Texas Basketball: 2 studs, 1 dud from decisive victory over Louisiana

Arterio Morris, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Arterio Morris, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Acting head coach Rodney Terry and No.7 ranked Texas basketball put together a 40-minute clinic in their 100-72 victory over the Louisiana Rajun’ Cajuns. Five Longhorns scored in double-digits in what was the first game Texas scored 100+ points since Nov. 10, 2017. With the win, the Longhorns improved to 10-1 overall, having won all three of their games since the indefinite suspension of Chris Beard on Dec. 12.

The Rajun’ Cajuns came into this game sporting a 10-1 record with an impressive win at SMU on their resume. Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year Jordan Brown finished with 20 points and six rebounds but was rendered almost obsolete as Texas led by 20+ points for all of the second half.

The story of this game was the Texas offense, specifically their ability to knock down the three ball. Five different Longhorns made a three in the victory. As a team, Texas hit on 12 of its 22 three-point attempts. The three-point output was the highest of the season for the Horns but did not fully encapsulate their offensive performance.

Texas shot 58.1 percent from the field while also knocking down 16 of their 17 attempts from the free throw line. It was a clinical and complete offensive output by a Texas squad that has often fallen stagnant on the offensive end.

Let’s look at two studs and one dud from the Longhorns’ 28-point thrashing of Louisiana.

Two studs and one dud from Texas basketball’s blowout win over Louisiana

Stud No. 1: Arterio Morris, G

2022 McDonald’s All-American and five-star freshman Arterio Morris put together the most complete performance of his collegiate career during Wednesday night’s victory over Louisiana. Morris shattered his career high in points, dropping 25 on 9/11 from the field. He knocked in 5/7 of his three-point attempts showing an ability that was only seen in Texas’ exhibition victory over Arkansas.

Morris has not been shy when it comes to looking for his shot. Coming into this game, he led the Texas rotation in per-40 three-point attempts with 8.9. The stroke looked good, but only 20 percent of his attempts were falling.

Tonight was a reminder of why he was touted as one of the best high school prospects in the class of 2022. Morris is a pressure cooker of a scorer just waiting to explode. He is quick off the bounce and can score from all three levels. Having a weapon like him on the Texas bench makes this team so dangerous, as he can knock down five threes in a half in March.

Although Morris finished with only one assist, that assist was an incredible cross-lane bounce pass to Timmy Allen for a layup. Despite being a score-first type of player, the freshman is adept at finding open teammates and has a knack for fitting the ball into tight windows. His assist numbers should only continue to rise as the season progresses.

Dud No. 1: Dillon Mitchell, F

Given how well Texas played as a team, picking a dud from this game was almost impossible. That said, I was hoping to see more offensive versatility from Dillon Mitchell in a game played at such a frenetic pace.

Mitchell finished the game with four points on 2/4 shooting from the field. We have learned that Mitchell’s role within this offense is as a rim runner and guy who puts home second-chance opportunities. Today, he was not as active on the glass (three rebounds) and rarely seemed to get a touch on the offensive end.

It is fair to put some of the blame on the guards for not finding the freshman, but at some point in a 30-point blowout, Mitchell has to show a “want to” attitude on the offensive end. Tonight he seemed very content and relaxed, not playing as aggressively as his usual self. With all that said, it certainly wasn’t a bad performance from Mitchell – just one where I thought he missed out on a chance to experiment on the offensive end.

Stud No. 2: Marcus Carr, G

After winning Big 12 Player of the Week, Marcus Carr continued his fiery offensive output against Louisiana. Carr dropped 17 points on 5/9 shooting from the field and a perfect 3/3 mark from deep.

Carr scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half and helped the Longhorns pad their lead up to 22 at the break. His progression as a player becomes very apparent in games like this one. He let the game come to him, not forcing shots on the offensive end. Carr played within the offense, facilitated for his teammates (4 assists), and hit open shots when they were presented.

Over the last three games, he is averaging 20.7 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the field and 56.3 percent from deep. He has also chipped in 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game.

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Carr is the player who steadies this team during droughts and is a player who has seen everything there is to see in the collegiate game. His play will be a significant factor in how this Texas program fairs during the final three months of the season.