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I Love Rick Barnes

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I love Rick Barnes. He is not The best college basketball coach in the country, but he is certainly one of the most honest, most demanding, and, I’m happy to say, most quotable. Barnes is especially honest after losses or, as in the case of Saturday’s game, a disappointing win. There have been some good quotes after Texas’ nine victories but Barnes really let loose following the unconvincing fifteen point home victory over Texas State on Saturday afternoon.

From his post-game quotes, via TexasSports.com:

It's the defense I am concerned about. We weren't solid and some guys didn't do the job they needed to do. We got happy feet and we were jumping around. We were trying to make great plays instead of being solid. We can't afford to make great plays because we haven't proven that we can consistently stop people.

On staying in man-to-man defense and challenging his players to get better:

We wanted the guys to work tonight. We can get big on the zone, but I don't want to do that. Right now, we need work with our man defense and there is no better way than to play against a team that does what they did. I told them that this is what we need, I just don't think they handled it very well.

And from Monday’s Q and A with the media, via Mark Rosner’s Statesman piece:

We were just absolutely terrible on defense.
We didn't play with the passion, the enthusiasm that you have to play with.
Barnes made the Longhorns watch tape for 2 1/2 hours on Sunday, a session he said was more difficult than practice. Afterward, there were jokes about having to remove blood from chair cushions. As Barnes reminded his players: the big eye in the sky — the camera — doesn't lie. "It was brutal," guard A.J. Abrams said of the film session. "The worst," forward Damion James added.

Coach Barnes simply tells it like he sees it. He doesn’t mince words, isn’t afraid of upsetting anyone’s feelings, and constantly presses his players to improve their weaknesses. Not only that, but the players who are most ready to contribute see the floor. And when they do see action, they are expected to execute. In just about every game, a Longhorn is pulled off the court just seconds or minutes after entering because they didn’t execute what was asked of them.

Accountability: another reason why I love Texas basketball.

--AW--