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Noting Texas -- COWABONGO!

Texas Offense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.2 110
Turnover Rate 17.2 28
Off Reb Rate 37.1 25
FTA/FGA 43.1 49


Texas lost several key members of their 2011 rotation to graduation, including Dogus Balbay and Gary Johnson. They're also missing a couple of underclassmen--Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson--who left for the NBA. Both were first round selections, and Thompson went fourth overall.

That's a lot from which to recover, and this is a young Longhorns team--three of their projected starters are  freshmen. That may be one reason why they've looked shakier than usual at the defensive end.

Projected starters:

J'Covan Brown (6-1, 197) -- It's very very early, but Brown is having a huge season. He's taking a third of the team's shots while he is on the floor and scoring nearly 30 per game. He's been insanely efficient given that workload; it's impressive no matter who they've played. He's a dangerous outside shooter and a guy you do not want to put on the free throw line.

Myck Kabongo (6-1, 169) -- Kabongo! That's just fun to say. Kabongo! This guy doesn't need an anagram. He's just Kabongo. Kabongo Kabongo. Kabongo has struggled from the field but has more free throw attempts than field goal attempts, which is to say that he is quick. Twenty of the 37 points he's scored this year have come at the line. Is his nickname Cowabongo? Because it should be.

Julien Lewis (6-3, 190)
Jonathan Holmes (6-7, 239)
Alexis Wangmene (6-7, 241)


Texas Defense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 42.5 3
Turnover Rate 18.7 256
Off Reb Rate 29.8 71
FTA/FGA 30.7 44


I hadn't realized it, but Barnes' Texas teams have never been known for turnovers. What you see above is pretty representative of the whole Barnes era in Texas. Barnes has built his defenses around strong interior defense, and they're usually at least passable on the defensive glass, and those two things are key if you aren't going to force turnovers.

So far this year, though, those staples aren't apparent. That's the price of youth. Most notably, their defensive rebounding has completely gone to hell--all three of their opponents this season have rebounded over 40% of their missed shots. Their FG% defense is down in the early going as well. So basically this defense looks nothing like the ones we've seen from UT over the last decade. Question is which of these things are real trends and which are the result of a young team acclimating itself.

Their last two opponents, Rhode Island and Oregon State, scored at least 90 points and averaged over 1.1 points per possession. The defense against Oregon State was a disaster in every area.