Nothing parochial about it. Criticizing Mack Brown right now is simply futile. He righted the ship for the Holiday Bowl, hit a grand slam with his defensive coordinator hire, put Ken Rucker on player relations full time, and managed to bring some fresh young blood in to help with the offense. And now Mack's offering elite national prospects scholarships ($) for the 2009 class. Despite some of Mack's comments which suggested he may have soured on the idea of trying to supplement his Texas class with out-of-state studs, in practice he's targeting some key national players. If the Texas staff got an 'F' for the Texas A&M game, it's been nothing but A+ ever since. I can't recall being this excited, this early, during an offseason.
Yes, please. One in-state prospect Mack Brown is recruiting is West Texas DB Kenny Vaccaro. Along with some silly raw testing numbers (4.47 40, 475 lb squat? Really?), his video page shows a smart player with terrific instincts. Want.
On the road again. You'll rarely, if ever, hear Andrew and I complain about the hoops team after a road win. Even when we play poorly against a bad team, as we did last Saturday against Iowa State, the win itself is all that matters. Kansas State, competing for the conference title after picking up a historic win over Kansas three weeks ago, proved that point last night, dropping an 84-75 contest at Texas Tech.
The loss drops KSU to 7-2 in the Big 12 standings during a year in which the top of the conference showcases four strong tournament teams (Kansas, Texas, Kansas State, Texas A&M) ahead of a pair of solid bubble teams (Baylor, Oklahoma). The Longhorns are in excellent shape to pick up a first round bye for the Big 12 tournament, and could, if they finish strong, pick up the conference's #1 seed. Texas is tied with Kansas in the loss column, but own the head-to-head win. With games left against A&M (Austin, Monday 2/18) and at K-State (Manhattan, Monday 2/25), the team controls its own destiny.
One of many reasons why Saturday's road game in Waco is so important.
Yeah, they were pretty good, too. In this week's Texas Basketball Report, I inadvertently overlooked the 2005-06 Longhorn team which won 30 games overall, including 13 in Big 12 play, reaching 20 wins on February 6th. Thankfully, reader mattyj was quick to correct my oversight. That Longhorn team, featuring Lamarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson, Brad Buckman, and Kenton Paulino, fell one game short of the Final Four, but provided one of the all time great moments - maybe THE all time greatest moment - in Texas basketball history:
Quick Hits. The Lady Longhorns (16-8, 4-6) picked up a huge win last night over Baylor... As Indiana sours on Kelvin Sampson, could we see Bob Knight return to the Hoosiers?... Duke keeps its stranglehold on a #1 seed with a 77-65 win over Maryland... Ditto with Memphis, 68-59 winners over Tom Penders' Cougars... Tennessee, too, who takes down Arkansas 93-71.