It is time to give the Texas Longhorns their due diligence. With a convincing 88-71 win against West Virginia Saturday night the Longhorns became the first team in the Big 12 Conference to reach the 20 win mark. The Longhorns have two non-conference losses, a narrow loss to BYU and a home loss to a healthy Michigan State team. Texas is 5-2 against the top 25, winning four consecutive games against the top 25 recently.
The Longhorns struggled to score last week, but made up for their misgiving on the offensive end this week with two convincing home wins by double-digits. The difference for Texas this week was its offensive efficiency from the opening tip. The Longhorns struggled in the opening halves last week which was a stark contrast to their games this week. Texas came out of the chutes scoring in bunches and paced its way to victory.
Cameron Ridley has erupted for the Longhorns this season and was one of five Longhorns in double figures against West Virginia. He has been overshadowed by Kansas big man Joel Embiid but has put up identical numbers as his conference counterpart. Ridley had the advantage in their previous head to head match up, and will have an opportunity to make his case as the best big man in the conference next Saturday.
The biggest part of Texas’ win on Saturday was the return of explosive big man Jonathan Holmes. Holmes suffered a knee injury in the first half of the Kansas State game last Saturday and was inactive for Texas in its big win over Oklahoma State. Holmes had 11 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes of action. Holmes was the x-factor in Texas’ previous match up with Iowa State. Look for Holmes to have another big night Tuesday in Ames.