After a lackluster showing against Tennessee State on Monday night, Texas knew they needed to play better if they were going to beat Alabama on the road. The Longhorns responded and got a big win against the Crimson Tide, 66-50. Center Mo Bamba played perhaps the best game of his young collegiate career, collecting a career high 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with 5 blocked shots. Kerwin Roach added 11 points and a team high 5 assists.
The Longhorns continued their season trend of allowing their defense to set the tone for the night. Texas held Alabama to 34.4% from the field and 20% from three. The Longhorns took a 35-28 lead heading into halftime, but allowed Alabama to hang around in the second half behind some big shots from John Petty, who finished with a team high 14 points. The Crimson Tide never got closer than a possession though, and the hot shooting of Eric Davis allowed the Longhorns to eventually put the game away. Davis saw his first action in 2 games after suffering a wrist injury.
Texas will now prepare for the conference opener on December 29th against Kansas at the Erwin Center. The Longhorns are hopeful that starting guard Andrew Jones is close to returning from a broken wrist, possibly in time for the Kansas game or early in Big 12 conference play. The lone non conference game left on the schedule will take place on January 27th in Austin, when Texas hosts Ole Miss as a part of the Big 12/SEC challenge.
Texas picks up commitment from 2019 4-star SG
The Longhorns secured their first commitment of the 2019 class from SG Donovan Williams earlier today
Shaka Smart picked up his first commitment in the 2019 class Wednesday morning, when Fort Bend Elkins SG Donovan Williams verbally pledged to the Longhorns. The 6’5, 180 pound guard took his official visit to Austin this past weekend, and it didn’t take long for him to pull the trigger. Williams chose Texas over Arizona State, Texas A&M, Miami and Georgia.
I am thankful for this game and the experiences and memories that have come along with it. I am grateful for all the people I have met upon this journey that have helped along the way. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to commit to The University of Texas. #HookEm 🤘🏾🐂 pic.twitter.com/V10XPiFRbF
— Donovan Williams💎🔮 (@STG_Stretch) September 12, 2018
Williams is currently ranked as the 111th overall player in the 2019 class, according to the 247sports composite rankings.
Here are some highlights from Williams at the NBPA Top 100 Camp:
Jacob Young announces transfer from Texas Basketball program
University of Texas head coach Shaka Smart lost another player on Thursday, just two days after true freshman Mohamed Bamba announced his decision to leave school early and declare himself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft. Sophmore guard Jacob Young, who averaged 16.2 minutes and 6.2 points per game for the Longhorns this season, announced via twitter that he would seek a transfer.
Thanks to the coaches, teammates, and staff. After my past two years of experiences at UT, I am transferring. I wish Coach Smart and his program all the best. Jacob Young
— Jacob Young (@YEAHLILJ) March 22, 2018
“I appreciate all of the effort that Jacob has given to our University over the past two seasons,” said head coach Shaka Smart in a statement.
Young was a 4-star recruit out of Yates High School in Houston and was ranked as the 23rd best point guard in the country.
NCAA Tournament Preview: Texas vs Nevada
After a one year absence, 10 seed Texas is set to return to the NCAA tournament on Friday against 7 seed Nevada. This will be the Longhorn’s second tournament appearance under third year head coach Shaka Smart, with the first appearance in 2016 ending with a 1st round exit to Northern Iowa on a half-court shot at the buzzer. Nevada returns to the tournament for the second consecutive season, bowing out in the first round last year to Iowa State, 84-73.
On the court, the Wolf Pack are led by the Caleb and Cody Martin. The twins have combined to average 32.7 PPG and 11.6 RPG. Cody is also the team leader in assists at 4.2 per game. There is not much to dislike about Nevada offensively. They shoot well from the field (46.8%), shoot well from 3 (39.8%) and rarely turn the ball over (9.9 turnovers per game). Despite the positives on the offensive end, the Wolf Pack will have several factors working against them heading into the first round match-up. Starting point guard Lindsey Drew has been sidelined for a month with an achilles injury, and his absence has left Nevada short handed. The Wolf Pack will likely only play 7 players against the Longhorns, and Nevada also loves to foul. The inside presence of Jericho Sims and Mo Bamba could cause trouble if Wolf Pack players start finding themselves in foul trouble.
The Longhorns are coming off a 73-69 loss to Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. Bamba returned to action against the Red Raiders after missing the previous 2 games with a toe injury. The star freshman claims to be 100% healthy heading into the NCAA tournament, and it would be a welcome site for Shaka Smart and company to have their star player back on the floor at full health.
With Eric Davis still out due to an ongoing NCAA investigation, Smart will continue to lean on rising guard Jacob Young, who has elevated his play the past few games. Young poured in a career high 29 points against Texas Tech, and played 32 minutes. The Houston native has given the Longhorns a much needed shooting boast from beyond the arc.
Texas and Nevada is set to tip at 3:30 CST on TBS. The winner for face the winner of 2 seed Cincinnati against 15 seed Georgia State. Follow along at HornSports.com for live updates.
March Madness: Longhorns set to face Nevada in opening round of NCAA Tournament
The Texas Longhorns earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening, their 34th appearance, and will face the Nevada Wolfpack in Nashville, Tennessee (South Region) on Friday.
The Longhorns appear as a 10 seed and the Wolfpack, which play in the Mountain West Conference, are the 7-seed in the region. Nevada finished the season at 27-7 (15-3 in the Mountain West).
Nevada is coached by Eric Musselman, who assumed the head coaching position in 2015.
Texas makes their second appearance in the Big Dance under head coach Shaka Smart, who is still in search of his first win in the event. The Longhorns were upset in the first round by Northern Iowa in 2016 on a half-Court buzzer-beater.
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