"At halftime, I told our post guys that they had to go in there and get to work," Barnes said.
Its also what he told them Friday night when the "brutal facts" monologue became a dialogue with individual athletes. Unlike some other UT coaches, Barnes does not coddle his players and (while highly complimentary of them) pointed out that Texas relatively weak inside presence made all the difference in Mondays setback. Center James Thomas took all of four shots against the Jayhawks while freshman F Brad Buckman did not even attempt a shot in the first half against the Cowboys.
"The brutal facts is that everybody has to be there doing his job," Barnes told his team (a group that is on the brink of greatness). "Our guys came back from the Kansas game knowing that they have to get better My point is that it all starts with one word: discipline. You have to have disciplined thoughts and you have to be willing to put those thoughts in actions."
The "brutal facts" (as Barnes presented them to Thomas on Friday) were simply this: "James, we need you to be more aggressive for us."
On Saturday, it wasnt that Thomas grabbed 16 boards to compliment his 13 points; it was how he got them. It was the way a ravenous Thomas boxed out, elevated his game and seized the ball (often with one hand) that sent the message that any half-ass attempt to grab the rock in his house was going to be, well, brutal. Buckman, meanwhile, added 10 points after intermission, along with four boards and one block.
Texas' strong inside presence resulted in OSU leading scorer G Tony Allen 16.2 ppg) picking up his fourth personal with 19:02 remaining in the game. Allen finished with 15 points (4-of-12 FG, 6-of-9 FT) while Cowboy guard Victor Williams led all scorers with 22 (7-of-19 FG, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arch).
Defensively, the Horns held OSU to 8-of-27 FGs (29.6 percent) in the second half after the visitors shot 52 percent from the field (15-of-29) during the first 20 minutes.
"I was really pleased with our post players," Barnes said. "They did a great job in the second half."
Buckmans jumper ignited a 10-2 Texas run to open second half, followed by Iveys layup. Ford (5-of-8 FG, 6-of-7 FT, four assists, one steal) continues to leave exhausted opponents gasping for air and amazed spectators gasping in disbelief. The sophomore creates open looks with his head fakes combined with the threat of his catlike quickness.
But it was Iveys name that the crowd was chanting as the final seconds ticked off the game clock. Ivey took up the slack as junior G Brandon Mouton struggled from the field (3-of-12 FG, 7 points).
"Royal Ivey was spectacular," Barnes said of the hoops player featured in the February issue of Inside Texas magazine. "This was the best game hes played here on both ends of the court. He was great."
Texas shot 50.9 percent for the game (27-of-53) but struggled from the charity stripe (21-of-21, 65.6 percent). Meanwhile, OSU was 14-of-18 at the line.
"We made more free throws than they shot," Barnes said, "but we didnt shoot them particularly well. Getting fouled is a big part of the game, especially in the (second-half) turnaround."
Saturdays game marked just the second clash of two AP Top 10 teams in the 26-year history of the Erwin Center (No. 4 Arizona topped No. 9 Texas, 88-81, in 1999). The win extended Barnes school-record of most wins against nationally ranked opponents at 16.
You get the impression that Barnes could grab 10 guys off of a playground and still beat Oklahoma State. Despite dropping last years game to the Cowboys in Austin, Texas is 12-4 against OSU since the formation of the Big 12. OSU entered the game boasting the nations longest winning streak (15, with wins over Oklahoma, Michigan State and Missouri) but had not faced a team as tall and talented as Texas.
"(Texas) is the best team in our league and the best team weve played this year," head coach Eddie Sutton said. "Certainly, this is the best Texas team weve ever played here, and that goes all the way back to my days at Arkansas."
Texas now hits the road for a Tuesday game at Colorado (8 p.m., CST) and Saturdays affair at Texas A&M (7 p.m. CST, ESPN2 telecast). The Horns return to the Erwin Center Monday, February 10 for the years most eagerly anticipated showdown against No. 6 Oklahoma.