[The following is largely plagiarized from the work of Clement Clarke Moore.]
'Twas four nights before Christmas, in the Erwin Center the Longhorns were competing
Not a creature was stirring, particularly not the elderly couple in premium seating;
The stockings were hung from the mezzanine with care,
In hopes that Tevin Mack, who led all scorers with 18, soon would be there;
The fans were nestled all snug in their seats,
While visions of Earl Campbell sausage danced, it’s the best of all meats;
And Shaka in his dress shirt, and Lance Blanks at his mike,
Had just settled down for a game that would not be unsportsmanlike,
When out on the floor there arose such a clatter,
Lance sprang from his seat to see what was the matter.
Taking a steal, Longhorns flew like a flash,
As Texas tore down the court and watched 12 three-pointers splash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow [Who are we kidding? There is no snow in Austin. But the original text included the word “breast” so I had to keep it in.]
Gave the lustre [so that is what the kids are calling it these days] of mid-day to objects below,
When, what did Lance see, but a functioning offense,
Finding shooters on the outside, and he knew whence,
With a ‘fro of such volume, as much as a gallon,
Lance knew in a moment it must be Jarrett Allen.
With guards on the perimeter, the typical cohort,
They were having more fun than moms getting trashed at World Winstar Resort;
"Now, Davis! now, Kerwin! now, Tevin and Yancy!
On, Andrew! on Jacob! on, someone named Nancy! [Not really, but nothing useful rhymes with “Yancy.”]
To the top of the key! to the restricted area!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away Mareik’s bacteria!"
Out in transition when Andrew Jones can fly,
When he meets with an obstacle, he takes to the sky,
So up to the rim the gentleman flew,
With two early-game dunks and playmaking, too.
And then, in a twinkling, Lance saw in the corner
Was Tevin Mack shooting a three over some guy who’s a foreigner.
As Lance thought in his head, UAB is playing like they are drunk,
Allen sprinted down the floor for a reverse fast break dunk.
He was dressed a head band, and Nikes on the foot,
Covered with perspiration after buckets he put;
A bundle of rebounds keeping Blazers on his back back,
He looked nothing like a commuter on Amtrak.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! He was happy to score!
He put up 16 points and it was never a chore!
Andrew Jones’ 16 points, too, came easy as pie,
And the Blazers’ defense is so porous Lance thinks they are high;
Were they smoking pipe they passed in a circle?
Could that be the reason they played defense like Urkel? [This isn’t really fair; Urkel could hoop.]
Allen’s smile cracked as he scored again on the tele,
His ‘fro shook as he did it like a bowlful of jelly.
Shaka clapped on the sideline, a right jolly coach,
And he shouted out loud, “give it to Roach!”
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Led Lance to know there was nothing to dread;
Roach spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Dishing five assists and scoring on some dude named Dirk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up to the basket he rose;
He sprang to rim and his coach gave a whistle,
And blasted to the hoop like a ballistic missile.
Lance heard Shaka exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
- Andrew Jones started the game at PG, but after two quick turnovers Roach moved back to the point. Roach was a playmaker, and Jones really got things going playing off the ball, hitting 4-7 from three point range.
- Texas struggled in the first half against UAB’s 3-2 zone. After a short period of time having success with the defense, UAB basically abandoned it and we never saw the defense again.
- The Longhorns did well on the defensive glass, limiting the Blazers (a solid rebounding team) to seven total offensive boards. Kent State will be another tough test of the Longhorns rebounding, which appears to be improved relative to what we saw earlier in the season.
- Texas didn’t exactly get UAB’s best shot. The Blazers looked awful, losing track of everyone on defense on many possessions. They looked confused.
- Eric Davis hit a couple first half threes on back-to-back possessions. These shots looked really good in part because the action on the floor set them up, and gave him easy catch-and-shoot chances. The first one came on inside-outside passing from Allen, and the next one came on a reversing swing pass that found Davis wide open and ready to shoot.
- Texas murdered UAB in transition. The Longhorns need to find ways to run as often as possible, as they are a little shaky in the half court. Getting out in the open floor allows players like Roach and Jones to do what they do best — finish aggressively at the rim.
- Jarrett Allen had his way with a tough opponent. Scoring points over Chris Cokley and and William Lee is not easy. But it didn’t matter who the defender was; Allen was dialed in, hitting his hook shot with both hands. When Allen plays like he did tonight, the defender is irrelevant.