Couldn’t go to bed without issuing a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Rick Barnes and the Texas Longhorns basketball team for a monster win at Oklahoma State.
The win gives the Longhorns a sweep of the Top 5 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys and gave Rick Barnes his 6th consecutive 20-win season at Texas.
Before Texas’ win tonight, Oklahoma State was projected as a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and also held the longest home court winning streak in the country; the Cowboys had won 29 consecutive games at home.
I don’t know how much you have followed the Longhorns this year, but Texas was 14-3 when they lost their best player, PJ Tucker, to academics in early January. This followed a string of injuries that included a season-ending injury to LaMarcus Aldridge, one of the top three freshmen the country.
As this story on ESPN.com stated, “Texas had to deal with losing its top inside threat, the season ending hip injury to freshman LaMarcus Aldridge, and various injuries to guards Kenton Paulino, Sydmill Harris, and center Jason Klontz.”
The Horns entered Stillwater with only 8 scholarship players available to play on Saturday night. Then disaster struck when Texas lost one of their starters at the very beginning of the second half!!!!
Barnes: No Whine Zone
Since I have been following the Horns this year, I have been keeping some material on them…including some quotes that I have enjoyed.
“You talk to Rick Barnes and it is like a no whine zone. No complaining. No excuses.”
February 12, 2005 ESPNPlus color commentator in broadcast of Texas’ win over Kansas State
“Rick Barnes can flat coach this game.”
– February 12, 2005 ESPNPlus play by play commentator in broadcast of Texas’ win over Kansas State
“You know what I love about the Texas kids? It starts with their coach. They never made an alibi and excuse when they lost PJ Tucker academically and Aldridge with an injury. He said, ‘We’ve got enough players. I give these guys scholarships. It is is their time to respond.”
– March 4, 2005, Dick Vitale in Texas’ win at Oklahoma State
Two and Counting
Texas’ appearance on ESPN’s featured game of the week marked the the Longhorns second appearance with the College Gameday crew. The Longhorns have now appeared on Gameday’s short-lived existence more than any team in the country. Texas 2, NC State 0.
Is this basketball or football season?
Last week, Jerry Ratcliffe of Charlottesville (Va.) Daily Progress shared publicly some rumors that Rick Barnes may have an interest in the Virginia head coaching position when Pete Gillen gets fired.
On Saturday, Ratcliffe followed-up on Barnes, who is apparently fine in Austin despite the fact that the Horns average around 11,000 fans in the (old) Frank Erwin Center and its 18,600-seat capacity.
“Our Austin source said Thursday that Barnes is not unhappy at Texas or looking to leave, but would like to see more passion from Longhorn fans.”
Is any coach ever really looking to leave in the middle of their current season as their team is in a crucial stretch run towards a conference and NCAA Tournament appearance?