The Texas Longhorns lost another close game to a ranked team last night. Â Michael Dixon led the Tigers with 21 points on 9-10 shooting, including the eventual game winning layup that put Mizzou up 1 with 31 seconds left. Â Texas had a chance to win the game on the final possession, but came up just short. Â Coming out of the timeout with the ball and 27 seconds left on the clock, Texas got the ball to its big shot maker J’Covan Brown. Â There was only one problem, Missouri came out in a zone and it looked like they caught the Longhorns by surprise. Â Brown then threw a cross court pass to Myck Kabongo, who was wide open by the Texas sideline. Â Instead of calling a timeout to set up another play, Rick Barnes allowed his team to figure it out on the court as he has been doing all season long. Â And the result was the same it has been all season long. Â Kabongo drove to the basket, and shot a floater that fell just short. Rick Barnes and his staff ran onto the court screaming for a foul, but none was called. Â Replays and pictures show that Myck Kabongo was fouled by Matt Pressey on his shot attempt to win the game. Â The Big 12 Coordinator of Officials for Men’s Basketball, Mr. Curtis Shaw even agreed that Kabongo was fouled on the shot attempt. Â In reality, all that doesn’t matter because no foul was called and it counts as another loss for Texas. Â A close loss, but it’s still a loss.
Ever since the game ended, Longhorn fans have been looking for places to assign blame. Â Some blame Kabongo for taking the last shot, some say it was Rick Barnes’ fault for not calling a timeout, a few have said official Gerry Pollard should not have been allowed to officiate the game being a former Missouri police officer. Â The fact of the matter is that the players lost this game. Â All of them collectively. Â They shot 2-12(17%) from 3 point range and only made 67% of their free throws. Â In my post leading up to the game I said that Texas would need to make shots to win the game. Â They did not. Â You aren’t going to beat many teams shooting 17% from 3 and 67% from the free throw line, let alone the #4 team in the country.
Blame was being assigned every where by Barnes after the loss last night. Â He was right to be upset that no foul was called, but griping about it in the post game press conference didn’t change a thing. Â He also said J’Covan Brown was supposed to cut down the lane, and it appeared that the lane was open for Brown to cut. Â But that was not the play that was called. Â The bottom line is that Texas had another timeout, Barnes should’ve called the timeout to get the exact play he wanted. Â It wasn’t like it was just a shot to beat the shot clock, it was a shot to win the game. Â A shot that could’ve given his team the resume strengthening win it so badly needs. Â The win it still searching for with less than a month left in the season.
What Lies Ahead for Texas:
A date with last place Texas Tech on Saturday in Austin. Â The Longhorns badly need this win. Â A loss here, and Texas fans should start worrying about whether or not their team will even make the NIT
Keys to Success for Texas:
– Make shots: This point in the season would be as good as any for Texas to start shooting the ball well again.
– Stay confident, stick together: Fans should panic, but the players shouldn’t. Â They control their destiny. Â They have shown they can play with anybody in the Big 12. Â They need to stay together, stay focused and keep playing hard. Â The wins will come.
– Don’t overlook Tech: They’re in last place, but Texas is in 2nd to last place right now. Â The Longhorns should come out looking to put Tech away early.
– Regain confidence: This is a great game for Texas to regain some of its confidence and swagger. Â No doubt losing close games is taking a toll on them. Â They need to win this game and win big for them to start believing they can win again.
J’Covan Brown led TexasÂ with 20 points
Julien Lewis added 12 points