A little less than 15 hours later, the No. 7 Longhorns are set to host the Rice Owls at the Moody Center with head coaching responsibilities still unclear, though associate head coach Rodney Terry is the most likely replacement for Beard after serving as the head coach at Fresno State and UTEP after leaving the Texas staff of Rick Barnes in 2011 after working under Barnes for nine seasons.
As of early Monday afternoon, Beard was still in custody at Travis County jail.
The game this evening is a mismatched affair between 7-1 Texas and 6-2 Rice, which has blowout losses this season to Pepperdine and Middle Tennessee State and a comeback victory over the Houston Christian team the Longhorns beat 82-31 last month. The Huskies jumped out to a 14-3 lead over the Owls in that game, led 25-9 at the 8:11 mark of the first half, and 41-24 at halftime before Rice went on a 10-0 run out of halftime, but didn’t take the lead until 6:51 left in the game, eventually prevailing 76-67.
In the KenPom.com adjusted efficiency metric, Rice ranks No. 230 nationally under sixth-year head coach Scott Pera with the No. 128 offense and the No. 302 defense while ranking No. 1 in the luck metric.
It’s a guard-dominated group under Pera with Travis Evee and Quinicy Olivari both averaging over 16 points per game and 5.6 combined assists. Those two guards account for 39.4 percent of the team’s made shots, 44.4 percent of the attempted shots, 47.5 percent of the made free throws, 55.9 percent of the made threes, 34.6 percent of the assists, and 38.9 percent of the turnovers. Let’s just say they’re high usage, with Olivari currently on a hot streak after scoring 30 points in a win over Texas State and 27 points in a win over Prairie View A&M.
The most difficult matchup for the Longhorns might be 6’11 forward Max Fiedler, a junior who might be the most well-rounded player for the Owls — the Florida product averages 8.3 points per game, leads the team in rebounding at 7.0 per game, and serves as a primary playmaker offensively by leading the team with 5.4 assists per game.
Texas leads the all-time series against its former SWC opponent 138-59 with the last meeting a 66-55 win by the Horns in 2014.
At home, the Longhorns boast a 28.3-point scoring margin and plus-8.3 turnover margin in six games at the Moody Center. In Saturday’s win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Texas recorded a season-high 30 assists on 37 made baskets.
After a slow start, forward Timmy Allen has come on in recent games with 17 assists and only three turnovers while scoring 21 points in last Tuesday’s loss to Illinois in New York.
How to watch
Time: 7 p.m. Central
TV: Longhorn Network