February 13, 2007

Longhorns play a complete game, crush OSU 83-54

The Texas Longhorns made the statement they needed to make Monday night with a 29-point win over Oklahoma State in Austin. More important than the statement made for the NCAA Tournament selection committee was the fact that the Longhorns played their first complete game of the season.

While D.J. Augustin and Kevin Durant were terrific as always, it was the all-around game played by A.J. Abrams and the growth of Damion James that will be needed heading down the home stretch. Throw in the play of Justin Mason on both ends and Connor Atchley off the bench and the Longhorns put together their best 40-minutes of basketball on the season. And it couldn't have come at a better time as the Big 12 race for the third and fourth positions are tight.

CLEARING THE LANE FOR AUGUSTIN

The Longhorns used the catch and shoot ability of Abrams and Durant's ability to draw a second and sometimes third defender to create straight line driving angles for Augustin. While the screen/roll is the bread and butter of the Longhorns offense with Durant as the high screener, the Longhorns did a very good job of opening the lane in a different set.

Texas ran Durant off of a double screen working low to high, tying up two and sometimes three defenders. That action for Texas opened up straight line driving opportunities for Augustin opposite the action and he took full advantage, consistently going strong to the basket and finishing with an array of tough lay-ups.

When the Cowboys collapsed on Augustin, his teammates did a good job of moving to spots creating quality passing angles. The play of Mason along the baseline is overlooked a lot of times, but he made three really good plays on scoring opportunities Monday night.

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