The Texas Longhorns (8-1) improved on their best season start under Shaka Smart in a 60-50 win against a new-look Texas A&M Aggies (3-5) team on Sunday afternoon. Here’s a few takeaways and notable highlights from the Longhorns double-digit win.
Post-Game Takeaways and Highlights
- Both teams entered this game ranked near the bottom-half of college basketball in adjusted tempo — Texas A&M (No. 225), Texas (No. 299) — so the choppy start and pace of play was expected in a rivalry game.
- Yaklich’s defensive presence continues to pay dividends towards this team’s early season success. Outside of games against Georgetown and McNeese State, opponents are averaging 53.3 points against Texas. The Longhorns held Texas A&M to a season-low (17) points in the first half today.
- 6’10, 250-pound big man Josh Nebo outworked Texas’ bigs down low and asserted himself in the paint all game. He was the lone Aggie in double-digit scoring figures with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
- While back in his hometown, Andrew Jones had a strong performance in front of many family members and friends. He was aggressive on both ends of the ball and created quality shot opportunities for teammates. He had a season-high five assists today. Jones has provided a consistent offensive lift in his role as the team’s sixth-man this season.
Considering Ramey’s inconsistency at times throughout games, it makes you wonder if Smart will start to even out the playing time between Ramey and Jones. Ramey played 35 minutes today, while Jones only played 24.
- Rising 6’11 freshman Kai Jones continues to provide high energy and quality minutes when he’s on the floor. He pitched in six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of action off the bench. ESPN college basketball analysts Fran Fraschilla and Jay Bilas raved over his contribution today.
Fraschilla on his growth and potential, “We’re watching a budding star here in Kai Jones. He’s no Jaxson Hayes though, he’s still a baby.”
Bilas on Jones, “His motor runs at a high level all the time. That’s infectious on a basketball team.”
- Player of the Game: Jase Febres — 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting (4-for-11 3PT). Febres hit a few timely three-pointers in the second half to keep the lead at a comfortable margin. Texas took advantage of a couple different zone looks that A&M offered and primarily ran offense beyond the arc. The best ball rotations on offense lead to buckets for Febres.
- Stat of the Game: 13 offensive turnovers, 6 from Coleman. This was as uncharacteristic of a game you’ll see from Coleman all year. He was forcing lazy passes and wasn’t assertive enough on the offensive end. If Coleman was on, Texas probably wins this game by 15-20 points.
- Not sure how TCU and USC combined for 158 points in this new arena on Friday night, because Texas had a lot of good looks that went three-quarters of the way down and popped right out. It seemed as if they were breaking in brand new rims.
- Buzz Williams’ first season in College Station will certainly be a work-in-progress, similar to Smart’s second year at Texas. After watching how Williams built up his program at Virginia Tech and knowing the kind of player-coach connection he brings, this Texas A&M basketball program is certainly in good hands. He’s been through the rebuild process before. Patience is a virtue Aggie fans.