2009 Basketball recruiting class expands. Avery Bradley, a 6-3 shooting guard from Nevada, gave his commitment to the Longhorn coaching staff on Wednesday. Ranked no. 8 overall by Rivals and no. 10 by Scout, Bradley becomes the second commitment for the 2009 class, expected by many to be an exceptionally strong group. Bradley joins wing Shawn Williams of Duncanville, ranked no. 43 overall by Scout. Bradley credited the Longhorn coaching staff with securing his commitment, particularly newly-promoted assistant coach Chris Ogden, who appears to have ably filled the shoes of new Western Kentucky coach Ken McDonald. Rivals no. 5 prospect Jordan Hamilton of Compton, CA has expressed a desire to attend the same school as Bradley, and was a Longhorn lean until attending the USC football game last weekend.
Bellmont, land of drivel. Longhorn fans often find themselves groaning at the propaganda emanating from Bellmont Hall, particularly from the pen of one, Bill Little. As excruciating as it is to read the words of Little (I expect most Longhorn fans don't even subject themselves to it), a Barking Carnival writer codenamed "Bushy Mustache" has the solution. Satirize it! Here's a little taste of it to whet your appetite ( who doesn't like making fun of Bill Little?):
Bill Little commentary: A point about yesterday
This title is a bit misleading. No Bill Little piece has a point. Not a single one. They are all just garbled piles of confusingly-written, sentimental nonsense. This article is no exception.
It just gets better from there, folks. If this post doesn't make you laugh, I will refund your time. Er, maybe not, but it's worth it, trust me.
Cotton Bowl, reborn. Amidst the sturm and drang swirling around the continued existence (and relevance) of the Cotton Bowl, a new stadium has emerged. The newest iteration is bigger and better, with more seats, more concessions, more restrooms, and more room for fans to move about the stadium. The expansion will keep the OU/Texas tilt where it belongs at the State Fair indefinitely, but the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is moving to JerryWorld starting in 2009. Dallas officials finally stepped up to fund the $57 million renovations (long overdue), but are having trouble scheduling other games there. Fortunately, that's not something that the Texas and OU administrations have to worry about, that's for Cotton Bowl officials. For fans of both schools, the game is remaining where it belongs and that's good news for the unique rivalry.
Rushing attack loading up for Owl. The Statesman takes note of the historically positive effect of the Rice defense on the Longhorn ground game. Last year, the backs averaged 5.7 ypc, while in 2006, Texas racked up 333 yards on the ground. Good news for a Longhorn rushing attack struggling to find explosive plays and a game-breaking back. Rice gave up 273 rushing yards last week against Vanderbilt. After two pass-centric gameplans to start the season, expect the Longhorns to run early and often on Saturday. It's imperative that the Longhorns discover a running game before the conference gauntlet begins, as PB mentioned yesterday in Morning Coffee. Horn Brain mentioned this Mack Brown quote from his Monday presser, and I haven't had a time to revisit it, but will do so now:
Fozzy [Whittaker] got a lot of publicity out in El Paso and he did an outstanding job...We hope he can do some really good things. If Vondrell [McGee] and Chris [Ogbonnaya] had not been seen for the first week and they had done what Fozzy did, everyone would be excited about them. Sometimes the less you know, the better.
This type of quote is what really honks me off about Mack Brown, and I think it frustrates most other Texas fans, as well. What a condescending remark. I don't think anyone is going to get excited about Chris Ogbonnaya right now and Vondrell McGee hasn't demonstrated that he is capable of doing what Whittaker did against UTEP. Texas fans love Whittaker precisely because he brings what the other two seem incapable of doing. To take jabs like this at the fanbase is unnecessary, Mack, and reflects poorly on you.
Oh, so that's what the Q package is supposed to look like. Don't look now, but Rice actually has their very own version of John Chiles/Tim Tebow. And they actually use him! Remarkable. His name's James Casey, and he's a 24-year-old sophomore, having spent some time playing minor league baseball. Rice coaches, like Texas coaches, didn't know what they had last year, but are now using him as a short-yardage runner a la Tebow (he's built like Tebow), wide receiver, tight end, and in the backfield with Chase Clement. Pretty much anywhere you can imagine (remember the mythical Q package?). As a result, he's tied for the national lead with 29 receptions (with Kerry Meier of Kansas) and Rice is averaging 40 points a game. To be fair to the Texas coaching staff, the Q package hasn't been necessary so far, and Casey is willingly accepting his role and doesn't have to split time as the no. 2 quarterback. That being said, watching Rice against SMU in their first game, it was impressive the way they used Casey all over the field, maintaining the offensive rhythm and seamlessly integrating him into the offense. It will be a crime if Chiles isn't being used even half as effectively by the end of the season.