The Texans Longhorns basketball team is used to playing ranked opponents this season. Instead of being intimidated by No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones, the Longhorns made a big statement with their 86-76 win.
While the shooting, free throw, and three-point percentages between both squads was fairly equal, the turnover difference really stuck out. Defensively the Longhorns forced 18 turnovers, while they only turned over the ball eight times themselves. The plus ten differential shows other teams that the Longhorns mean business. I understand that the Longhorns are only 2-2 against ranked teams, but those losses were against quality basketball programs North Carolina Tar Heels and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Saturday’s play showed that the Longhorns’ offense can keep up with ranked teams, while the defense can bunker down and force their toughest opponents into making poor decisions. In their next 13 games, the Longhorns face seven ranked opponents. If Saturday’s statement stays consistent, the Longhorns will be flying high come March.
However, it would be disadvantageous to assume Texas will coast to victory in each game. Throughout the season, Texas’ play has been somewhat inconsistent, and it is never clear which team will show up.
On Saturday, Texas brought their A game and made a big statement. They are for real and will fight for every game no matter how high their opponent is ranked. Additionally, the win showed Texas’ competitiveness in the Big 12 and that will need to continue through the end of the season or else Texas could be watching March Madness from their own couches.
If Texas can win the turnover differential in every game moving forward, they will continue to make statement wins. Saturday’s performance showed their true potential. Overall, Texas has a tough remaining schedule, so their season could easily end in disappointing fashion, but if they play consistent basketball, Saturday’s statement will be made in each and every game they play.
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