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Texas Longhorns Defeat Angelo State, 95-55

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Shaka Smart’s squad rolls in its public exhibition game.

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NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Media Day Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns easily dispatched the D-II Angelo State Rams 95-55 in the Longhorn’s single public preseason contest. Jacob Young led Texas with 21 points as six Texas players scored in double figures. Quay King put up 15 points for the Rams.

With sophomores Kerwin Roach and Tevin Mack serving a suspension for an off-season violation of team rules and grad transfer Mareik Isom recovering from a procedure intended to clean out some sort of infection in his ankle (yea, that sounds unpleasant), Shaka Smart only had seven scholarship players available for the game. Faced with this, Smart opted to go with a starting lineup of Andrew Jones, Kendal Yancy, Eric Davis, Jarrett Allen, and Shaquille Cleare, and brought James Banks and Jacob Young off the bench.

Things were pretty ragged at the start, as we might expect at this early point in the year. Both teams struggled shooting the ball from the floor early. Angelo State has a lot of size for a D-II team and the game was competitive early, until midway through the first period the Longhorns went on a run to open up a double digit lead. The high point of this run was when freshman guard Andrew Jones took a steal end to end for a dunk with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the half.

The Rams got off to a nice start at the beginning of the second half, leading Shaka Smart to call an early timeout. The Longhorns would stabilize quickly, and the lead gradually grew to the 40 point final margin of victory.

It was an impressive debut for Shaka Smart’s pair of freshman guards. Jacob Young shot 8-13 from the floor, including striking on 4-8 three-point attempts, while Andrew Jones put up 17 points of his own along with seven rebounds and five assists. Even better — the pair combined to only turn the ball over once.

Jarrett Allen’s debut was a less stellar. Allen was a constant factor on the glass, matching Shaq Cleare with a team high 11 rebounds. But Allen struggled offensively, shooting 5-11 from the floor and 3-11 from the free throw line before fouling out late in the second half.

Aside from Allen’s free throw shooting, there wasn’t much to find fault with for Texas tonight. After a slow start, the Texas offense really started to click; connecting on 8-19 threes did not hurt. Neither did scoring 29 points in transition and beating up Angelo State inside on the glass. These are obviously good trends for Texas; we will see if they hold against D-I competition.

Notes:

  • Jarrett Allen banked in a wide open three in the first half after catching the ball on the perimeter. Like we always say here at the Burnt Orange Nation — hit the square. A few minutes later Allen hit another jump shot in a more conventional manner. And then late in the half he launched an airball from about 17 feet. Allen’s perimeter shot appears to be something of a work in progress.
  • James Banks subbed in for Cleare early and played well, blocking a shot and converting a three point play on a putback shot off of an offensive rebound in his first few minutes on the floor. He would finish the game with ten points and seven rebounds. Banks has a raw offensive game overall, but looks to have a decent stroke from the free throw line. He was 4-5 on the night from the stripe.
  • Banks and Allen both looked good, but both are likely going to find themselves physically overwhelmed at times this season playing against older players.
  • Kendal Yancy made several strong drives to the hoop, and had a nice left-handed finish in transition. He finished the game with nine points. Through this exhibition and the scrimmage, Yancy appears more aggressive taking the ball to the hole than what we have seen in prior seasons.
  • Shaq Cleare scored 12 points, and the ball went inside to him in the post rather frequently. I suspect Cleare will get plenty of touches, and plenty of shots, this season.
  • Kerwin Roach, who was suspended for the game, had an enormous band-aid on the side of his head. I assume that he was cut, but I am so out of touch with what matters to the kids these days that for all I know this is some sort of new fashion thing.
  • At one point in the game Longhorn Network analyst Lance Blanks responded to a sequence where Angelo State was overwhelmed by Texas’ size inside, “this is David and Goliath all over again.” While I am no one’s idea of a biblical scholar, I don’t know that Lance is remembering how that particular episode ended. Goliath didn’t win by 40.
  • Angelo State’s Cornelius Hudson, a transfer from Wake Forrest, is an impressive athlete. Sadly, he will probably have a hard time earning a spot in my personal Cornelius power rankings. I reproduce them here: Cornelius Vanderbilt, Cornelius Bennett, Pope Cornelius, Cornelius from Planet of the Apes, Cornelius the Centurion, Cornelius Fuscus, Don Cornelius, and Cornelius, Indiana.

Texas gets the season started for real on Friday Nov. 11, taking on the Incarnate Word Cardinals in Austin.

Get ready for the season by reading Smart Texas Basketball 2016, available from Amazon and iTunes.