I missed the Rice game en vivo because the damn thing was being shown only in Texas while I was enjoying a holiday vacation in California, but as I settle in to watch the replay tonight, I thought I'd throw up a quick hoops post.
First, the Texas Basketball Report will return to its usual Monday slot beginning next week.
Second, hoops junkies will be pleased to get a peek at the early season advanced stats for this team. To KenPom we turn:
You don't need to understand all of Ken Pom's metrics to know that this has been a great start to the season. All that needs to be said for now is that Texas' performances (1) in New York against two top teams in Illinois and Pitt and (2) against weaker competition, have provided ample ammunition for believing that this is not only a tournament team, but one that can compete for the Big 12 title and be interesting in March. We're dealing with a pretty small sample size here, but having now watched over 400 Texas games in the Rick Barnes era, I have a good sense for when he's got something he can work with and I'm highly encouraged by this start.
The best news of all is that this is a team with a good bit of room to grow. Most encouraging is that we're off to a fast start with Cory Joseph having mostly played like a true freshman finding his way at an advanced level. He's been taking baby steps forward, and by the sound of it, took a solid step forward against Rice, as well. And J'Covan Brown is a potential ace in our sleeve.
I'll get into this team in a lot more detail in Monday's debut of the Texas Basketball Report, but in the meantime, let's take a moment to cherish this start and give this squad some of the much-due support that our pathetic Athletics Department is too impotent to provide.