Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Basketball: Talking Texas Hoops With Resident Texas Dorks, Hook 'Em Headlines


We’ve already given you our interpretation of the Texas Longhorns’ hoops squad and their statistics. Admittedly, we haven’t watched as much Texas basketball because it’s … Texas basketball.

Of course, our friends at Hook ‘Em Headlines were gracious enough to do all the watching for us. We asked lead editor Chris Flanagan a six-pack of questions. Here are his answers:

1) Sheldon McClellan looks like an absolute monster on paper, and his PER of 20 doesn’t seem to do him justice. What kind of player is he? Is he a pure scoring guard or is he very opportunistic and efficient? How good is he defensively?

Sheldon McClellan is our best scorer, the problem is he can’t defend. He has been such a liability on the defensive end that Coach Rick Barnes has decided to pull him from the starting lineup to put in Demarcus Holland because of his defensive prowess. But as great as he is as a scorer, he doesn’t like to take shots. J’covan Brown just took shot after shot for this Texas team last year and carried this team on his back to an NCAA tournament. Sheldon doesn’t do that.

2) This team looks so damn good defensively. Is this a function of playing weaker teams or do you think Texas’ defense is legitimate?

It’s a very good defensive team, the problem with very good defensive teams that aren’t successful is they have no offense.

3) What kind of defense does Texas run? Do they man up and play tight, relying on their athleticism, use a match-up zone? Allowing 22% from downtown is no joke, so how are they sticking it to the shooters?

Zone most of the time out of necessity  They don’t have a very conditioned basketball team so they can’t run around all game with teams so they have to play zone and force the teams to take bad shots.

4) Interior-wise, what’s the prognosis on Texas’ offense? Do they have bigs that can reliably exploit the paint or is it just McClellan and Julien Lewis carrying the load offensively? 

Cameron Ridley is the hope for the future. He isn’t a one and done player but he can be a powerful frontcourt presence that Texas has been lacking for a few years.

5) Not a question, but CHAMINADE. Respond.

Bad game with a young team with a team that shoots a lot of threes. It was terrible and the fact that Virginia in 1982 was the only team to make the NCAA tournament after losing to Chaminade (Ed. Note: Jesus.) is just a killer to the Longhorns’ attempt at making 15 straight NCAA tournaments. If the Longhorns don’t get a couple of resume wins, it won’t make the tournament.

6) Does anyone even care about Texas basketball?

Yes. If you win. There is no denying that football runs everything at Texas. But Texas fans want to win, football brings in a ton of additional cash that helps to fund the other sports. That means coaches in Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Golf, Volleyball, etc. can have these budgets that no other school can touch. So the expectation is win. Win at all sports. You don’t, you’re a failure. So when the basketball team wins, people care. If not, it’s like LA, there are plenty of things to do in the Austin/San Antonio region.

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Tags: Basketball Texas Longhorns UCLA Bruins

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