Following a 3-0 start to the season, the Texas Longhorns faced their first true test of the season and failed miserably, falling 77-58 to a Northwestern Wildcats team that controlled the majority of the evening. Less than 24 hours later, Shaka Smart’s young bunch of ‘Horns are presented with an opportunity at redemption meeting with the Colorado Buffaloes for third place in the Legends Classic.
Much like Texas, Colorado failed its first test of the season against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but did so in a much more competitive contest. In what initially looked to be a blowout saw the Buffs claw back and eventually trim what was once an 18-point lead to only five points two separate times in the final two minutes.
Each are now faced with the possibility of leaving Brooklyn without a victory.
For the ‘Horns, the key to bouncing back will be overcoming the youthful mistakes that plagued them against Northwestern — rushed and unorganized offense, turnovers and consistently being out of place defensively. To make that task taller, Texas is pitted against yet another veteran team in Colorado, which features four seniors and a junior in the starting lineup. The personnel matchup shouldn’t prove too damaging, as the Buffs essentially play small ball with four guards/wings and an undersized big man. To that end, Texas will be without freshman center James Banks, who will sit today following his Flagrant 2 ejection late in the game against Northwestern.
For a guard-heavy rotation at Texas with a shortage of reliable and experienced post talent, the ‘Horns can do enough to get back into the win column if a few more shots fall than yesterday and the turnovers are limited.