The first time that the Texas Longhorns and the West Virginia Mountaineers met on the hardwood earlier this season, it very well could have been the ugliest game in the history of college basketball. Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but only just a little. Tonight, the two new Big 12 rivals met up once again, this time in Morgantown, but it wasn’t much prettier.
In yet another sloppy match-up by both teams, the Mountaineers survived the Horns’ late-game comeback attempt, surviving by a score of 60-58.
All season long, I’ve defended this Texas basketball team. They are, after all, the youngest team in college basketball. However, with each passing game, it becomes increasingly clear that their problems extend far beyond their youth and lack of experience.
What this team truly lacks are basic, fundamental skills.
They don’t run an efficient offense, yet when they somehow do manage to get good looks, they miss easy shots . They commit far too many turnovers, and they can’t get to the free throw line (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering they’re shooting just a shade over 60% from the charity stripe). They can’t hold onto big leads, and even their defense, which was once a strength, has been lacking of late.
Bottom line: they don’t know how to win games.
To be fair, they didn’t give up against the Mountaineers, mounting a comeback late in the second half; sadly, however, as has been the case with the rest of the season, it simply wasn’t enough. They had so many chances in the end to win the game only to blow each and every one of them when it mattered most. In fact, the Horns took the lead with six minutes left on the clock only to go the next six minutes without a field goal.
Fans keep looking to next year. With another year under their belts and what looks to be a solid recruiting class coming in, there should be a glimmer of hope for the future. But instead, that glimmer is slowing fading into nothing as the season progresses and this Texas Longhorns team doesn’t.