In years past, contests between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners have been quite entertaining on the hardwood. Tonight’s game on the other hand, not so much. One team came ready to play and executed a winning gameplan, while the other lacked rhythm and intensity.
Texas started the game as the aggressor on offense and jumped out to a comfortable 29-20 lead (UT’s largest of the game) with 7:17 remaining. From that point on, the Longhorns shot 1-for-10 from the field and limped into the locker room down 34-33 at halftime. A lot of unnecessary fouls and poor ball movement offensively prevented them from keeping that comfortable lead. While Matt Coleman was missing wide open looks to extend the lead, Oklahoma transfer guard Austin Reeves drained contested shots over him to put the Sooners ahead. From that point on, it was all Oklahoma.
Once again, inconsistent play on the offensive side of the ball plagued Texas throughout this game. Jericho Sims didn’t see many touches in the paint when the offense needed him most. Half of Sims’ points came from offensive rebound putbacks. Instead, the Longhorns insisted on passing the rock beyond the three-point line and settled for bad shots — hoping to get back into the game.
Senior Kristian Doolittle and freshman De’Vion Harmon were ultimately the difference and put the finishing touches on this win for Oklahoma. No one else on the court wanted it more than these two. They made all the winning one-on-one plays down the stretch.
Simply put, Texas would have a hard time beating any Big 12 team shooting 8-for-29 from three while Coleman isn’t playing his A-game. And that’s how it was tonight.
Stat of the game
After taking a 45-44 lead with under 14 minutes remaining, Texas shot 3-of-13 from beyond the arc to close the game. Shaka’s ‘live and die by the three’ offensive gameplan was back on the drawing board today.
Despite making the necessary upgrades in his coaching staff, the same problems remain at hand for Shaka’s team. He certainly doesn’t look like the right X’s and O’s coach for the job, but this team is lacking more than just the offense. Great basketball teams remain locked in on both sides of the ball throughout games — Texas plays in spurts. Inconsistency remains the storyline of Texas basketball during the Shaka Smart era.