Game two for the Texas Longhorns. Tonight, Alcorn State (0-1) comes to town to face Rick Barnes' team.
The Longhorns cruised in their home opener, beating North Dakota State by 35. NDSU is likely a substantially better team than Alcorn State.
I have written it before, but I think that there is an outstanding "year inside" book that could be made about Southwestern Athletic Conference basketball, which is surely an experience that differs from that in almost every other D-I conference.
One of the characteristic features of life in the SWAC is an almost total lack of home non-conference games. Coach Luther Riley's Alcorn State team gives just one illustration this aspect of the SWAC by beginning every season with an endless road tour. Since the 2004-2005 season, Alcorn State has played four non-conference home games against Division I opponents. This season, the squad will play at home exactly twice prior to the start of conference play, with both home games coming against non-NCAA opponents.
Here is who Alcorn State brings to Austin:
6-4 Junior LeAntwan Luckett will do much of the shooting when Alcorn State is on offense. In the season opener against Cal, Luckett shot 18 times from the floor, and attempted 13 free throws, netting 18 total points. Luckett is better off the dribble than he is with his shot, and he tends to do his best work at the free throw line and in transition.
6-7 forward Marquis Vance is also worth keeping an eye on. He is a decent offensive rebounder, capable of scoring inside, and will step out on the perimeter to attack off the dribble or shoot the three. It is possible that Vance will be able to put a few fouls on some of the Texas bigs (specifically Connor Lammert and Myles Turner), who will have to spend some time guarding Vance on the perimeter.
Luckett and Vance don't leave many shots for anyone else, but 6-5 junior Tyrel Hunt made the most of his on Friday, scoring 10 points on drives to the hoop. 6-2 Tamarcio Wilson played nearly the entire game but struggled against Cal, missing all five of his attempts from the floor. Other players likely to get decent minutes include 6-10 center Keynan Pittman, and freshman Reginald Johnson.
Tonight's contest will likely provide Rick Barnes a second opportunity to play around with lineups before what should be a much more challenging game against Iowa next Thursday.