12 TEXAS

COACH RICK BARNES (17TH SEASON) 2013--14 RECORD 24--11 BIG 12 11--7
November 10, 2014

A Different Tune

This time last year the only buzz about the Longhorns involved speculation about potential replacements for coach Rick Barnes. (Buzz Williams? Shaka Smart?) A flurry of transfers had left Texas with an underwhelming roster and little hope for a ticket to the Big Dance. But the Longhorns adopted a gritty, defense-first identity, advanced to the NCAA round of 32 and got Barnes a contract extension through 2019—as well as a commitment from consensus top 10 recruit Myles Turner.

On a team that has 94.0% of its scoring and nine of 10 rotation players back, Turner's presence ups expectations exponentially. At 6'11" with a 7'4" wingspan, he is on board with the defensive philosophy, vowing to become a frontline "anchor." Barnes raves about Turner's timing on blocked shots but worries that at just 240 pounds he'll get banged around down low. Fortunately he'll have 6'9", 285-pound center Cam Ridley and 6'8", 240-pound wing Jonathan Holmes to back him up. "We really have a chance to protect the rim," Barnes says.

The Longhorns lack a three-point threat, which means they'll have to rely on sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor's ability to penetrate and create. But if their offensive rhythm matches their defensive mojo, Austin will be buzzing for all the right reasons.

Lineup

With 2014--15 Projected Stats

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ROUND OF 32

ROUND OF 64

ROUND OF 32

SWEET 16

'10--11

'11--12

'12--13

'13--14

'14--15

TELLING NUMBER 39.6

Offensive rebounding percentage for the Longhorns last season, which ranked sixth nationally. Their better work on the boards (Texas ranked 80th in the same category in 2012--13) was a major reason for their eight-win improvement.

PHOTODARREN CARROLL FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDTurner is eager to be the anchor down low. CHART

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)