It was a great season of Texas basketball.
An 11-2 start with wins against UNC, Mercer, Stephen F. Austin, Baylor, Kansas and more, led to this. This loss. This loss, in the “3rd Round” against Michigan.
Michigan has been great all year. Nik Stauskas’s 3 point shooting, court vision, and spectacular play as well as Caris Lavert’s ability on both ends of the floor have made up for the Wolverine’s loss of Mitch McGary.
But although the Wolverines were favored and projected to win, you just felt like Texas had a chance. You just felt like it’d be Cameron Ridley and Javan Felix’s night.
But it wasn’t.
After making the tournament 11 of the last 12 seasons the Longhorns under Rick Barnes’s season was ended, 79-65.
And although the Longhorns weren’t able to make a run, the stability that now has surrounded the program and the coach seems soothing.
Many people thought Rick Barnes was on the hot seat. And it’s understandable. But if you had thought the Longhorns had veered away from success, this season exterminated that thought.
Texas had great success this year, and that is something you cannot argue.
“I told them I appreciate what they’ve done, putting our program back where it should be,” Barnes said. “I can assure you this: We were picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 this year. We won’t be picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 next year.”
The future is bright. With freshman such as Isaiah Taylor and the fact that there is not a senior on the roster, not to mention Texas’s pursuit of top 5 recruit, Myles Turner.
“We’re going to build from this and remember this feeling,” sophomore guard Demarcus Holland said.
So don’t think this season was a disappointment. Because the Longhorns really exceeded everyone’s expectations. And be prepared for next year, when the Longhorns will be back, and projected to do much more than this year.
“Next year we will be hunted,” Barnes said. “And that’s the way we’ve always liked it.”