Texas Basketball vs. Creighton: 3 bold predictions for top-7 showdown

Tyrese Hunter, Texas basketball
Tyrese Hunter, Texas basketball /
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Ryan Kalkbrenner Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Kalkbrenner Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports /

Ryan Kalkbrenner gets to the charity stripe a season-high eight times

Where the length of the Creighton frontcourt will really become an issue for the Longhorns is with the seven-footer and reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kalkbrenner. The standout junior center is a problem thanks to his rim protection and rebounding ability.

And to say that the Longhorns had trouble in the last couple of seasons with seven-footers with the level of ability that Kalkbrenner brings to the table is an understatement. Standout big men in the Big 12 last season such as Texas Tech’s Kevin Obanor and Kansas’ David McCormack gave Texas a lot of issues.

We also saw Texas get demolished down low in the NCAA Tournament last season in a Round of 32 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers. Big men Zach Edey and Trevion Williams went off for a combined 33 points and 17 rebounds against Texas.

Just like Texas did against Gonzaga in its big win on Nov. 16, the entire rotation will have to pitch in to limit what Kalkbrenner can do in this game. Texas held two-time All-American Gonzaga big man Drew Timme to a little less than half the points he scored last season when the Bulldogs defeated the Longhorns.

Yet, even when Texas limited Timme down low, the Gonzaga star was still able to get to the line five times.

While I do expect Texas to do a nice job limiting Kalkbrenners’ effectiveness on the offensive end in this game, it might be difficult to limit his attempts at the charity stripe. Whether it be the 6-foot-9 Dylan Disu or the 6-foot-7 Creighton transfer Christian Bishop, Texas is overmatched by a good margin length-wise compared to the 7-foot Kalkbrenner.