1. A CONFERENCE ROAD WIN... Is nothing to be upset about. When you're in conference play, your first goal is to win all your home games and be able to win a little more than half of your road games. And historically Texas has had a tough time winning at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The fact is Texas played poorly and DJ Augustin had the worst game as a Horn and Texas was still able to win. AJ Abrams and Gary Johnson were able to step up and carry the horns to another 2nd half comeback. While the game was frustrating and unbearable to watch at times, lets just enjoy not losing for a minute before Kansas comes to town.
2. DJ AUGUSTIN... Continues to struggle getting good looks and hitting shots. There are several things that have concerned me recently with DJ. First, I am afraid teams have figured out how to neutralize him enough to disrupt the Texas offense. Iowa State had a great game plan which was to not let DJ have a path to the basket and then meet him at the rim with big man help to force a bad shot. DJ just didn't finish at the rim the way he was early in the year. That leads to the next concern, which is that DJ is not drawing the contact that he used to on his drives. One of DJ's biggest strengths was his ability to get to the rim and initiate the contact. Recently, his finishes around the rim have been fade aways and step backs. I am not sure if he is getting beat up, worried about injuries or if Barnes is worried about injuries. But I feel like DJ is losing one of his biggest assets in not forcing fouls and getting to the line.
3. GARY JOHNSON... Might be getting it. What a game for Gary. Great hustle, great post position and great defense. Johnson played 34 minutes and had his best game this season. Gary was able to establish a much needed inside presence as he got great post position and was able to finish around the basket (though a few more kind rolls on the rim and he could have scored 20). His defense, and especially his perimeter defense was exceptional. Gary switched on screens and was able to take his man back away from the basket and just seemed to be more comfortable, overall, on the defensive end. I think he is showing the player he can develop into as Big 12 play progresses. By tournament time Gary could be a 15 point 12 rebound guy in the starting lineup.
4. TEXAS STILL LOOKS... Infinitely beatable. Another slow start, another poor shooting game and another questionable performance by DJ. When I look at this team, I look at it in terms of how they would stack up in the NCAA Tournament at this moment. Right now.... Not good. if you go into March with shaky PG play, low % shooting and little inside presence, your chances look pretty grim. Somehow Texas is going to have to figure out how to start games actually hitting shots. Unless they do, they are susceptible to being run out of the gym by a hot shooting tourney team. We already know that Texas is going to struggle with teams with 2 bug guys inside (A&M). But the Horns are starting to have trouble with ANY big man, not just multiple big men. Lastly, DJ is going to have to figure a way to get his shooting % to at least 40-45 and that starts with better shot selection. Fewer fade aways and shots off one leg would be a nice start to that. If you're taking to the hoop, take it and finish it strong.
5. HERE COMES KANSAS..... Yikes...