The Texas Longhorns made short work of UTSA tonight, beating the Roadrunners 116-50. Yes, that is a real college basketball score.
Hundreds of Texas fans watched as the Longhorns coasted to an easy win. From the opening tip, this wasn't a fair fight. Texas scored the first ten points, and that was as close as the game would get.
Shaka Smart's team opened both halves in a full court press, and UTSA couldn't crack it, turning the ball over 24 times on the night. The Longhorns scored in transition, and shot 15-30 from the three point line. And the Roadrunners just didn't have anyone who was capable of checking Cameron Ridley, who was just too big and too strong for Brooks Thompson's team. The Texas big man finished the game with 19 points and 9 rebounds.
Texas' three freshmen all got involved in the scoring. Most encouragingly Tevin Mack -- who has struggled through the early part of the season -- scored 17 points on 7-11 shooting. His shots were good ones, and appeared far less rushed than they had in previous games. Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach also played well, scoring 11 and 14 points, respectively.
Everyone got in on the action. Seldom used reserve Jordan Barnett scored 12 points (including 2-3 shooting from three point range) and grabbed five rebounds. And with 6:25 left in the game, 6-6 junior walk on Ryan McClurg checked in. Less than two minutes later, McClurg hit a jump hook that would give Texas its 100th point on the night. A few possessions later, he would hit another. Fellow walk on Danny Newsome went 3-4 from three point range and Joe Schwartz scored a point on a made free throw.
There is not much to say about this game. Texas slaughtered an over-matched opponent. I said in the game preview that the Longhorns would be competing against a standard tonight, and that I would mostly be watching to see if they were engaged and shot the ball well. They met the standard, competing hard at both ends of the floor, even when UTSA was completely buried, and connected on half of their threes.
- Prince Ibeh was not in uniform tonight, suffering a back injury during Texas' previous game against Samford.
- Watching Tevin Mack play was encouraging. While the opponent wasn't very strong, Mack was aggressive and decisive, and was shooting the ball well. Midway through the first half, he knocked down a corner three, and shortly there after stole a ball at mid-court and attacked the basket, drawing a foul. From that point, it was on. Mack is a shooter, and it is good for him to see some shots go down during a live game.
- You know it is a blowout when the Longhorn Network gives you the "Toyota Turning Point" coming out of the under eight minute media time out in the first half. Just moments later, the Longhorns would go ahead 40-9. But arguably, they didn't get the right turning point, which was probably the tip off.
- Early in the second half of the game, it was clear that Texas was under strict orders to feed Cameron Ridley. Texas gave the big man a touch on the first several half court possessions of the period, and he rewarded the team with some easy baskets against opponents who were at somewhere between a 60 and 90 lb disadvantage. (UTSA freshman Nick Allen lists at 6-7 and 205 lbs. Ridley's listed weight is 290 lbs.)
- Kendal Yancy wants more minutes. Or at least he plays that way. He was all over the place tonight, flying around the floor chasing loose balls and rebounds, and making plays in transition. We haven't written much about him yet this season, but tonight he reminded us that he was out there.
- In his post game interview, Shaka Smart talked about how Texas' best half court offensive option is to get the ball into Cameron Ridley. This gives an idea of where he wants to take the offense this season.
- Late in the game, Texas was trying to get a shot for walk on Joe Schwartz, and ran an elevator screen play for him. For those unfamiliar with an elevator screen, the shooter usually runs between two other offensive players who quickly slide together like the doors of an elevator, hopefully closing the doors before the defender can run through them. They have become rather popular in basketball in recent years. Texas will need a late game three point shot at some point in the season, and we may see this play again, but with Javan Felix or Eric Davis running through the screen.