January 31, 2007

Longhorns Roll into Lubbock

Texas Tech, 4-2 in Big 12 conference play, hosts the 5-1 Texas Longhorns tonight in an 8 p.m. CST tipoff. The Longhorns are led by All Everything Kevin Durant, a true game-changer on both ends of the court. Texas Tech is hoping two starters will return tonight and be effective after not playing at Missouri this past Saturday. The winner of this game solidifies their hunt for the Big 12 regular season title, while a Tech home loss sends the Raiders to the middle of the pack.

The Texas Longhorns
All Longhorn discussions begin and end with freshman phenom Kevin Durant, a one-year wonder pushed into college basketball by NBA rules. Durant leads the Longhorns in points at 23.8 a night, rebounds at 10.9 a night, blocks at 1.9 a night, free throw makes with 99, and free throw attempts with 117. He's third in steals and minutes played, but third only by a few in each category. Durant has taken 306 field goal tries, 66 more than any other Longhorn and only Abrams is closer than half way to that total. One-third of Durant's attempts are three pointers, where he is 35-of-99 on the year, .354.

The player benefiting the most from Durant's presence is not guard D.J. Augustin, despite his 6.5 assists per night. In my opinion, "the other forward" for Texas, Damion James is the guy who really gets an easy, effective game due to Durant's presence. James is averaging only 7.2 points a game in 26 minutes of action, but he pulls down 7.9 rebounds in that same span.

Due to the attention Durant demands in the offensive zone for Texas, Durant is free to roam the post area and be in position to rebound - and he has 50 offensive rebounds on the year, out of 143 total rebounds. James is third on the team in free throw attempts with 69, but shoots a frosty .522 from the stripe.

5-foot-10 sophomore guard A.J. Abrams is the second-leading scorer for Texas at 16.6 points per game. He leads the team in three-point attempts by a wide margin - 159 of his 240 shots have come from the arc, where he shoots .440 on the season.

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