MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Texas claimed more rebounds, shot 52 percent and saw its bench outscore West Virginia. That sure sounded like the recipe for a fifth consecutive win over the Mountaineers, but these Longhorns are defying conventional wisdom, and in some instances, their coach’s instruction.
Rick Barnes kept his poise after Tuesday night’s 71-64 loss, though his team failed to do so. Along with committing 17 turnovers, Texas lost a team leader before halftime when senior Jonathan Holmes cranked an ill-advised elbow into the grill of WVU’s Devin Williams.
Barnes didn’t make any excuses for the ejection, nor how the Longhorns struggled to run offense against the 1-3-1 zone that Bob Huggins deployed for a pivotal stretch of the second half.
“We didn’t do what we wanted to do against it,” said Barnes. “The cutters weren’t there. We faced it last year. We know what to do against it. It’s timing.”
The timing of yet another Texas loss doesn’t help to make its case to the NCAA selection committee. A 17-11 record and an RPI of 41 leaves the Longhorns in the danger zone, and at 6-9 in the Big 12, they require three straight wins just to reach .500. That requires a win at Kansas on Saturday.
See all of Barnes’ postgame comments above.