For the third straight game under acting head coach Rodney Terry, the No. 7 Texas Longhorns return to Austin and the Moody Center to host the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Wednesday looking for a more comfortable win than last Monday’s overtime victory over the Rice Owls.
And while Rice presents some issues because of their passing big man Mark Fiedler and two talented guards, Louisiana is arguably the better team at 7-1 and ranked No. 133 in KenPom.com’s adjusted efficiency metric compared to No. 191 for Rice.
If there’s a knock on the Ragin’ Cajuns on the way to that record, it’s a strength of schedule that ranks No. 284 in the country. The loss came against Drake, barely a top-100 team, and the best win may be against Louisiana Tech, the No. 158 team.
Head coach Bob Marlin’s group has the No. 96 offense and the No. 191 defense in adjusted efficiency. Jordan Brown, a 6’11 forward who transferred from Arizona, may be a difficult matchup for Texas and enters the game averaging 19.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game. Inside and outside the arc, Brown is an efficient player when he gets shots up, making 59 percent of his field-goal attempts, but is also tied for the team lead with 2.8 turnovers per game. North Texas transfer forward Terrence Lewis averages 13.8 points per game and is the team’s leading rebounder at 9.2 per game while St. John’s transfer guard Greg Williams also averages 13.8 points per game and shoots 44 percent from beyond the arc. As a team, the Ragin’ Cajuns shoot 41.2 percent from three.
Texas enter’s Wednesday’s contest after recording 22 assists on 28 made field goals in Sunday’s win over Stanford in Dallas, continuing the season-long trend of sharing the ball well and protecting it — the Longhorns boast a 1.6 team assist-to-turnover ratio (180 assists, 114 turnovers).
Taking the ball away has been a strength, too, as Texas has turned over its opponent at least 17 times in nine of 10 games, helping to produce a 223-78 advantage in points off turnovers.
Texas senior guard Marcus Carr is also heating up in December, earning Big 12 Conference Player of the Week honors after averaging 22.5 points per game, 4.0 assists per game, and 3.0 rebounds per game while hitting 15-of-29 (.517) field goals, including 6-of-13 (.462) threes, and 9-of-12 (.750) free throws in the wins over Rice and Stanford.
Wednesday’s game marks the first meeting between the two programs since 1999 with the all-times series sitting at 2-2.
How to watch
Time: 7 p.m. Central
TV: Longhorn Network