Texas Basketball: 2 studs, 1 dud, from win over Northern Arizona

Marcus Carr, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Carr, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Head coach Chris Beard saw No. 4 ranked Texas basketball come up with a complete team win to open up the Leon Black Classic on the night of Nov. 21. Texas downed the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in convincing fashion, by the final score of 73-48 in Edinburg, TX, in the Rio Grande Valley.

Beard and the Longhorns controlled this game end-to-end, which is something this team got accustomed to in the last three outings. Granted, there were some moments when you could see the difference between the starters and the bench for Texas, especially in the second half.

But the fact of the matter is that Beard essentially got to empty the bench early in the second half, which affords some of the players deeper down the rotation some valuable minutes early in the season.

For example, true freshman forward Alex Anamekwe got double-digit minutes off the bench for the second time this season. We also saw a pair of walk-ons in Cole Bott and Gavin Perryman get a little more than a dozen minutes combined off the bench against Northern Arizona.

Moreover, the starters were also solid for the Longhorns, as the starting five still outscored Northern Arizona’s starting unit by a good margin in this game.

Here’s a look at two studs and one dud for the Longhorns after a convincing win over Northern Arizona in the Leon Black Classic on Nov. 21.

Texas basketball Stud No. 1: Marcus Carr, G

Texas’ best player in the win over Northern Arizona was definitely super senior guard Marcus Carr. The reigning All-Big 12 guard continued his hot start with a season-high 17 points on an efficient 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Carr also contributed one rebound, four assists, no turnovers, and a whopping three steals in this game.

Not only was Carr explosive on the offensive end of the floor, but he was also extremely disruptive on all areas of the floor in the defensive halfcourt. He also minimized mistakes, without a single turnover, despite a high usage rate.

This type of efficiency on both ends of the floor from Carr is definitely something the Texas faithful can get used to this season.

Dud No. 1: Christian Bishop

This was a tough choice between two senior forwards and former transfers for the Longhorns for the dud spot coming out of the win over Northern Arizona. It was either going to Christian Bishop or Timmy Allen.

But Bishop gets the spot due to the lack of an impact he had on this game. Bishop gave the Longhorns four points, thanks to going perfect on four attempts from the free-throw line, despite missing all three of his field goal attempts.

Bishop also turned the ball over twice while not registering a single rebound, assist, block, or steal.

This was the first time this season that we saw Bishop post one of the two lowest net ratings on the team in a single game.

Bishop was cold from the field and was nearly invisible otherwise on both ends of the floor.

Stud No. 2: Brock Cunningham, F

Once again, the contributions that the Longhorns are getting from the gritty senior forward Brock Cunningham are coming in phases of the game that don’t tend to get much love. Cunningham is grinding it out on both ends of the floor, forcing turnovers and getting those difficult rebounds that most players aren’t willing to lay out for.

But Cunningham’s impact definitely showed up in multiple ways in the box score in this game. He was great on both ends of the floor, giving Texas three steals, two blocks, two rebounds, three points, and no turnovers, in 18 minutes played. Cunningham continued to be a disruptor on defense and help Texas get an easy basket or two with some second chances by way of offensive boards.

What Cunningham was able to do statistically was what made this outing pretty special.

According to Sports Reference, Cunningham is the first major conference player this season to register at least two blocks and three steals in a game without playing in more than 20 minutes.

Is that stat weird?


Is it a great representation of the type of value that Cunningham brings to the table for the Longhorns?


dark. Next. Why Texas is a Final Four team this season

This win over Northern Arizona moves Texas to a mark of 4-0 (0-0 Big 12) on the season. Next up for Carr, Cunningham, and the Longhorns is the final game of the Leon Black Classic, set to come at home in Austin on Nov. 26 against UTRGV.