Unfortunately for the Texas Longhorns (13-16, 5-11 Big 12), this season has been nothing short of horrible. Maybe the Myck Kabongo suspension at the beginning of the year was just a harbinger of the awful basketball to come.
Regardless of how you feel about this version of the Longhorns, playing under .500 basketball isn’t what the nation expects from a program such as this.
The nation also doesn’t expect Rick Barnes to be duped – well, at least not often. After Texas lost to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Barnes was puzzled by the play of Kabongo. Oddly enough, he was told why the young man struggled in the loss.
Here is Cowboys coach Travis Ford on what they wanted to do with Kabongo:
“We put a big emphasis on slowing him down. Their last five games that he’s played in, that ball’s been in his hands 90 percent of the time. We thought he was a pretty big key to their team.”
There is the answer for Barnes – not very hard to figure out. Oklahoma State’s primary objective was to give Kabongo a hard time. Barnes, in the post-game presser, was still awfully confused:
“I don’t know why Myck wasn’t doing the things we asked him to do. We knew that would happen. We had three guys out there that played the point, four really.
“I think Myck got caught up in it a little bit, trying to do it too much by himself.”
So Ford stated that Texas has Kabongo handling the ball 90 percent of the time, but Barnes thinks Kabongo was trying to do too much? Barnes was confused as to why Kabongo was doing it all, ignoring the fact that the Longhorns had success doing so recently. Ford obviously saw that, game-planned against it, and ended up making Barnes look like a fool.
Barnes is still a fine coach. Nobody is saying he needs to be fired or run from the state. However, it is really puzzling that he ended up being puzzled. A team game-planned against his normal strategy, Barnes didn’t adjust, and it cost his team the game.
Barnes does realize the other teams have coaches, right?
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone