In April of 2011, I was siting at home with a weekend to kill. I had just resigned a job and was waiting for a new one to start. My wife was out of town and I didn't have much going on, so I decided to write a fan post looking back at the Texas basketball team that season. A day or two later, I got an email from Peter Bean inviting me to join BON as an author. It was very polite.
Peter never told me that I would have to write about a game like this one. Of course, I also wrote about the Chaminade game, so I am getting the hang of this.
Here is how my day went. This morning, it was pouring rain, and I had to take the dogs out. Then I went to work and had wall-to-wall meetings where we argued about the same things we have been arguing about for months. After that, towards the end of the day, I got a little work done. I got home, made some dinner, and kicked back to relax and watch the Texas game. It was not relaxing. I would have been better off waking up this morning, smashing a few glass bottles on my kitchen floor, opening a can of paint stripper, pouring it on the broken glass, rolling around in the mix of shards and methylene chloride, taking a shower, and calling it a day.
Anyway, on to the game. I guess I knew rationally that the outcome that occurred tonight was in the range of possibilities. Tomorrow morning I will be calm, cool, collected. But tonight, I cannot put lipstick on this pig. The pig will not sit still, and does not like the shade that I have selected. Maybe she prefers lip gloss; she says it's fun and frisky. Who knows?
The game was pretty much a disaster from the start. With 16:54 left in the first half, Cameron Ridley hustled down the court and got a fast break dunk to put Texas up 5-4. I shouted something -- I cannot remember what. From that point on, the game was a merciless beat down. Sheldon McClellan scored 15 points for Texas, but basically was terrible. Ioannis Papapetrou, one of the keys for this team going forward, had a nightmare of a night, with five turnovers and 3-7 shooting. Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland struggled. Texas didn't guard or rebound. Only Jaylen Bond played well, scoring 12 points and grabbing five offensive boards.
Kansas State beat up on Texas in every way imaginable. Thomas Gipson killed Rick Barnes' team inside, going 7-10 from the field to score 17 points. Omari Lawrence and Angel Rodriguez scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Texas is not as good as Kansas State. But the Texas team we saw tonight was far worse than we have seen in a while. It was performance on par with the Chaminade game.
Still, I am the optimist, and want to take Chet Baker's advice: look for the silver lining and try to find the sunny side of life. This Saturday, Texas gets TCU at home. And at some point this season will end.
Tomorrow I will feel better, and I will be giving all of you a pep talk. I will be telling you to cheer up; telling you the future is bright. But I just can't do that tonight.