Texas used a stifling 2-3 zone and 15 Lamarcus Aldridge second half points to defeat their second Top 10 team in two weeks and bump their winning streak to six. Texas defeated Villanova 58-55 in Austin on Saturday afternoon to move to 14-2 and add anoather important nonconference win to their resume.
Once again, we'll take a look at each playe's contribution to the win.
19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 blocks
Aldridge managed both to be the best player on the court and be the player with the most room to improve. Talk about a scary combo. Aldridge still needs to learn to be more aggressive around the rim. At times, he's settling for fadeaway shots when he should be using his size advantage to take it TO the opponents. Still, he's an outstanding post force, and his clutch free throws down the stretch were critical.
8 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers
Along with Aldridge, played 40 minutes and was a little bit hot-cold throughout the game. It wasn't Tucker's best game, but he was his usual scrappy, aggressive self and a big part of the win. Except for a pair of stretches where he disappeared on the offensive side of the ball, Tucker played well. He creates havoc for the opposing team.
10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 2-7 3-pt FG
He had two spot-up threes that he shot coming off screens that were NBA beautiful. But he also had several terrible threes off the dribble that made you shake your head. Gibson's mediocre play this year is as mystifying as anything I've seen from a college player in a long time. He's so good, and he makes some truly great plays - and great shots - but he's clearly out of sync. I'm just not sure what the problem is yet.
13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover
Wow, let's face it: Paulino is playing better than Daniel Gibson. At least offensively. He's not the defender that Gibson is, but he's become a very solid, consistent offensive contributor, hitting three pointers, taking the ball to the basket, and playing within "the offense." For a guy that I thought would be cut by his sophomore year, he sure has come a long way. I'm happy for him, and pleased with his contributions to the team. As thin as we are, it's been vital. It's telling that it was he played 37 minutes, and not Gibson (33).
6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 injuries
After three relatively healthy years, poor Brad just can't stay healthy this year. After 11 very productive minutes against Villanova that helped the Horns build a lead, Buckman came down on his left ankle and had to leave the game. No word yet on how much time Buckman will miss, but let's hope it's not long so we don't have to see much of...
4 minutes, 0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 turnover, 240 seconds of J.V. play
Oh my God he was bad. I'm not kidding when I say I would have preferred Urkel out there. At least the dorky glasses and suspenders could have provided a potential distraction for the opponent. Atchley was passive, he looked scared, he didn't rebound, he stood 27 feet from the basket on offense, and he played matador defense (wave as they go by). If he's on scholarship, it should be revoked.
8 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds
He didn't do much, but he looked competent, for what that's worth. Better than Atchley, but still not providing much positive value to the team. Barnes really needs to find a way to get more out of Williams. With Buckman still banged up, the frontcourt is awfully thing unless Williams can step it up a notch. I've been saying that for two years now, though, so I'm not holding my breath.
Okay, so there weren't a lot of superb invidivual performances, but I don't want to say that this wasn't a good win. It was a really good win, considering the opponent. Our 2-3 zone was very active and obviously frustrated their normally consistent guards.
The only thing I will say is that I thought we should have won by double digits. I'm not complaining, mind you. It's nice that we can beat a Top 10 team and say, "Gosh, we could play so much better." I remember writing during football season that we would be just disgusting if we ever put a full game together. In the Big 12 championship game, we did. The result: 70-3.
The basketball team can be just about unbeatable if THEY can put everything together. The defense is rounding in to form. If the offense takes significant strides forward, look out.
The sky is the limit for this team....