UT Basketball

Discussion in '2018 NBA Draft' started by Dubious, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]

    The Longhorns will have seven new faces on their basketball roster this season, comprising the third-best recruiting class in the country. From left to right, the new players are Matt Hill, Damion James, Harrison Smith, Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustin, Justin Mason and Dexter Pittman.


    New faces with high hopes
    Durant leads a heralded freshman class that some believe will be special.
    By Mark Rosner
    AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Enjoy the moment. Savor each performance. But don't look too far ahead, certainly not beyond next spring.

    The Texas Longhorns, who begin basketball practice on Friday, introduced seven freshmen to the media on Wednesday, unveiling the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the country. In another era, that might have suggested a program building toward national title contention in the next few years.

    And now? The best of the freshmen, 6-foot-9-inch, 225-pound wing player Kevin Durant, already is projected by some as the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft next June.

    "I would say that he's the most talented player we've coached," Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said.

    Barnes has 11 players on scholarship, nine of them freshmen and sophomores. Only one, sophomore guard A.J. Abrams, has much experience. So Durant, who regards himself as a "Tracy McGrady type," versatile enough to score inside and out like the Houston Rockets star, will be cast as the primary player right away.

    "He will be asked to do something very few freshmen are ever asked to do: put an entire team on his back for an entire season," said ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla, a former college head coach who worked for Barnes as an assistant at Providence.

    "The scary part is that he might be able to do it."

    Barnes hopes that is not necessary.

    "I hate to have to do that to a player," Barnes said.

    Longhorns junior J.D. Lewis said he'll be happy to have Durant as a teammate even if it is for just one season.

    "He's gonna help us more than anybody else could," Lewis said.

    The preseason coaches and media polls have not been released. Texas, because of its youth, might not be ranked highly. But, Fraschilla said, "I think you will see a Texas team that will be very dangerous come February. When you have so many new players, defense is something that takes half a season. And when they get to the NCAA tournament in March, they'll be a mystery. You don't know how freshmen will react to pressure."

    In 1992, Michigan's Fab Five group of freshmen, Chris Webber being the best of them, reached the NCAA championship game before losing to Duke.

    The recent standard for freshman success is Carmello Anthony, who led Syracuse to the 2003 NCAA championship. Another Syracuse freshman, guard Gerry McNamara, converted six three-point shots against Kansas in the title game. But the starting lineup included a senior and two sophomores, one of whom, Hakim Warrick, blocked a three-point attempt by Michael Lee to secure the title.

    Barnes is likely to start four freshmen: Durant, 6-9 Matt Hill, 6-7 Damion James and guard D.J. Augustin. A fifth freshman, guard Justin Mason, will play a lot, too.

    The players do not suffer from a lack of confidence.

    "Damion says we're the best duo in college basketball," Durant said.

    James says Durant is the one who made that assessment. Either way, James said, "People are gonna love to see me and Kevin on the same team."

    This group of freshmen is the second in the past three years to arrive at Texas with big expectations. Barnes' five-player class in 2004, led by McDonald's All-Americans LaMarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson and Mike Williams, was ranked No. 1 in the country.

    The players spoke of sticking around long enough to win a national championship. Last season, when Aldridge was a sophomore, he projected himself as a four-year college player.

    Instead, Aldridge became the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, leaving school early along with Gibson and junior P.J. Tucker, who arrived at Texas one season ahead of the big recruiting class. Williams transferred to Cincinnati after this past season.

    Only Connor Atchley, a 6-9 redshirt sophomore, remains from that 2004 group.

    Texas finished 30-7 last season, losing to LSU in the NCAA Atlanta Regional final.

    Now Barnes starts over, with little experience on his team. But with Durant.

    "People talk about that 'it' thing," Barnes said. "You know when a guy's got 'it.' And I can tell you. He's got 'it.' . . . You can talk mental toughness. You can talk passion. You can talk wanting the ball when the game's on the line."

    Notes: Dexter Pittman, the 6-10 freshman who arrived in Austin weighing nearly 370 pounds in early June, said he is down to 309. "Dexter's lost a whole person," Barnes said. "He's put himself in position where he might be able to help us." . . . Barnes said Augustin is the most pure point guard on the team since T.J. Ford left in 2003. "He thinks pass first, and shoots only when he has to," Barnes said. "He has great vision. Players know that if they get to where they are supposed to be, he'll put the ball where it's supposed to be."


    http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/longhorns/10/12/12texmen.html
     
  2. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    Oops. I posted it in the wrong forum.
    Somebody move it if you can.
     
  3. bottlerocket

    bottlerocket Member

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    When y’all get Napoleon Dynamite on your team?
     
  4. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    He's a freshman.
     
  5. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    Durant looks like he has already filled out some, the kid was crazy skinny during the McDonald's game.

    The one guy that we should watch out for is Pittman, he has great size to go along with a nice touch under the basket. He dominated the Texas H.S. All-Star game, kind of reminds me of a Big Baby type player (with height). Both don't look like bball players with a lot of skill but can finish strong and really ignite a team.

    This will be a very interesting team to watch next season.
     
  6. Jturbofuel

    Jturbofuel Member

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    For the whorns sake they better hope Pittman didn't get his quickness from his father if so he will start making a move today and finish sometime next week.
     
  7. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    I'm actually very much looking foward to this season. It will be very up and down with the youth of this team. I'm hoping to get there in person to see Durant at least once before he takes off for the NBA. I think DJ Augustine ultimately become the floor general in the mold of TJ Ford.

    It should be a fun team to watch, especially after they get some time to gel. Come March, no one will want to play them...
     
  8. Pocket Rockets

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    the football team doesn't look too hot right now...

    go bears!
     
  9. Plowman

    Plowman Contributing Member

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    Can't wait until UT plays UH.The Coogs are on the rise and by the time the Longhorns get around to playing us the rivalry will be long and strong!
     
  10. likeamockinird

    likeamockinird Contributing Member

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    I'm an Aggie but here is my unbiased opinion of the Texas bball team.They have loads of talent and I think they really have a chance to surprise alot of people and be like a Kansas last year. I think they have a potential problem with at least Durant and James and maybe others all wanting to be the man and impress NBA scouts. If they can learn to play unselfish and as a team they will be very good. I can see them possibly being better than A&M, despite all the preseason hype, and even possibly, but not likely, giving Kansas a run for the conference.
     
  11. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    I think you're probably right about UT. If Barnes can keep Durant and James under control and playing within the team, they should be good. I think I'm lmore looking foward to seeing DJ Augustine play. I like the pure point guards. From all accounts, he's TJ Ford with a better jumper.

    As far as the Aggies go, I'm just not sold, yet. That's more based their history of being terrible at basketball than anything. I do think they've got some great talent in Law and Joseph. Depth has to be a bit of a concern. I see them finishing no worse than in the top 4 of the Big 12 along with Kansas, UT, and OSU. Barring catastrophe, they'll be in the tourney for the 2nd year in a row. That has to be some sort of record for A&M.
     
  12. King of 40 Acres

    King of 40 Acres Contributing Member

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    Couldn't find a current UT BBall thread but wanted to bump this one up.

    UT just got ranked number 10 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

    http://sportspolls.usatoday.com/ncaa/basketball-men/polls/coaches-poll/2014/1/

    1 Kentucky (24)
    2 Arizona (3)
    3 Duke (2)
    4 Wisconsin (3)
    5 Kansas
    6 North Carolina
    7 Florida
    8 Virginia
    9 Louisville
    10 Texas
    11 Wichita State
    12 Villanova
    13 Gonzaga
    14 Iowa State
    15 Connecticut
    16 VCU
    17 San Diego State
    18 Michigan State
    19 Oklahoma
    20 Ohio State
    21 Nebraska
    22 SMU
    23 Michigan
    24 Syracuse
    25 Iowa
     
  13. UtilityPlayer

    UtilityPlayer Member

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    Call me in late March for College Bball , regular season doesn't mean all that much. Matchups decide the fate ....
     
  14. Hustle Town

    Hustle Town Contributing Member

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    Can someone please post the ESPN Insider article on Texas from Fran Fraschilla? Will rep.
     
  15. King of 40 Acres

    King of 40 Acres Contributing Member

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    I just lost my insider access (it expired) but if I re-up I'll post it here. and to the previous comment. I'm just trying to get excited about a UT team that actually has a good chance of competing for something this season.
     
  16. ooooaaaah!

    ooooaaaah! Member

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    Best team since T.J. Ford, James Mouton, Royal Ivey, James Thomas, and Boddicker/Buckman. Good mix of talent and experience, which is rare with all the sophomores leaving early.
     
  17. UtilityPlayer

    UtilityPlayer Member

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    I didn't mean it to your comment , I was just speaking about the March Madness in general. Regular season matters the least in this sport as any sport along with the NHL.
     
  18. BigBird

    BigBird Contributing Member

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    bucket hats
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. Bob Barker 007

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    Yeah, the basketball is going to be good this year, and we did not even have to pay off a Dallas AAU team to get our talent.
     
  20. cdain3

    cdain3 Member

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    cough...A&M...cough
     
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