Tag Archives: Jordan Hamilton

Texas Men’s Basketball Hits The Hardwood

Believe it or not, while Longhorn nation has been dwelling on the end of a miserable 5-7 losing football season and the departure of several top assistant coaches, the Texas men’s basketball team has hit the court inside the Frank Erwin Center once again, beginning the season in the top 25 along with several other Big 12 teams, including (as of this posting), #3 Kansas, #6 Kansas State, #9 Baylor, #13 Missouri, #22 Texas, and #25 Texas A&M.

New 'Horns on the Hardwood: Tristan Thompson (left) and Corey Jospeth (right)

With some key, youthful additions (see also: Corey Joseph and Tristan Thompson), and some key departures (see also: Shawn Williams), head coach Rick Barnes has the ‘Horns off to a strong start, and one that hopefully won’t implode like last season. With shooting guard Jordan Hamilton back to launch three-pointers (averaging 20.0 ppg), work horse Gary Johnson continuing to lead the team in rebounding (7.6 rpg), Thompson adding his big-body presence both offensively and defensively (11.6 ppg, 2.3 bpg), and Joseph chipping in with court presence and ball handling (less than 1.0 on assists-to-turnover ratio), you have to like the game Texas brings to the court each night.

Let’s have a look at the results to-date, as well as what’s coming as we turn the calendar to 2011. The full listing of Big 12 conference schools schedules and their results can be found at Big 12 Sports.

2010-2011 Men’s Basketball Schedule/Results
Monday, Nov. 8 (ESPNU)
Texas (0-0) 83, Navy 52

Wednesday, Nov. 10 (ESPNU)
Texas (1-0) 89, Louisiana Tech 58

Thursday, Nov. 18 (ESPN2)
Texas (2-0) 90, #16 Illinois 84

Friday, Nov. 19 (ESPN2)
Texas (3-0) 66, #4 Pittsburgh 68

Tuesday, Nov. 23 (LSN)
Texas (3-1) 84, Sam Houston State 50

Saturday, Nov. 27 (LSN)
Texas (4-1) 62, Rice 59

Wednesday, Dec. 1 (LSN)
Texas (5-1) 76, Lamar 55

Sunday, Dec. 5 (FSN)
Texas (6-1) 56, USC 73

Saturday, Dec. 11 (LSN)
Texas (6-2) 101, Texas State 65

Tuesday, Dec. 14 (7:00 p.m. CT, LSN)
Texas (7-1) 70 v. North Florida 48

Saturday, Dec. 18 (3:00 p.m., CBS)
Texas (8-2) v. North Carolina

Wednesday, Dec. 22 (6:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Texas v. #15 Michigan State

Friday, Dec. 31 (1:00 p.m. CT, LSN)
Texas v. Coppin State

Tuesday, Jan. 4 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPNU)
Texas v. Arkansas

Saturday, Jan. 8 (2:30 p.m. CT, ESPN)
Texas v. #4 Connecticut

Tuesday, Jan. 11 (6:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Texas v. Texas Tech

Saturday, Jan. 15 (3:00 p.m. CT, Big 12 Network)
Texas v. oklahoma

Wednesday, Jan. 19 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Texas v. #25 Texas A&M

Saturday, Jan. 22 (3:00 p.m. CT, CBS)
Texas v. #3 Kansas

Wednesday, Jan. 26 (6:30 p.m. CT, ESPN or ESPN2)
Texas v. Oklahoma State

Saturday, Jan. 28 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPNU)
Texas v. #12 Missouri

Monday, Jan. 31 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN)
Texas v. #25 Texas A&M

Saturday, Feb. 5 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPNU)
Texas v. Texas Tech

Wednesday, Feb. 9 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Texas v. oklahoma

Saturday, Feb. 12 (3:00 p.m. CT, ESPN/ESPN2)
Texas v. #9 Baylor

Wednesday, Feb. 16 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Texas v. Oklahoma State

Saturday, Feb. 19 (12:30 p.m. CT, Big 12 Network)
Texas v. Nebraska

Tuesday, Feb. 22 (7:00 p.m. CT, Big 12 Network)
Texas v. Iowa State

Saturday, Feb. 26 (2:00 p.m. CT, Big 12 Network)
Texas v. Colorado

Monday, Feb. 28 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN)
Texas v. #6 Kansas State

Saturday, Mar. 5 (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN)
Texas v. #9 Baylor

Keep an eye out for more basketball coverage in the coming weeks, especially as Texas heads in to the meat of their non-conference and conference play.

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Doh! Dogus is done…

Texas’ basketball team has been in a serious slump lately, losing six of their last 10 games after a 17-0 start. The latest polls have the Longhorns dropping to #21 nationally, and the conference schedule has taken its toll. Now, starting point guard Dogus Balbay, who started 22 games for the ‘Horns this season, joins Varez Ward on the bench with an injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

Balbay tore the ACL in his left knee early in the first half in Saturday’s win at Texas Tech. Balbay is, by far, the team’s best on-ball defender, yet his ability to lead the offense has hampered the ‘Horns throughout the season. So, while the injury leaves Texas thin at the point guard position, perhaps his injury isn’t such a bad thing for Texas’ long-term success in 2009-2010.

While no one wants to see injuries decimate a legitimate NCAA tourney team, Balbay wasn’t a threat on the offensive end of the court. Time and time again, Balbay would penetrate the lane, only to dribble around in circles and come back out to the top of the key without dishing the ball, putting up a shot, or drawing a foul. While he was Texas’ leading assist man when he was on the court (3.9 apg), his inconsistency to produce points (3.8 ppg) in Barnes’ ball-screen offense was offensive in itself.

It’s been no secret that with Balbay and senior Justin Mason starting at the guard position, Texas has been playing 3-on-5 in most of their games. Until mid-season, that worked for the ‘Horns, as Damion James, Avery Bradley, or Dexter Pittman would step up to lead the team to victory. Now, Barnes will be forced to start J’Covan Brown or transfer Jai Lucas at the point, with help from Mason and perhaps Bradley shifting over to run the offense when either of them needs a blow.

What does this mean for the rest of the season? Well, Texas does lose a great defender, but it also forces Barnes to insert a player in to the line-up who is more aggressive when it comes to putting the ball up and potentially scoring points. While Mason is a good defender in his own right, if Brown, Lucas and Jordan Hamilton can continue to improve on the defensive end, and make better shot selection on the offensive end, Texas has more potential to create opportunities and score points to help get and maintain a lead, and then close games out.

Balbay’s only a junior, so he’ll be back, and Eyes Of TX wishes him a speedy recovery. But, the focus for this team is here and now, and the time has come for Brown and Lucas to show that they are willing and capable of putting in the effort and control to lead this team deep in to the NCAA tournament come March.

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Season Preview: Texas Longhorns Basketball’s Yellow Brick Road Leads to Indy

While Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley and the rest of the Texas football team wind down their to-date undefeated season and a possible berth in the National Championship in Pasadena, Calif., in January, the #3-ranked ‘Horns basketball squad have taken the court in the Drum in 2009 with one goal in mind: make the Final Four in Indianapolis in March. The Burnt Orange faithful don’t need reminders of Texas’ painful early second round exit in last year’s tournament against the Duke Blah Devils and Mike Wizzuwooski. Mark Eyes Of TX’s words, this year will be different and here’s why:

After flirting with the possibility of entering the NBA draft, both Dexter Pittman and Damion James decided to stay for their senior year. With Pittman’s 6’10”, 290-pound frame clogging the middle and James’ Energizer bunny playing style, Texas already has two deadly weapons who can dominate the game on both offense and defense.

Adding to the experience Pittman and James bring to the Longhorns, head coach Rick Barnes used his Wil’ E. Coyote super genius recruiting prowess to sign the third best freshman class in the nation, which includes guards Avery Bradley and J’Covan Brown and forward Jordan Hamilton. These three frosh are instant impact players and their contributions were witnessed in Texas’ first win of the season against UC-Irvine. Don’t count out forward Shawn Williams this season either, another top recruit brought in as a scorer but who will also provide a strong rebounding and defensive presence.

There’s an old saying in basketball, “Deep benches, deep in the tournament.” Well, maybe that was made up on the couch, but it definitely applies to the success of past 25-win teams with multiple Final Four appearances. With nine returning players from last year’s team and the additions of junior guard Jai Lucas from Florida and six freshman (four of which could start any game), Barnes has one of the deepest, most talented teams in his tenure at Texas. It will be interesting to see how Barnes uses the veteran leadership from Gary Johnson, Dogus Balbay, Varez Ward and Justin Mason – all starters at one point last year – in combination with Pittman, James and the four freshman phenoms. This might lead to various starting lineups during the season, but at least Barnes has those options and can call on anyone from the bench for an immediate impact.

Although Texas has the coach, the talent and the fan base to get through the season with more than 25 wins and advance deep into March, there are a few roadblocks in the way. Oh, just the #1 Kansas Jayhawks, #2 Michigan State Spartans, #6 North Carolina Tar Heels, and #12 Connecticut Huskies to name a few – all viable, NCAA championship-caliber teams, giving the ‘Horns the most difficult schedule in the Big 12 Conference this year. Of course, those aforementioned games don’t even count the two tip-offs against #17 oklahoma this year in the hardwood version of the Red River Rivalry. Who knows what Barnes was thinking when he made the 2009 schedule, but there’s something to be said for challenging his team this year – not a bad move considering Texas might face these teams again in the NCAA tournament. If Texas can escape those top 25 match-ups with a 4-2 record and stay healthy the rest of the season, the Horns are on their way to a 25 wins or more season and a Big 12 Championship matchup against Kansas in March.

Let’s hope Texas’ season-opening 89-42 victory against UC-Irvine is a tell-tale sign of how the rest of season will pan out. With five players scoring in double digits (Pittman 21, James 21, Brown 13, Hamilton 12 and Bradley 10) and 13 total players getting minutes during the game, the ‘Horns showed they can score from every position and Barnes demonstrated his willingness to keep the team fresh. Check out these highlights from the game, which includes a sweet alley-oop dunk from Brown to James and a few moments of greatness from Bradley and Hamilton.

The Horns will try to keep the momentum in the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic tournament against Western Carolina Wednesday (11/18) at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU and Iowa next Monday (11/23) at 8:45 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the season. Keep your ‘Horns up!

Thanks to BigBopper for his Texas Longhorns basketball contribution!

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