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Quick thoughts from No. 12 Texas’ 82-31 win over Houston Christian

Well, that escalated quickly.

NCAA Basketball: Houston Christian at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that one felt like it was over almost seconds after it started. And it basically was.

Texas jumped out big early and never looked back, improving to 2-0 with an 81-32 win over Houston Christian. Here are a few quick thoughts from the game.

We got our first flashes of Dillon Mitchell. The true freshman had a fairly quite first outing as a Longhorn, but he looked the part of a former five-star, top-10 recruit on Thursday. He had a couple highlight dunks, including a poster left-hand jam off of a baseline back cut and a chase-down block in transition worthy of its own highlight. Yet his greatest impact was on the offensive glass, where he snagged eight offensive rebounds, which is remarkable regardless of the competition level. His free throw shooting is a work in progress — he went 0-4 — but overall, you saw some solid signs of his upside throughout his 10-point, 12-rebound performance.

Texas might have a glaring weakness. Two games isn’t a large sample size, to be sure, but the Longhorns are shooting an impressively-poor 7-36 from beyond the arc thus far. Last game against UTEP, Texas was just 4-14, and they started 0-14 on Thursday before Sir’Jabari Rice finally connected on one. And Texas made just two more from that point and those came from walk-ons, finishing 3-22. The roster makeup of this team isn’t one that would suggest Texas would be a strong three-point shooting group, but it’s honestly surprising just how badly they’ve struggled early on. They simply have to be better — much better — from deep, or Texas is going to shoot itself out of more than a few games this season.

Free throws ain’t free. Texas was just 9-19 from the line tonight. It’s not a major concern at this point, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

The defense doesn’t appear to have gone anywhere. Defense is always the calling card of Chris Beard coached teams, and this season probably won’t be an exception. The competition level hasn’t been much to write home about, of course, but the Longhorns have been locked in, disciplined, and imposing on that side of the floor.

Now we’re about to get a chance to really assess this team. You can’t really take too much away from wins over UTEP and Houston Christian. But next up is No. 2 Gonzaga, so we should learn much more about this group next Wednesday.