Horn Brain here with a review of the Madness from Houston, as well as a first impression of Memphis up close.
- Texas owns Reliant - I'll defer to AW on this one, but I would say at the very least, we own a five to one advantage over the other three fanbases combined. That said, I can't think of a worse place to watch a basketball game. My first impression was that the raised court/stage thing looked really good (I'm sure most of you hated it. Rabble rabble, etc.), kind of "basketball of the future"-style, but once the game tipped off, my opinion immediately changed. The silence! The horror! You take a sit-down-and-cup-your-hands crowd like Texas brings, and put them in that cavernous stadium with basically no incline to the seating, and it's going to take a lot of liquid courage to get anything out of the fans. Luckily for us, I checked the bathroom and the back of the toilet looked like a flask museum. Crowd was better in the second half.
- The youngsters played well - I don't know that our bench has had a better game. Chapman had a good game as long as we didn't expect him to do anything with the ball more than four inches from the bucket. Johnson, despite the refs despising the way he plays basketball, brought a lot of needed intensity in his minutes. Finally, Pittman had another one of those games where he didn't have to be anything but big to contribute. Dexy contributed some huge offensive and defensive boards down low, and even exhibited some great hustle to save a ball going out of bounds. Hell, even Harrison Smith got an and-one against the Cardinal. That's when you know, people.
- DJ is back - OMG, dominance! It's over, UCLA Jihad. When DJ wasn't making ridiculous double-clutch reverse triple-axle layups, he was in your paints, dishin' to doods. It's to the point that you just laugh at the poor Cardinal when he does something ridiculous. There's no way he comes back. Just no way.
- They're fast - Memphis is like five Damion James-es, some of whom can dribble better than others. I doubt that our bench will be able to keep up with them defensively as they did with big, plodding Stanford. With Memphis' driving offense, I'm worried about foul trouble for most of the team. I think Wingman and Johnson will be the biggest contributors from the bench, as Chapman and Dexter will find themselves struggling to keep up with Memphis.
- They're big - Joey Dorsey is a monster. Did you see that dunk? I just keep seeing that over and over in my head, juxtaposed with Connor catching the ball under the basket wide open and then totally wimping out and turning it over. WWDD Connor? What would Dorsey do? Dunk that stuff, man. Dunk it. Aside from Dorsey, though, these guys are tall like Kansas. I see this game a lot like the Kansas games, which is not good for the hearts of the nacho-eaters among you, but for those of us who have yet to choke off our aortas with tasty, tasty cholesterol, it should be an epic experience.
- They don't scare me - I've said it before, we've beaten them every way they come. If we beat Kansas, a club that has similar size and depth, but shoots the ball much better, then we can beat these guys. I'm scratching my head on how to defend them without fouling everyone out, but that's for Barnes (and AW and PB) to decide. What I do know how to do is yell, and we're going to have to fill that stadium to the brim with Burnt Orange if we want to have any kind of advantage, as quiet as it is. No more empty seats, Longhorns. If you live within a day's drive of Houston, get on Ebay or wherever and get your tickets. I know there are some Spartans and Trees that won't be asking much for their seats...
Side note: Spring Scrimmage was boring, hopefully 54b turns that into funny.