Here's a quick look, with plenty of notes, quotes and highlights from the Texas Longhorns' 60-43 win over the TCU Horned Frogs at the Erwin Center on Saturday night.
Ioannis Papapetrou finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in the win over TCU.
How the Longhorns (10-11, 2-6) Won
It won't get as much publicity as the December home victory over North Carolina but the case can be made that Saturday night's win for Texas was the best performance the Longhorns have put together this season. Texas shot the ball efficiently (52 percent for the game), limited itself to 11 turnovers, had three players score in double figures and limited TCU to just 33 percent shooting (17-for-52) for the game. It wasn't exciting, but it was efficient and that's what the Longhorns need at this point.
How the Horned Frogs (9-12, 0-8) Lost
The Horned Frogs managed to get some good looks at the rim at times, they just didn't make shots. Texas didn't do anything complicated. The Longhorns just out-executed TCU in nearly every facet of the game. You can't fault TCU's effort as the Frogs never faded, but the talent level and level of execution on the Texas side of the floor was simply better.
Goes to Ioannis Papapetrou. The honor could have gone to a number of different players but it goes to Papi. Not just because of his impressive line – 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting, nine rebounds, three assists – but it was his ability to be able to put the ball in the hole from different spots on the floor. His versatility on the offensive end of the floor is one of the things the Longhorns can hang their hat on right now.
It Was Over When...
Sheldon McClellan forced a turnover on TCU's final possession of the first half. McClellan deflected an arrant pass by TCU point guard Kyan Anderson. McClellan gathered the ball and missed the layup at the other end, but Julien Lewis was right there for a stick-back that beat the halftime buzzer. It was part of a 12-1 run that helped the Longhorns blow the game open.
To Connor Lammert. The freshman post seemed to be in the right place at the right time all night. His hands and feet were active on defense and his footwork in the post, discipline on cuts and understanding of his role on offense led to plenty of clean looks at the rim as he finished with 10 points (5-for-6 shooting). Lammert's smart brand of basketball like he played Saturday night is something that can really help this team the rest of the way.
To the Longhorns' defensive lapses. The Horned Frogs were able to get good looks at the rim early due to the inability of the Longhorn press to stop the ball. Texas also had a tough time stopping penetration at various times in the first half that led to either chances at the rim or open looks on the perimeter for TCU. In the second half Rick Barnes went with more traps early, which seemed to establish some consistency on the defensive end of the floor.
Was Sheldon McClellan's efficiency. Not that it would be unexpected for McClellan to have a productive night, but scoring 15 points (6-for-9 shooting) in 30 minutes with no turnovers is the kind of effort he needs to bring to the floor on a nightly basis if Texas wants to be in the mix for more wins in Big 12 play.
Was the Longhorns' lack of focus in stretches in the second half. TCU got the lead down to nine at one point in the second half after trailing by 19 early in the half. The Horned Frogs were relentless, and it seemed like for stretches the Longhorns lacked focus. Of all the things that Rick Barnes didn't like following the game, this was at the top of the list.
Sheldon McClellan played an efficient game finishing with a game-high 15 points in 30 minutes.
Stat(s) of the Night
The Longhorns shot an efficient 52.3 percent from the floor, which is the best shooting night Texas has had all season. Saturday marked Texas' 100th win over TCU all-time making the Horned Frogs the fifth school the Longhorns have posted 100 or more victories against with Baylor, Texas A&M, Rice and SMU being the others.
Story of the Day
Credit the Longhorns for having cleaner execution, better shot clock management and better shot selection than they've shown all season to this point. Texas has two games left – Monday night at West Virginia and next Saturday at home against Oklahoma State – before the return of Myck Kabongo. If the Longhorns want to even think about sniffing the postseason, the offensive execution and overall defensive effort needs to look like it did Saturday night the rest of the way.
Rick Barnes on his team's focus:
“I told them that if you're not engaged with what we're doing then step aside and let somebody else do it for you. We've got to execute. They were more engaged tonight than they've ever been. The real question is why does that happen? When we get a lead we get lazy mentally.”
Barnes on where the Longhorns go from here:
”We've got to make it happen. Nobody is going to give it to us. We did good today. It's those little things that are going to keep getting us until we get it totally there. We haven't had our whole team and when we get it there we'll be better. Accountability is a great coach.”
Ioannis Pappetrou on playing inside more with Johnathan Holmes out:
“Basketball is basketball. Whatever I can do to help the team win, I'll do it.”
Connor Lammert on the offensive efficiency
“We played more inside out than we have been. We came in with that mindset. We shot a higher percentage because we got it inside and hit the guys on the outside more. We took great shots and worked the clock down well.”
TCU head coach Trent Johnson's assessment of the Longhorns:
“Texas got us out of sorts on defense. This team is young and talented and the future is bright. They just kept running a basic cut on us and kept getting it to their posts deep.”
Johnson on Javan Felix:
“Javan has done good job. I don't think many people understand the kind of job he's done and how difficult it is to play point guard as a freshman. I'm very familiar with him from LSU and the state of Louisiana. He's a special kid. He's going to be a good player.”