Offense was optional in this rough and ugly game for both sides. The Texas Longhorns shot 20-52 on the night and Michigan was close behind them, shooting 20-48 from the floor. The two teams together tallied 26 turnovers and neither did an adequate job of rebounding on offense. Texas had just with 7 offensive rebounds and Michigan just 5.
For most of the game it was all Michigan as they took the lead with 18 minutes in the first half, at one point leading by 10, before the Longhorns whittled it down with 14:40 left in the game. The run began as Texas fought prior to the half, with James Banks stealing the ball and throwing it down to Kerwin Roach who funneled it down to Tevin Mack to start a run. Mack then turned around to knock down a three, sending the Longhorns into the half down by three on the road.
From there it was a back and forth fight with the lead never extending past 3 points for either team. The Longhorns missed a series of easy layups that could have put the team up by an insurmountable number, and down the line Michigan couldn’t pick the correct shot.
Neither team could execute off the other team’s blunders.
It came down to the final seconds. Texas was unable to get much going in the paint all night long, and Jarrett Allen fouling out with a minute left didn’t help the Longhorns maintain the lead in the last seconds. After Michigan’s Moritz Wagner hit the front end of his 1-and-1 and missed the second, Texas whiffed on the rebound and Michigan got the ball and put it back in for a three-point play to put the Wolverines up by 1 with 20 seconds left. After futile efforts by Texas on offense trying to get the ball down low unsuccessfully, the Longhorns put up several poor shots. The end result was a scoreless 2 minutes of basketball to end the game.
The confusion and poor offense was interspersed with amazing shows of talent and capability. The Shaka press worked like a charm, forcing numerous late game turnovers that turned into easy layups that Texas missed. In the end, it was once again youth and inconsistency that lost the day for the Longhorns.
The game ball for the Longhorns goes to Tevin Mack, who once again has been the brightest spot for this Texas Basketball team this year. Mack was the only player for the Longhorns to eclipse double digit points, with 18, shooting 5-11 and 3-6 from three-point land.
The only other player who had a significant impact on the floor was Jarrett Allen. Allen, as a big man, guided the ball to his teammates for 5 assists despite having limited playing time due to foul trouble all game long.
Once shots start falling for the Longhorns, players like Eric Davis find their groove, and players like James Banks, Andrew Jones, and Jarrett Allen become comfortable with the new level of play. If all cylinders are clicking, this Texas team could be a wrecking ball.
Until then they’re 4-4 and inconsistent.