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Longhorn PTI, April 10th

Another Monday, another Longhorn PTI.

Rick Barnes got his big raise and we can safely say with 100% certainty that he won't be headed to NC State. Final thoughts?

PB: Good news for Longhorn fans, though you were right from the start, Wiggins. There wasn't much chance of him leaving. Rick is sort of moving into Mack Brown territory here. He's done an amazing job getting this program to one of the best in the country, he's consistently bringing in very highly touted prospects, and we shouldn't be surprised when one of these star kids brings a national title to Austin. I may be critical of Rick Barnes' half-court offensive teaching, as many were critical of things Mack Brown did, and a certain amount of skepticism is healthy, but there's no doubt that Rick's doing an outstanding job.

AW: The Rick Barnes-Mack Brown comparison is apt. Mack was ridiculed for not being able to beat OU, or win a conference or even division championship, let alone a national championship. He was firmly in the "can't win the big one" camp. Now look at Mack. He's one of the most loved coaches ever to grace the 40 Acres.

But let's compare another coach to Rick Barnes: Florida's Billy Donovan. Like Barnes, Donovan is the head basketball coach at a traditional football power. From the beginning, he was advised not to go to Florida because basketball would never be as loved as football. The Gators made the Final Four a few years ago before losing to Michigan State. Texas made the Final Four a few years ago before losing to Syracuse. Florida followed with some underachieving tournament performances. Texas likewise hasn't made it as far as they should have. But this year, Florida and Donovan broke through. It won't be too long before we're writing the same about Texas and Barnes.

PB: I like the Billy Donovan comp. It won't be long before Texas gets their own version of Joakim Noah and runs the table. Frustratingly, we had that guy in TJ Ford. If he'd come back for his junior year, as he wanted to, we'd have won it all. I'm not sure we would have lost a game in 2003, with Ford, Mouton, Boddicker, Ivey, and Thomas. Same story next year, perhaps? If Aldridge and Tucker returned, with Durant's arrival, we'd be right there with Florida as the favorites to cut down the nets.

Lamarcus Aldridge is reportedly shopping for an agent, while PJ Tucker is expected to declare for the draft. How do you see this all unfolding?

AW:LA is gone. We knew this would be his last season a long time ago. No surprises there. He'll be a top 5 pick, and it would be simply foolish to come back to Texas. I am beginning to get on the PJ to the NBA train. I put his chances of declaring close to 80%. He's the reigning Big 12 player of the year. He will not improve his draft status by returning to Texas, and I don't get the feeling that he enjoys the academic side too much either. He will declare this week and be drafted late in the first round.

PB: I'm torn on Tucker. On the one hand, I understand the argument that there's not much he can do to improve his stock. BUT, I also think he may have trouble as a pro because he doesn't have a true position. Where do you stick him? He's not big enough to play on the blocks, so he's got to move to the wing. Given that, there's a lot he can (and needs to) do to improve his stock. Questions about his ball handling and jump shot will keep him from going in the first round right now, if you ask me. Why not return a year and work on those things that will help him at the next level?

Three weeks from the NFL draft. Expecting anything interesting between now and then?

PB: You can count on plenty of speculation, rumor-mongering, and the rest. We'll probably hear murmurs that Vince Young hates babies and old people, doesn't change his underwear, and once killed a bunny "just to see what it would feel like." No sense in me going back on my prediction now; I still say Houston comes to their senses and takes him #1.

AW:Bean, what have you been smoking? The Texans will take Reggie Bush. No question about it. They locked up David Carr for reasons unknown and will not be drafting a QB. Unless the Texans trade the pick, there is no way VY goes #1. I expect VY to continue to slip on mock draft boards. I saw one with him going #10 to the Cardinals. That is much too low, but #1 is a pipe dream at this point, and so is #2 to New Orleans. #3 to Tennessee is a possibility, but I see them taking Leinart instead.

PB: Screw Matt Leinart. Here's one that's sure to anger the USC worshipers. Matt Leinart::Ryan Leaf. Leinart is starting to remind me of that awful girl on American Idol who didn't give a crap that she got voted off the show because, in her mind, she'd already made it. Screw winning the show; it's the fame that counts. Leinart is going to party and eat himself out of the league within five years. I'll put it this way: I give his Hollywood career a 90% better chance of success than his NFL career. Hear me now, praise me later.

The Masters was all set up for a fantastic finish among the world's best golfers, but Phil ran away and hid from the rest. Your take?

AW:The headline should be What Might Have Been. Now, I love the Masters. I sat all day Sunday in front of my TV waiting for the fantastic finish. I am still waiting. Four of the top five players in the world plus Couples had shots to win on Sunday, yet no one came close to Phil. Tiger needed a few more holes and a few more putts to drop. Couples might have been putting with his eyes closed, for all we know. Vijay was never really a factor and neither was Retief Goosen. I am very disappointed.

As you know, I love Tiger. Before Tiger, my favorite player was Freddie. I would have been ecstatic to see either of them with another green jacket. Instead, we see Phat Phil take another major title. Disappointing for sure.

PB: I agree completely. And speaking of Phat Phil: how -awful- did he look on Sunday? He's overweight and that horrible slob of hair he had looked like he was a week away from sporting a pony tail. Again, this is Matt Leinart's trajectory. Except you can't win championships in the NFL as a fat slob.

Thus concludes the Matt Leinart Is A Joke segment of today's program.