I see no reason to do a traditional game recap after a contest that won't count in the final standings. So instead, I am just going to give you some random thoughts from the game.
Tarleton State is a pretty good team, but few D-II squads have the size needed to contend with Texas. Tonight in Austin, there were two basketball teams playing. One of those teams expects to make a return trip to the Final Four and compete for an NCAA championship. That team lost by a staggering margin, as the Longhorns ran Tarleton State off the floor.
As a fan of sneaky basketball tricks, I want to adopt Tarleton State guard Michael Hardge as my son. He did Jordan Barnett dirty in the first half, when he inbounded the ball off of Barnett's back and drew a foul. I cannot find a video of it, so instead here is an old clip of Chauncey Billups doing something similar to Kobe Bryant.
If you are going to play an exhibition against a Division II program, you might as well go against one of the best.
Kerwin Roach did something pretty cool. Yea, just watch this.
Roach balled out all game, dropping threes and slashing to the basket off the dribble. And Roach really gets after his man on defense.
All three freshman shot the ball very well. Tevin Mack is one of those players who you sometimes hardly notice, and then you realize that he has four three pointers. Eric Davis isn't as big or physically gifted as his two classmates, but there is a gym rat quality about him. Kerwin Roach was excellent.
High-quality first half emoji analysis: Kerwin Roach . Eric Davis .— Ryan Clark (@LonghornRdTrip) November 7, 2015
Let's help you with that tweet. Texas basketball blogger/superfan Ryan Clark isn't saying Davis is slow. He is stating that he actually sort of looks like a turtle. Which he does. A turtle that can hoop.
Connor Lammert and Shaq Cleare did not play. Lammert was sick, and sat the game out. Cleare had a root canal today. I have never had a root canal, but they are widely acknowledged as being unpleasant.
This had some interesting effects. We saw a few minutes of Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh playing together in the front court. And then we saw a lot of small lineups.
Texas played fast and aggressive, forcing the issue on defense. There was very little full court defense during the Orange and White scrimmage, but tonight was different. Texas pressed for much of the game, and forced some turnovers in the process. I think it is also fair to say that players are still getting the hang of jumping passes and stealing the ball on the press, because the defensive anticipation was fairly inconsistent.
Offensive success is going to be strongly tied to the three ball. Texas tore up the Tarleton State Texans in part because the Longhorns hit approximately 7,000 shots from beyond the arc. There will be some games where they do not, because all teams have bad shooting nights. On some of those bad shooting nights the Longhorns will get run out of the gym. This team is going to rely on the three point shot like no Texas team in recent memory.
I am not sure we can infer much about Ridley and Ibeh from this game. Tarleton State is a good team. They are likely better than some of the D-I opponents Texas will face over the next two months before conference play starts.
But the Texans are no match inside for a large D-I opponent. Texas is such a team. Ridley was exceptional, but this isn't exactly like going up against Kansas.
I haven't mentioned Isaiah Taylor, Javan Felix, Demarcus Holland, or Kendal Yancy yet. Don't take this to mean that they did not play well. All of Shaka Smart's men played well.
China is a week away. The time for hooping is here.