Texas is a weak second half team
Another staple of last season's Texas team that made them one of the best in college basketball was the ability to perform in clutch time and close out games. Texas's leaders stepped up when it mattered in the second halves of games because they knew that's what it took to win tough games, especially in the gauntlet that is playing in the Big 12.
Texas ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 last season in second-half net rating.
This season, Texas ranks 13th of 14 Big 12 teams in second-half net rating (+7.8).
It's not a coincidence that the Longhorns are struggling in Big 12 play while greatly underperforming in the second halves of games. In the three losses in Big 12 play, Texas has lost the second half each time by an average of nine points.
This trend of the Longhorns underperforming in the second half gets even worse when you look at clutch-time statistics. Texas is easily the worst team in the Big 12 when it comes down to clutch-time performances this season.
If Texas wants to fix its issues in the second half, there are two big things they must accomplish.
First, Texas must show more effort on the glass in the second halves of games to get more valuable possessions back at critical points of these contests in the Big 12. Texas was outrebounded by a margin greater than five in the battle on the boards in its four conference games.
Terry's squad has the length in the frontcourt to be formidable on the boards. Redshirt junior center Kadin Shedrick, junior power forward Ze'Rik Onyema, sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell, and Disu are all 6-foot-8 or taller.
The UCF game is the best example of Texas losing a game it probably should've won had it not been dominated on the glass. UCF outrebounded Texas 37-22 and beat them on the offensive glass by a margin of 12-4 in the Jan. 17 loss for the Longhorns.
Texas was also greatly outrebounded in the loss to West Virginia (38-27) and dominated on the offensive glass (15-4).
That's two more games the Longhorns very likely would've won in the Big 12 had they shown a respectable effort on the boards on both ends of the floor.
The other issue that Terry and staff must figure out is the bench scoring. Scoring output from the reserves was a big component of the Longhorns making such a deep postseason run and winning the Big 12 Tournament crown last season.
Texas had key players coming off the bench with proven experience such as the Sixth Man of the Year Rice and senior forward Christian Bishop. Rice and Bishop helped Texas lead the Big 12 in bench scoring last season (27.8 points per game).
The bench scoring has dried up for the Longhorns this season, as they average nearly a dozen fewer bench points per game year-over-year, ranking 10th in the Big 12. That trend has gotten much worse in conference play, as Texas ranks last in the Big 12 with 7.8 bench points per game.
Texas needs more out of the likes of senior forward Brock Cunningham, Shedrick, sophomore guard Chendall Weaver, and Onyema off the bench.