Texas Men's Basketball 2012 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Texas Longhorns
Big 12 (20-13, 9-9)

Texas has lost a lot of players early to the NBA Draft over the last couple of seasons, but they have been relatively disappointing in March despite that talent. The attrition due to early entry to the professional ranks has left the Longhorns extremely young and extremely inexperienced. However, Coach Rick Barnes has done a great job with this group and turned them into a team that has won some big games.

Big Wins: 12/17 Temple (77-65), 1/24 Iowa State (62-55), 2/11 Kansas State (75-64)
Bad Losses: 11/19 vs Oregon State (95-100), 11/21 vs North Carolina State (74-77), 2/18 at Oklahoma State (78-90)
Coach: Rick Barnes (14 seasons at Texas)

Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Barnes can recruit and he brought a lot of good talent to Texas this season. Point guard Myck Kabongo is one of the better freshmen in the nation and he just keeps improving. Over the course of the 2011-2012 season he has gone from a steady passer to a dynamic scoring threat. He has enough of an outside shot to keep the opposition honest and now he is not afraid to take the ball to the rim and finish himself. Sheldon McClellan, another freshman, is not much of a shooter, but he can score by slashing to the basket. J’Covan Brown is not a freshman and he knew he would have to score more this season. He has not disappointed. Not only did he boost his scoring output to about 20 points per game, but Brown has picked up his defensive intensity and can help out Kabongo with the point guard duties. Julien Lewis and Sterling Gibbs are a couple more freshmen who could make an impact on any given day. Lewis has been extremely inconsistent with his shot and Gibbs just does not shoot that much, but both can have decent outings. The frontcourt scoring is not nearly as prolific as that of the backcourt. Freshman Jonathan Holmes is emerging as a decent interior scorer and Clint Chapman is a big body who will score a little bit, but expecting much offensively from them is asking a bit much. Alexis Wangmene is out for the year with a wrist injury after starting 26 games this season. While he was not the big scorer in the paint, Texas is running out of options.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Coach Barnes runs a nine man rotation and six of those players are freshmen. Kabongo has done a fine job running the point and keeping the turnovers down, but this is a group that not does always make the right decisions. The defense can have major lapses and foul way too much. The offense can break down pretty quickly and turn into Brown, McClellan or Kabongo trying to beat somebody one-on-one and hoisting up a tough shot. The Longhorns have the talent to score, but they do not share the ball particularly well. Their talent works sometimes when things go wrong and somebody has to force up a shot as the shot clock winds down, but that is not an ideal way to finish a possession. The good news is that it is March and all of these freshmen are practically sophomores. The bad news is that this is their first March and those little mistakes will be magnified.

Probable Starters:
Myck Kabongo, Freshman, Guard, 9.8 ppg, 5.3 apg
J’Covan Brown, Junior, Guard, 20.1 ppg, 3.8 apg
Julien Lewis, Freshman, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Jonathan Holmes, Freshman, Forward, 7.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Clint Chapman, Senior, Center, 7.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jaylen Bond, Freshman, Forward, 3.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Sterling Gibbs, Freshman, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Sheldon McClellan, Freshman, Guard, 11.3 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.3 (54th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.4 (156, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.0 (143, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.0 (73, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (193, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.9 (223, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.3 (46, 4)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (81, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (192, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (104, 4)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Texas    2011    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Oakland
Texas    2011    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Arizona
Texas    2010    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Wake Forest
Texas    2009    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Minnesota
Texas    2009    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Duke
Texas    2008    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Austin Peay
Texas    2008    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Miami
Texas    2008    NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over Stanford
Texas    2008    NCAA        Regional Final loss to Memphis
Texas    2007    NCAA        Round of 64 win over New Mexico
Texas    2007    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to USC

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules