Wednesday 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.


See How They Run
It will be tailback-by-committee when Texas opens the 2008 campaign in little more than five months, according to offensive coordinator Greg Davis. But how are the heirs apparent to Jamaal Charles shaping up now that Longhorn spring football enters its stretch run?

Big Names in Waiting
Up and down the Texas roster, there are names of players that most Longhorn fans have never heard of before, but by season's end will be stars. As spring drills gear back up, which relatively unknown players grinding it out on the practice field now will be big names on the gridiron in the fall? Inside Texas breaks each one down.

Biggest question for the Texas offense is who will replace Charles
Austin American-Statesman
The Longhorns have three options this spring - Vondrell McGee, Fozzy Whittaker and Chris Ogbonnaya.

Football recruiting:

Sightseeing in Oklahoma
When Mason Walters left Austin on February 23rd, Texas' coaching staff made it clear that he was their last remaining offensive line target. The Wolfforth Frenship product was impressed with the visit but has checked out several schools since then. Where has Walters been since his trip to the 40 Acres?

Inside the Class of '08: Blake Gideon
In the Inside the Class Series, Inside Texas gives exclusive interviews and information about the members of the Longhorn Class of '08. Today we take a look at safety Blake Gideon.

Men's hoops:

Let the Preparations Begin
The Texas Longhorns are in Little Rock, Arkansas preparing for the start of the NCAA Tournament and preparing for what Texas fans are hoping will be a championship celebration on the River Walk in San Antonio.

For healthy, curse-free Barnes, it's all 'gosh, darn' these days
Austin American-Statesman
Despite a long history of, uh, very colorful language during a consistent coaching career that has included one Final Four, 13 straight NCAA tournament appearances and 15 postseason victories, Rick Barnes has had a change of heart. And voice. The Texas coach no longer curses. Swear to God.

If Augustin returns, Horns could be preseason national championship favorites
Austin American-Statesman
College athletes lie all the time. That is, when it comes to whether they're returning to college and putting off the pros for another year. Let's hope Texas guard D.J. Augustin is coming back for his junior year. If he does, the Longhorns could return their entire starting five and open the 2008-09 season as the national championship favorite.

Texas' Damion James an authority on toughness
Dallas Morning News
Texas sophomore Damion James may be one of the most complex players ever coached by Rick Barnes.

Austin Peay wants Texas taking long shots
San Antonio Express-News
Magic fairy dust certainly isn't going to do the job, this much Austin Peay coach Dave Loos knows. His 15th-seeded Governors take on Texas in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, and Loos won't be calling on trick plays or dipsy-doodles to try and upset the second-seeded Longhorns. "You just have to pick a plan," Loos said. "And ours is a pretty simple plan, to be honest." It will be the same man-to-man defensive plan Austin Peay has used to reel off 11 victories in its past 12 games, and the Governors have held their opponents to under 40 percent shooting in the last seven. The idea is to jam up the paint and force the Longhorns to make baskets.

UT men will start off in 'enemy' territory
San Antonio Express-News
Texas was blessed with a nice road, geographically speaking, to the Final Four. The Longhorns play in the South Regional side of the bracket, and if they win their first- and second-round games this weekend in Little Rock, Ark., would be sent just down the road to Houston. But UT coach Rick Barnes isn't expecting a cuddly welcome for his second-seeded squad. Quite the opposite, really.

Freshmen in new territory
Daily Texan
Clint Chapman, Alexis Wangmene and Gary Johnson sat eating in the locker room after Texas' defeat of Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. Chapman and Wangmene each sat alone - Chapman with a pair of head phones on his head and his lunch in his lap, Wangmene with his massive 6-foot-10-inch frame seemingly impossibly tucked into the cubby hole of a wall. Johnson sat next to Justin Mason, listening to the sophomore take questions from an writer. The three freshmen probably weren't used to reporters in the locker room, but this is the postseason, and the rules are different. While seven Texas frosh were introduced to the high-pressure brand of basketball known as March Madness last season, only this trio experiences the indoctrination in 2008.

UT coach gets UA fans upset
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Texas Coach Rick Barnes says he's excited about coming to central Arkansas to play in the NCAA Tournament. He also has nothing against basketball fans here. He also said the Longhorns will play the Razorbacks in Fayetteville next season, regardless of the reception Barnes' team gets when it plays at Alltel Arena on Friday. Seriously.

How folks are treated leaves lasting impression
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
This was going to be a column about how two cities, North Little Rock and Little Rock, and their chambers of commerce, UALR and others have created an incredible event, the biggest non-Razorbacks event in the state's history. The central Arkansas area is hosting an NCAA Tournament subregional, and you can feel the vibe of being one of only eight places in the country to have this privilege. Streets are being swept, and police escorts are being arranged for the teams, our invited guests (or at least they should be by now ). Instead, this space is being devoted to the University of Texas.


Belt leads Texas to 9-6 win over Texas State
Austin American-Statesman
The stance is ugly. It's the kind of stance that usually gets changed by Little League coaches, and watching the batter, you wonder how comfortable he could be. But ask Texas coach Augie Garrido about the way first baseman Brandon Belt stands in the batter's box, and the coach has a simple response. "I'm not changing anything," Garrido said. Why mess with success? Belt, who crouches down and has one foot sticking out in front of the other, is quickly becoming the Longhorns' best hitter. The transfer from San Jacinto proved it again Tuesday, hitting a home run and knocking in five runs in Texas' 9-6 victory over Texas State at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Belt spanks Bobcats in 9-6 victory
Daily Texan
Brandon Belt is good with numbers - he likes to add. He's been doing it all season, and he continued on Tuesday night. The sophomore piled five more RBIs onto the stat sheet and now leads the team with 33. His three-run homerun in the first inning gave No. 18 Texas (14-5) an early advantage and pushed the Longhorns to a 9-6 win over Texas State (10-6).


Young catcher must learn to shake it off
Toronto Star
Standing by himself, leaning against the batting cage yesterday at the Bobby Mattick Complex, was Curtis Thigpen. Certainly, he would rather have been taking the day off work like his former teammates, the Jays' major-leaguers, but there was no room for him in the bigs, despite his 118 days as a Jay last year.


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