Texas Basketball: Longhorns deserve to be in top 25 after beating Purdue

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The AP Top 25 rankings should now include the Texas basketball team after knocking off the Purdue Boilermakers 70-66, on Nov. 9.

The Texas basketball program headed into the 2019-20 regular season unranked, but they did get votes in the preseason AP Poll and Coaches Poll. But Texas did have the chance to right away prove themselves against a top 25 power conference program on the road on Nov. 9, against the Purdue Boilermakers.

Heading into that matchup against Purdue, the Texas Longhorns basketball program carried a 1-0 record from their season opening win over the Northern Colorado Bears at home. The Longhorns got the best of Northern Colorado by the final score of 69-45. That was an absolutely dominant effort by head Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart and his defense last week.

However, No. 23 ranked Purdue would take it to a whole new level. Purdue also came into this game with a record of 1-0, coming off a win over Green Bay on Nov. 6 79-57. But there wasn’t much anyone could takeaway from the wins for Texas and Purdue in each respective season opener.

The real test up to this point would be determined by this showdown of potential NCAA Tournament high-seeded teams. But the Longhorns needed that big time resume win that would prove that they’re finally headed down the path to relevance in the Big 12.

Junior guard Matt Coleman came out strong in the first two games of the season for the Longhorns. He posted a team-high 22 points to go along with seven assists, four rebounds, and one steal. Coleman needs to continue coming up big for the Longhorns this season.

There was also a good storyline that emerged from the season opening performance, with a team-high 20 points, from redshirt junior wing Andrew Jones. He did only manage seven points off the bench, on 1-of-3 shooting from the field, against the Boilermakers.

The leading scorer for Purdue in this outing was sophomore guard Sasha Stefanovic, who managed 14 points off the bench. No one in the starting five for Purdue scored more than 12 points individually.

Texas won this game by holding Purdue to around 41 percent shooting from the field while they shot better than 50 percent from the field and around 41 percent from three-point range. The defense did come up big again for Smart’s Longhorns, though.

Hopefully this gives the Longhorns more momentum heading into the 2K Empire Classic, which begins at home at the Frank Erwin Center on Nov. 12 against California Baptist. Texas will also play Prairie View A&M at home on Nov. 15 in the next step in the 2K Empire Classic. Then the real test emerges on Nov. 21 in New York City against the Georgetown Hoyas.

This game was also big for Texas since there isn’t as much opportunity for them to rack up solid NCAA Tournament resume wins throughout non-conference play. Texas will really get the chance to make their mark in Big 12 play come the turn of the calendar year.

Next. 3 takeaways from season opening win over Northern Colorado. dark

Up next for the Longhorns is that battle against California Baptist come next Tuesday night. This will be the second home game on the Forty Acres this season. Texas will now head into that game with a record of 2-0, and should be in the top 25 once that matchup arrives.