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Open Game Thread: Gardner-Webb at Texas

Game #12: Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs (3-7) vs. No. 2 Texas Longhorns (11-0)

5:00 pm * Frank Erwin Center (16,734) * Austin, TX

TV: Fox Sports SW (Texas only) or ESPN Full Court * Radio: KVET (98.1 FM)

Ken Pomeroy Ratings: Texas #1; Gardner Webb #335
Pomeroy Prediction: Texas 112-53

Quick Keys to the Game as this one should be ugly--

1) Play with Intensity: This will be first game for the 'Horns in a week, and Gardner-Webb is no Carolina or Michigan State. It will be very easy for the Longhorns to just go through the motions and still win by 30+. I was impressed a few weeks ago when Texas played with intensity for a full 40 minutes against an equally overmatched Texas-Pan Am club. I hope to see that same focus this afternoon.

2) Run a Half-court Offense: Texas can easily run this team out of the gym by halftime and won't have any trouble out-athleting the Runnin' Bulldogs. I am more interested to see Texas execute their offense against a set half-court defense. Can Dogus Balbay and J'Covan Brown work effectively in high pick-and-roll sets? Will perimeter players look to feed Dexter Pittman the ball from appropriate angles? Can Jordan Hamilton and Gary Johnson add to their stellar efforts against Michigan State and shoot and score within the flow of the offense?

3) Make a Freaking Free Throw: Obviously, sinking sub-50% from the stripe won't matter today, but continuing to clank free throw after free throw will eventually catch up to the 'Horns. I'd particularly like to see Damion James, Avery Bradley, Pittman, and Hamilton find their free throw strokes soon.

Hook 'em.