Texas vs. KSU: 3 bold predictions in Big 12 Tourney opener

Texas basketball is riding some momentum upon the beginning of their quest to defend the Big 12 Tournament crown in Kansas City, MO, this week.

Max Abmas, Texas basketball
Max Abmas, Texas basketball / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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Max Abmas, Texas basketball
Max Abmas, Texas basketball / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Max Abmas doesn't register a single turnover

The active scoring leader in the NCAA, Abmas has lived up to the hype for the Longhorns as one of the most touted portal additions in college hoops during the offseason.

Abmas led the team in total scoring and was second in points per game for the Longhorns during the regular season. He was a standout scorer for the Longhorns in conference play, averaging nearly 17 points per game, leading to All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Big 12 Newcomer Team honors this year.

But it wasn't just Abmas' ability to score the basketball in volume while shooting efficient clips from the field and the free-throw line. He has also effectively facilitated the offense while minimizing untimely turnovers.

Abmas led the team in assists in conference play (4.2 per game). He was a high-level facilitator and distributor of the basketball, ranking in the 81st percentile among Big 12 guards in assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play.

This could be an advantageous matchup for Abmas as a facilitator against Kansas State's stingy but conservative perimeter defense. While Kansas State does close out and contest shots well, they don't generate many turnovers.

The lack of willingness of the Wildcats to push the envelope to get in passing lanes and generate turnovers to run in transition on the other end of the floor could open up opportunities for Abmas. That conservative Kansas State mindset on defense could allow Abmas to find open teammates while driving the lane and running high-ball screens on offense

Abmas and Hunter will be major keys for the Longhorns to make another deep run in the postseason and to defend their Big 12 Tournament crown. Hunter could be poised for a big run this postseason after he posted a career-high 30 points and seven assists in Texas's finale win over Oklahoma.

Abmas will be the go-to initiator among Texas guards and the most reliable and proven facilitator. He had a big outing as the primary facilitator and distributor of the basketball on offense for Texas in the win over Kansas State in the regular season, leading the team with five assists and just two turnovers.

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