The Horns will attempt to win the Guardians Classic tonight when they match up with the Iowa Hawkeyes at 9:00 Central Time on ESPN2. The Horns better be prepared to play better than they did last night if they hope to beat Iowa. Of course, playing better than last night won't be difficult, considering the sloppiness.
The real story is that Texas will try to do what they couldn't, or wouldn't, do last night. Work the ball inside. Lamarcus Aldridge is already the best player on the team (if not the country. Yes, I mean that. He's on the verge of pure dominance.) And Rick Barnes usually does a good job of getting back to basics after sloppy games. You're going to see a lot of feeds to the post into Buckman and Aldridge tonight, which is a good thing. Even if the physical Iowa defense collapses to contain those two, it's a good strategy, as it will open the perimeter for our outside shooters.
Daniel Gibson took on a tremendous challenge last year when Tucker and Aldridge went out, and he handled it admirably. Now he has a different challenge--learning to play WITH Aldridge and Tucker. He's too talented not to make that transition; let's just hope he gets it done tonight so the Horns can remain unbeaten.
Iowa will not give in easily, though. They aren't afraid to bang with anyone, they're disciplined, and, like West Virginia, they don't turn the ball over much. If Texas plays as sloppily as they did last night, they'll lose. But my instinct is that last night's game will force the Horns to grow into their new skin quickly, and I think we'll win. I won't be predicting another 15 point win (though we're capable of it), but I think we'll emerge the victors. Texas defeats Iowa, 76-71.