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A brief history of the 2011 basketball recruiting class

  • The beginning:

    Gerry Hamilton (11/11):

    3.The freshmen - the class has been very impressive thus far as I've talked about since practice started. The best freshman of late has been Julien Lewis. He is the most physically gifted of the fish. His speed, and Kabongo's with the ball, gives Texas a chance to score in transition if they can rebound. Jaylen Bond is expected to be the best rebounder on the team. While he can defend a big wing, quicker players off the bounce are an issue and will keep the thought or talk of a lot of wing minutes at a minimum. Jonathan Holmes is talented on offense, and his motor has been consistent. Both freshman forwards can play facing up with the basketball, and are a threat to drive bigger four/fives. McClellan is very good in spurts. If he brings it more consistently as the season goes on, it would be big for the team. Gibbs can shoot it and will play a reserve role. Will likely hit some big catch and shoots this year for the Horns.

    Gerry Hamilton (one week later, after Gonzaga or Davidson scrimmage):

    Texas has work to do. That's it from me.

    Dave Behr (about a week later in a lengthy tribute to the excellent chemistry of the 2011 freshman class):

    You could tell Barnes really likes what he's seen from the group so far. He stressed several times that he was looking for a "team" when he and his coaching staff were on the recruiting trail. It may be tough to figure out which guys are going to be one-and-doners and which will hang around for a couple years, but the most important thing to Barnes and Co. was finding a "team".

  • 2011 class could be the one that gets Barnes and staff fired.

    Downright terrible and lousy player evaluation, development, and retention...lousy.

    If you want to be a Bob Knight wanna-be, then you better recruit some tougher, hard nosed players.

    Either that, or don't try to be Bob Knight.


  • Matt Cumro (11/11, after the season opener against Jake O'brien-less Boston University):

    Myck Kabongo – The thing that sticks out about Myck is his ability to put passes perfectly into the shooting pocket of every shooter. He sees the floor very well and does an excellent job of using his quickness to get into the paint. Myck did have a couple of possessions where he got himself too deep in the paint. Going forward he will have to do a better job of developing a mid-range game. It was nice seeing him knock down a 3pt shot in the 2nd half and he will need to hit perimeter shots this season to prevent defenders from going under any ballscreen action. Defensively, I thought Myck was very good. He applied great pressure to the basketball and was solid away from the ball as well, which is where a lot of young point guards struggle.

    Julien Lewis – The Longhorns need a consistent second scorer on this team after J’Covan Brown and they may have found that man in Julien Lewis. The key for this freshman is to be able to consistently knock down the perimeter shot as he did tonight. If he can do this it will open up driving lanes for him to go along with the opportunities he will get in transition. Lewis does need to improve his ability to handle the ball and put the ball on the floor but he did impress tonight with the potential he showed on the defensive end of the floor. Lewis could be a star in the making for the Longhorns if he continues to develop as a defender and ball handler.

    Sheldon McClellan – Sheldon didn’t have a great night from the floor but it was easy to see the potential he has on the offensive end of the floor. He is a capable shooter and can put the ball on the floor with his right hand to attack the basket. The area Sheldon must improve is his focus and intensity on the defensive end of the floor. Often times he struggled with his positioning and the ability to react to the action on the floor. He is capable of being disruptive in passing lanes with his length but in order to defend some of the talented wings he will see throughout the year he must show great improvement.

    Jaylen Bond – Bond was banged up and didn’t play the minutes that many expected. However, he showed the ability to run the floor well, he has good length, and should be a very solid rebounder who is capable of getting out of area rebounds. Bond did show off his athletic ability on a big dunk late in the second half. Look for more from Bond in the coming weeks once he heals up and becomes accustomed to the college game.

    Jonathan Holmes – I was pleasantly surprised with Holmes tonight. He looked very confident and aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. Every time he catches the ball he is looking to attack. Holmes also showed off his ability to step out and knock down the 3pt shot which will prove to be productive in pick and pop situations throughout the season. While Holmes was very impressive on the offensive end of the floor he did struggle defensively as his ability to play with solid defensive positioning needs to improve. Texas will also need a lot more on the boards from Holmes who finished with only two rebounds.

    Sterling Gibbs – While I think Gibbs has an opportunity to be a decent college player I didn’t think he played his best basketball tonight. He had two turnovers in limited action and didn’t do anything to stand out. Athletically he is limited which hurts him on the defensive end of the floor. He does have the ability to make perimeter shots and will be a nice program player for four years.

    (Maybe I should go back and start with the Big 12 media day comments in which Barnes referred to Bond as the guy he was expecting to be the second leading scorer.)

    This post was edited by bierce 14 months ago

  • The good old days when Hamilton actually bothered to post about the basketball team. He has better things to do. My fading memory is that we actually had Cumro, a small college Mid-west coach who gave us pre-game summaries during that era, but that ended as well. How far basketball has fallen. Oh well, "Long live the king, the king is dead. " The first question is when does he rise again.

    The secondquestion is , what will be written about the 2013 class two years from now. . Already , the first reports are like the early 2011 reviews; assuming Croaker made his grade. . Everyone is a future all-American before they hit the court.. Its like spring in the MLB. Two years later, its revisionary history. This player or that was lazy in high school and everyone knew that they wouldn't respond to Barnes coaching and turn out to be bums. Maybe this class will be different, but count me skeptical.

  • To wrap it up, we wait until for another disastrous year, then we fire Barnes. Will Barnes then become an assistant to the President looking in to parking issues in/around campus?

  • Barnes should already be fired based on the past 5 years results.

  • Skipping on a bit

    Matt Cumro 1/12 (post loss to Baylor in Waco):

    Myck Kabongo – A tough game for Myck picking up two fouls in the first ten minutes of the game and then picking up his third foul less than four minutes into the 2nd half. However, despite foul trouble, Myck had a big 2nd half, scoring all 12 of his points in the 2nd half and dealing out four assists. He hit two big three’s, which should help keep defenses honest in upcoming games, and helped bring Texas back from a big deficit. Myck did struggle from the line today and only knocked down four of his eight free throw attempts. A tale of two halves for Myck today.

    Julien Lewis – Maybe it’s just me, but when Julien rises up to shoot I simply don’t have the feeling that the shot is going to go in. While he hit a couple of nice floaters and had a tough finish on the break he was 0-6 from beyond the arc. The one area where Julien really excelled was in his defense on Pierre Jackson, helping to hold him to seven points and forcing him into five turnovers. Julien will need to be on his game defensively and stay out of foul trouble in order to defend the quick Tiger guards.

    Sheldon McClellan – This was a game where Texas really needed Sheldon to contribute offensively and he gave a below average performance. Not only did he struggle offensively but Sheldon simply got abused by Quincy Miller on the defensive end of the floor and offered little opposition on the perimeter or in the post. A very poor game for Sheldon.

    Jaylen Bond – The size and length of the Bears provided a very big challenge to Jaylen as his lack of size simply made it difficult to attempt shots around the rim. As a result, he was forced out to the short corner area where he did a very nice job of sealing against the Baylor zone defense and even connected on a 15ft jumper in the 1st half. Jaylen was aggressive on the glass, grabbing a team leading six rebounds.

    Jonathan Holmes – Jonathan was a real spark for this team in the first half as he connected on his first three shots to score seven early points to keep the Longhorns close to the Bears in the first half. He was very aggressive and looked to score on every touch. However, after these seven early points Jonathan didn’t score again and was plagued by foul trouble which seems to be a nightly occurrence.

    Sterling Gibbs – Sterling got spot minutes which is all he can give in a game like this. I’m sure he was disappointed in his playing time but this is all that Texas can afford to give him.

    Rick Barnes 2/12 (post loss to Baylor in Austin):

    "I told the team, 'I apologize, because I should have called a timeout,'" Barnes said. "But on the other hand I said to them, 'I don't know if it would have done any good, because you don't listen.'"

  • Thanks for doing this.

  • Ha. On the one hand, I feel this is akin to kicking puppies, but on the other hand, I feel it is very instructive to look back at what we and the coaches thought of the 2011 class. The disconnect between the now and the then is troubling, particularly in light of the things being said about the 2012 and 2013 classes also being a bunch of players that were chosen for their work attitude.

    This post was edited by bierce 14 months ago

  • Back to the pooch punting

    Rick Barnes after the tournament loss to Cincinnati, 3/12

    Q: Coach, Sheldon and Julien really seemed to spark your guys come back in the second half once they started hitting jump shots. How much did you need that from those guys and how high of a ceiling does a player like Sheldon have?
    COACH BARNES: That's what we wanted all year. That's been the most difficult thing with this team is finding a consistent second and third scorer, and those two guys are extremely talented and -- but they're just learning how to play. I mean, Sheldon, you look at his physical ability, it's off the charts. And they've improved so much, both of them, and I think both of those guys have a great future and -- because they work at it. They want to be good. Again, that's what we wanted all year.

    Rick Barnes at Big 12 Media day assuring the world the team can shoot (10/17/12)

    Q. How about the perimeter shooting? Who are those guys going to be?

    COACH BARNES: Well, again, obviously Sheldon is a guy that can do that. But I think with our returning players we've got Jonathan that's really worked extremely hard to stretch his game out a little bit. Did you ask me how many pure shooters we have? I know we've put a lot of time into shooting and we've watched guys get better this summer.

    But if you ask those guys, they would all think they're pretty good shooters. It's going to be a team that there's not a guy on our team that can't shoot. I'll say that. We have a guy that every time he shoots it, you think it's going in, I would think that would be probably Sheldon. He's good. When it leaves his hand you think it's got a chance.

    (and on the issue of chemistry)

    Q. With all the freshmen and sophomores, this appears to be one of your youngest teams you've had. Is it a little trying to your patience that you've got so many young guys that are going to be called on to do big things for you?

    COACH BARNES: Well, I think every year -- I don't think when we go to practice did I ever look at these guys as being young. I really don't. I don't really buy into the young. Even though as coaches you have a tendency to really probably get after teams that you think can be good probably more so, and this is a group that we've got confidence in and we think that they've got a chance to be good.

    But we never looked at them as being young. We've never used that term with them either, we're this, that or whatever. We just know that we've got to coach them and teach them to compete every single day in practice. Knowing that, again, that's why we've always tried to play a difficult non-league schedule to get them ready for Big 12 play.

    But in terms of patience, I don't know. I've had some teams that would try your patience maybe more so than younger guys, because this is a group of guys right now that I will tell you the chemistry with this group has been as good as it's been in a long time. It's a group that we've enjoyed going in to practice with every day. It's a group that they put a lot of time in on their own.

    So it's been a fun group, and I don't think it would be -- I wouldn't use that I've been impatient with them. I know I want them to be everything that we think they can be.

    This post was edited by bierce 14 months ago

  • He needs to go - period. He said some stupid stuff at the Byron too. No respect for him anymore.

    - God Bless Texas