Morning Coffee

The Mack Brown Press Conference watch enters its sixth day. Last night, Longhorn Sportsline with Mack Brown on the radio was canceled; Rick Barnes was the coach on the show in his stead. Mack Brown and the Athletic Department said they won't comment on Jevan Snead until after the bowl game. Still, at some point, you have to wonder when Mack will sit down and talk.

I've been picking on Kirk Bohls a lot lately - his football columns over the last month have been pretty lousy. Today, though, he's got a great piece on Longhorn point guard D.J. Augustin, in which we get this really exciting bit:

During a Texas football weekend this fall, former All-America point guard [T.J. Ford] was in town and made a late-night call to Barnes, looking for a pickup game early Sunday morning. Augustin showed up and never backed down while guarding the 2003 national player of the year.

Ford was duly impressed, and now he and Augustin talk regularly. Barnes wishes he were as vocal on the floor.

Toward that end, he has taken to making Augustin literally coach the team. He will make the point guard go to the blackboard and diagram plays and even make him run some drills in practice. It hits home.

"I have to come out of my shell," Augustin said. "You can't hold back, so I'm telling the guys where to go."

We've been quite critical of Rick Barnes' half court offense over the years, and probably the only time we weren't a pretty stagnant offensive team was when T.J. was running the show, acting as the coach out on the floor. So it's great to see Rick putting Augustin in a similar position, and the dividends are already apparent. Texas' offense thus far this year has more motion and activity than it has since Ford was still on campus. A big part of that is Augustin, and it looks like the best is yet to come.

Light posting for the rest of this morning, but be sure to keep checking in over at Bruins Nation throughout the morning. They'll be posting a conversation between Orson from EDSBS and I about who to root for in this Saturday's USC-UCLA game. I bet you can guess who we took, but I can guarantee you that you'll still enjoy reading why.

--PB--

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