It looks like baseball season’s starting early.
In the first half of last night’s game between the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team and the Oklahoma Sooners, Texas was hanging in there as they leapt out to two separate nine-point leads. It was a refreshing burst of life after the team has fallen on hard times in recent weeks, opening up Big 12 Conference play with a somewhat embarrassing loss to the No. 6 Baylor Bears. But then the second half of last night’s match happened, and just as head coach Shaka Smart might have thought his boat was staying afloat at the Frank Erwin Center, it began to capsize once the Sooners capitalized on a five-point lead more than midway through the second half, ending with a final score of 72-62 in the Sooners favor.
Rough. But also predictable.
Asked how deflating it is to lose their first Big 12 games this season, Smart responded from his hot seat during the postgame press conference, “It’s just extremely disappointing. Obviously we go one game at a time, but this is a game where we’re up 29-20 in the first half, really played well. Offensively sharing the basketball. Obviously they were making some plays, making some shots, but you’re up 9 points, and that’s a point in a game where you have to grab hold of it and go take the game. We obviously didn’t.”
WHAT THE WISE MEN ARE SAYING ABOUT THE LONGHORNS
Hookem.com: Bohls: Offensively inept Longhorns searching for answers, buckets
Dallas Morning News: 3 takeaways from Texas’ loss to Oklahoma as Longhorns continue search for the first Big 12 win
Dallas Morning News: 3 reason why the Texas longhorns could be better in 2020
NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE IN LONGHORN LAND AND THE BIG 12
- Off he went, into the West Texas sunset. Former defensive coordinator Todd Orlando has joined Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Matt Wells in Lubbock, where Orlando will serve in a similar role as he had at Texas. Orlando and Wells already have a coaching relationship: During the 2013-2014 season, when Orlando was a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Wells’ Utah State Aggies, they finished 9-5 and won the Poinsettia Bowl.
Sources: Former Texas DC Todd Orlando’s expected landing spot is Texas Tech, where he’ll take a job as a position coach. Orlando and Tech Coach Matt Wells worked together at Utah State.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 8, 2020
- Neither is Texas safeties coach and interim defensive coordinator Craig Naivar staying in Austin. According to a reports at Hookem.com and Orangebloods, newly hired Texas defensive coordinator Chris Ash has opted not to bring Naivar back next season, despite Naivar’s impressive performance (Texas gave up 11 points and just 254 total yards) in the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Utah Utes late last month. Now, he’s expected to join Orlando in Lubbock, where Naivar will reportedly coach the Red Raiders’ cornerbacks.
Coaching dominos beginning to fall at Texas. Craig Naivar will not return to the coaching staff and is expected to join Todd Orlando in Lubbock at Texas Tech. Orlando will be Co-DC and coach linebackers while Naivar will coach corners, per @FootballScoop.— HornSports (@HornSports) January 8, 2020
- Despite Texas football defensive coaching staff changes, defensive line coach Oscar Giles is expected to stick around, according to a report in 247Sports. It makes sense, given Giles’ history with the Longhorns: He was a member of former head coach Mack Brown’s coaching staff before Charlie Strong opted to let him go, only to be hired by Herman during his team as the head coach with the Houston Cougars. He’s been back in Austin ever since.
Texas defensive line coach Oscar Giles will remain on Tom Herman's staff in 2020, according to my sources. So far, running backs coach Stan Drayton, offensive line coach Herb Hand, and Giles are coaches who will remain in Austin. pic.twitter.com/byDgu6H6EJ— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) January 8, 2020
As Burnt Orange Nation noted yesterday, the Duvernay era on the Forty Acres is over. Cornerback Donovan Duvernay has decided to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. The redshirt junior has one remaining year of eligibility. With his twin brother, Devin, now off to the NFL after a record-setting season, it’s not surprising to see Donovan move on as well — the 5’9, 195-pounder only appeared in four games in 2019, recording two tackles against the Rice Owls. With a host of young players ahead of Duvernay on the depth chart, he wasn’t projected as a contributor in 2020. Duvernay appeared in eight career games after signing with Texas as a late addition to the 2016 class following the scandal at Baylor. During recruiting, he was considered a consensus three-star prospect and ranked as the No. 881 player nationally and the No. 62 athlete, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Can confirm that #Texas DB Donovan Duvernay has entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. Duvernay appeared in 8 games this year. His twin brother, Devin, finished 2nd nationally with 106 catches and is primed to be selected in the NFL draft. @AnwarRichardson first— Kaelen Jones (@kaelenjones) January 8, 2020
- Texas’ men’s and women’s tennis are set to open their season ranked among the preseason top-10, according to the Oracle Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The men are ranked No. 2 overall, behind the Florida Gators, and the women are No. 7, the highest rank in the Big 12.
The Longhorns are No. 2️⃣ in the preseason @ITA_Tennis team rankings! It matches their highest preseason ranking in school history (2009)!— Texas Men's Tennis (@TexasMTN) January 8, 2020
Top-ranked was Florida, which Texas will face in Gainesville on Jan. 15!