The Texas Longhorns were back on the hardwood on Monday night, only this time, they took the game to the historic Gregory Gym to host the Sam Houston Bearkats.
Here are a few initial thoughts from Texas’ latest double-digit win.
Texas needs need another game at Gregory Gym. This was one of the more electric Texas basketball environments I can remember watching in recent years, which led to a generally more entertaining game than what we usually see in the extra large library known as the Frank Erwin Center. Of course, Chris Beard did a lot of heavy lifting to create this environment with a pre-game party and free admission, but in any case, it’s something Texas should try to revisit before long.
Marcus Carr found his touch. Carr came to Texas after averaging just shy of 20 points last season at Minnesota, but things weren’t flowing nearly as easily early on — he was averaging just 6.4 points through his first five games as a Longhorn after shooting just 35.3 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from deep. At some point, it was expected that he’d return to form, and he looked the part on Monday, dropping 19 points and hitting some timely buckets when Sam Houston was trying to hang around. Now, the hope is Carr can use his best effort in Austin as a springboard for the rest of the season.
Sooner or later, Texas’ lack of interior size is going to be an issue. Not just on a a single-game basis as was the case against Gonzaga, but it will be something teams actively try to exploit. Getting the 6’9 Vanderbilt transfer, Dylan Disu, into the lineup for the first time in the fairly near future should help a ton, but until then, this is just a team that lacks the size we’ve seen in Austin in recent years. That’s especially true when Tre Mitchell goes to the bench, and that was evident on Monday with Texas getting out-rebounded 29 to 27 and allowing 12 offensive boards.
The offense still has some kinks to iron out, but the potential is there. That much was to be expected given the level of offensive talent on the team — seven guys averaged double figures last season, though Disu is yet to actually play. A veteran backcourt getting flustered by pressure was a little concerning, but it seems like slowly but surely, guys are figuring out where they fit into the offense and attacking. You’ll see the offensive droughts where it’s clear that this team hasn’t played much together, and then you’ll look up a few minutes later and the lead has ballooned to 20 just because a few shotmakers hit their shots. I don’t think this will become an elite offense, but it’s one that can absolutely change a game in a few minutes when they’re clicking.