- Play Isaiah Taylor at point guard.
- Compete against a team coached by Scott Drew.
Led by a career-high 27 points from its freshman point guard, Texas whipped Baylor 74-60 on the Bears' home floor to pick up its fifth consecutive Big 12 victory, and third straight over a ranked opponent. Taylor was sensational on Saturday afternoon, but he didn't do it all on its own -- credit an assist to Scott Drew, as well, who put on a flawless clinic that will be used for years to come in how not to coach a talented basketball game.
Though I thought the Longhorns could win this game, I couldn't pull the trigger on predicting a road win, imagining a narrow Baylor victory fueled by a Kenny Chery second-half surge. I also said Taylor would have to bring his A-game if he hoped to match the Bears' outstanding point guard, but it was the Longhorns' point guard who looked like the First Team All-Big 12 player with a dominant second half for which Baylor had no answers.
While we're on the subject of Baylor's flailing: I'm not sure which was more amusing: Scott Drew taking his final timeout of the game with more than 7 minutes remaining and a TV timeout scheduled for the next dead ball whistle, or the fact that Baylor played a zone defense... and got carved up in the paint on dribble penetration. Scott Drew, the gift that keeps on giving. Next week on the Scott Drew Coaching Clinic: Getting KIlled In Transition Without Crashing the Offensive Glass.
Drew's coaching capabilities aside, Texas was really impressive in the second half, and it wasn't just Taylor; after being sidelined with foul trouble in the first half, the Longhorns got great from both Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley, everyone played very intelligent team defense, and it was evident that UT was very well prepared for this basketball game. We had a clear game plan for attacking their defense, we demonstrated excellent opponent awareness and maintained our assignments to execute a defensive strategy that was clearly focused on keeping Baylor away from looks at the rim, and we were strong on the glass on both ends of the floor. Great job by Barnes and his staff, and terrific execution from this young team.
With the win, the surging Longhorns improve their overall mark to 16-4, matching the team's win total from a year ago. They also move to 5-2 in the conference to assume sole possession of second place in the standings for now. As well as they're playing I'm sure they're eager to get back on the floor, but Texas will get the rest of the week off before taking on their fourth consecutive ranked opponent next Saturday, when first place and unbeaten-in-conference Kansas heads to the Erwin Center. And these kids will deserve the big, boisterous crowd that will undoubtedly show up to support them. Fans haven't been this excited about Texas basketball in a good long while. I hope you're enjoying every second of it just as much as I am.
This... is your celebration thread.