Before Rick Barnes came to Texas, Tom Penders was the Head Coach at the University of Texas. In Penders’ time at Texas, he won 3 Southwest conference championships and went to 8 NCAA tournaments. After a grade release scandal led to the Penders’ termination, Rick Barnes was brought in from Clemson to maintain what Penders built in Austin.
For 14 seasons, Rick Barnes won 3 Big 12 titles and has gone to 14 straight NCAA tournaments. But the Longhorns are now 8-10, 0-5 in the Big 12. How has it come to this? We will break down why the Longhorns Basketball program has fallen so far.
1. Too Much Attrition
While the trend in College Basketball is to focus on one and done players, teams win championships by having quality depth of upperclassmen. If Texas didn’t have any attrition, this team would of had Avery Bradley, Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and J’Covan Brown. If Rick Barnes was able to just keep J’Covan Brown and Cory Joseph, this team would be in the Top 4 in the Big 12.
2. Recruiting Misses
Rick Barnes early in his career was able to reel in blue chip recruits like Kevin Durant, Dj Augustin, and TJ Ford to go along with the solid players that would be there for 4 years and contribute. Rick Barnes is recruiting those one and done players but he isn’t getting them to sign with Texas. He is getting good, solid players but he doesn’t have any game changers that has ice in their veins to put the Longhorns on their back and win the game. You need star players to win in college basketball and right now, Texas doesn’t have one.
3. Lack Of Control
If you needed to understand how little clout Rick Barnes had in Belmont, just look at the Myck Kabongo situation. The Texas compliance office didn’t care about helping Rick Barnes and the Texas Longhorns basketball make sure the story was correct and then tattle tale to the NCAA which caused this season to be lost. Rick Barnes must demand respect needs to know everything that is going on with his program. He needs to know if the compliance office needs to speak with his players and he needs to know exactly what his players will say to the NCAA. Everything has to be through him and it isn’t.
Rick Barnes will likely get one more year because of the sanctions this season, but with everyone but Myck Kabongo returning, the future doesn’t look bright for Texas Basketball.