Texas Basketball: Longhorns continue to struggle, fall to Kent State

BY Fansided and Drew Dinnhaupt/FanSided via Busting Brackets • December 27, 2016

At 6-6, Texas basketball is the worst team in the Big 12 at this point in the season.

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The Texas Longhorns fell to the Kent State Golden Flashes Tuesday night in Austin, 63-58. The Longhorns were a 12.5 point favorite in this contest, but suffered an unacceptable loss to a MAC opponent. Texas’ struggles continue as they head into conference play with an abysmal 6-6 record.

The largest lead all night was seven, which was held by the Golden Flashes mid-way through the second half.

Texas was able to hold the lead for nearly all of the first half, but lost it with 13 minutes left in regulation, and never got it back.

The Longhorns performed horribly from beyond the arc and on the glass. They shot 11 percent from three and were out-rebounded by 21. The most prominent statistic was the 20 offensive rebounds that Kent State grabbed. The Longhorns’ inability to rebound was ultimately a major factor in their loss.

Kent State guard Jaylin Walker led all scorers, posting 24 points and adding seven rebounds. As for the Longhorns, forward Jarrett Allen had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

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All looked well in Austin coming into the season, as Texas was ranked 21st in the preseason AP poll.

Their struggles were evident early in the season though. The Longhorns barely grazed by Incarnate Word, 78-73, on opening night.

Texas then went on to handle both Louisiana-Monroe (80-59) and Eastern Washington (85-52). But it went downhill from there.

The Longhorns suddenly suffered three straight losses after starting 3-0. The Northwestern Wildcats handed the Longhorns their first loss of the season, 77-58. Colorado then knocked off Texas, 68-54. A 72-61 upset from Texas-Arlington then put Texas at .500.

After the three straight losses, Texas wrapped up the non-conference play with a 3-3 record the rest of the way. They earned wins over Alabama, Long Beach State and UAB and their trio of losses came against Michigan, Arkansas and their most recent loss, Kent State.

Texas has played extremely poor as a group. Their 71.3 points per game is 242nd in the nation. The defense has been playing well, holding opponents to 65.8 points per game, but it hasn’t generated wins.

Rebounding has been a huge problem for the Longhorns, as their 36.7 rebounds per game are 181st in the nation. Their passing is also dreadful, highlighting their lack of a true point guard. Texas generates 11.9 assists per game, which is 294th in the nation.

Looking ahead, Texas heads into conference play with the worst record in the Big 12. They have a rather easy start to conference play as they face four unranked opponents. However, with the little momentum the Longhorns have, winning those games may be more difficult than it should be.

At this point, Texas is the worst team in the Big 12, and their record tells the same story. I expect the Longhorns to finish in the bottom-half of the Big 12 at the season’s end and they will not make the Big Dance. Considering the preseason hype for Texas, their projected finish could make them the biggest disappointment of this season.

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