schools trying to protect turf
San Antonio Express-News
If the projections pan out, this could be a year the Longhorns look back on with lament.

Men's hoops:

Texas Drops Conference Opener
The No. 12 Longhorns (13-3) were undefeated in conference openers under head coach Rick Barnes, starting Big 12 play with a win in each of his nine seasons on the 40 Acres. That streak ended Saturday when the Missouri Tigers (11-5) upset Texas, 97-84.

Mizzou holds back Texas
Austin American-Statesman
Missouri guard Jason Horton looked up, figuring somebody would quickly arrive to contest his shot. Gary Johnson — the closest Longhorn to Horton, maybe 10 feet away — didn't bother. So Horton rose up and made a three-point basket, one of the 12 Saturday for the Tigers, who defeated 12th-ranked Texas 97-84 in front of 13,085 fans at Mizzou Arena.

Weary UT falls flat in Big 12 opener
Dallas Morning News
Texas coach Rick Barnes was so relaxed before Saturday's Big 12 opener against Missouri, he went up into the stands, sat down and joked around with members of Mizzou's band for several minutes during pregame warmups. After the game, Barnes was apologizing publicly for his 12th-ranked Longhorns' performance in a 97-84 victory by Missouri in which the Tigers shot 70.4 percent in the second half and ended a nine-game losing streak to UT.

UT's James thrives in move to perimeter
San Antonio Express-News
Texas swingman Damion James has mastered the art of contradiction. He is, after all, a walking one. At 6-foot-7, with a muscular structure that appears not so much built but sculpted from rock, James is perfect for digging elbows and burying hook shots in the paint. Not exactly.

Texas coach unforgiving after road collapse
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The surprise was not so much that Missouri played so well while obliterating Texas in the second half. The surprise is that the Tigers haven't played like this before. Though loaded with returning players well-schooled in second-year coach Mike Anderson's system, Mizzou (11-5) had been a lukewarm disappointment through the first two months of the season. But in shocking the 12th-ranked Longhorns 97-84 on Saturday afternoon in the conference opener for both teams, the Tigers bared expected teeth.

Barnes' door remains open even if horses leave early
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Untrained observers might have wondered how Texas could have defeated two top 10 teams in November and be ranked as high as No. 4 without Kevin Durant, unequivocally the best player in college basketball last season. TV analyst and former college basketball coach Fran Fraschilla is not an untrained observer. He doesn't wonder.

Women's hoops:

Texas falls to Kansas State in overtime
Austin American-Statesman
The opening minutes of Texas' game against Kansas State couldn't have been more spectacular. All shots were falling, no matter the range. Passes were crisp. Defense was perfect. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, the Wildcats refused to be flustered, despite being down by as many as 14 points midway through the first half. Kansas State took its first lead of the game with 6 minutes, 5 seconds left in regulation. Ashley Sweat's drive with 18 seconds to play sent the game into overtime. Then Kansas State hit all four of its free-throw attempts in the extra five-minute period to come away with a 77-74 win over the Longhorns in front of 5,423 fans at the Erwin Center.

K-State women go inside to conquer Texas
San Antonio Express-News
Kansas State tried jacking up shots, only to watch them clang off the rim. The Wildcats tried passing, only to find a Texas player there jamming the lane. But those efforts didn't last long. Fighting through early offensive woes to claim a 77-74 overtime victory Sunday against the Longhorns, KSU just turned to simpler offensive strategy — get closer to the basket.


Homecoming Sweet This Time For Ross
Tyler Morning Telegraph
Aaron Ross returned to the place his NFL career began, but left a much happier man the second time around. Despite not being able to return to the field after re-aggravating a shoulder injury he incurred in the first half, Ross was not at a loss for words, or smiles, following New York's 21-17 win over Dallas Sunday in the NFC Divisional Playoff.

Clemens finds devoted audience
Austin American-Statesman
Robert Murphy wants to believe. He yearns so much for Roger Clemens to be telling the truth when he denies a former personal trainer's claims that the ex-Longhorn took performance-enhancing drugs and didn't become arguably the greatest pitcher in baseball history through sweat, hard work and B-12 vitamins. He wants to take Clemens at his word because we've already lost so many role models. Mark McGwire fudged the truth and slunk away. Marion Jones is going to prison. Michael Vick's already there. Barry Bonds lost most of us long ago. And now it's Clemens' turn to squirm under the pressure of what may prove to be unprovable allegations.


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