Texas Men's Basketball head coach Rodney Terry talking with Timmy Allen on the court and Marcus Carr next to him against Baylor (photo Texas Athletics)

Marcus Carr only took 8 shots

Marcus Carr and Timmy Allen after Carr makes a score to put Texas up by three against Baylor
With Texas up by just one point with less than a minute left, Marcus Carr makes his only second basket to put Texas up by three points with 16.9 seconds left in the game against Baylor. Carr walks down court as Timmy Allen celebrates with fans at half court. (photo Texas Athletics)

We get all the data, stats, numbers, and percentages — as the basketball game progresses we keep a close eye on all of this to help explain how the team is doing and to notice trends such as turnovers, points in the paint, and field goal percentage so that we can explain away why the score is good or bad.

At the end of the game, we can point at the obvious to tell a story of how and why we won or lost. Basically, we swim in data and stats, then we marry that with what we actually saw with our own eyes and hopefully create a story fans enjoy reading. 

The one consistent stat for Texas Men’s Basketball this season is Marcus Carr scoring — a lot. Carr averages 16.7 points per game and is the team's leading scorer with 368 points so far this season. Only three times this season has Carr not scored in double digits. Two of those times Carr scored nine points, plus also had five and six assists respectively.

Against Baylor Carr took eight shots total — that is it — not even a foul shot, and had only one assist. Carr scored five points, his lowest of the season.

Shocking really, considering Carr does not ever score just five points let alone only take eight shots and have only one assists. EVER — at least this season he has not.

While finishing up writing the game recap against Baylor and about to push the publish button, something caused me to have a moment of pause. I could not stop thinking about that one stat that was dwarfed by all the other stats, not to mention the fact that Texas beat Baylor 76-71. 

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Texas Men's Basketball Marcus Carr shooting a three-pointer against Baylor
Marcus Carr taking his first shot of the game, a three-pointer, that he made and put Texas in the lead. (photo Texas Athletics)

Carr only took eight shots the entire game, scored five points and had one assist.

Then it hit me! Did we just witness what elite genius level game planning, coaching, and team basketball looks like at The University of Texas?

When you combine that Marcus Carr only took eight shots, no free throws, Jabari Rice scored 21 points for the second game in a row, Tyrese Hunter scored 13 points after taking 17 shots, Timmy Allen scored 18 points, and head coach Rodney Terry lost himself for the brief moment at the final buzzer that lasted less than 10 seconds, a clear picture is revealed of something bigger than simply a basketball game against two Texas rivals that dates back to 1906 and who just played their 260th game against each other.

In order for Texas to have the best chance of going deep into the NCAA tournament, they will need the entire team producing like they did against Baylor. There are 18 games that remain for Texas that conclude in the NCAA Final Championship game, provided they win most of the remaining nine left in regular play and all six during March Madness.

With Carr only taking eight shots, Rice and Hunter had to step up and break out of their semi-slumps and become the forces of nature they exhibited against Baylor and in other games during the season. 

The big question is was this the game plan all along designed by the coaches and did the players know this? Did Marcus Carr understand that by not shooting the ball, what exactly was at stake and did he fully believe his teammates Rice, Allen, Hunter, Mitchell, Disu, Morris, Bishop and Cunningham would step up and play elite basketball to beat Baylor?

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Or, did Carr simply have an off day?

The answer is that we most likely have just witnessed what elite genius level game planning, coaching, and team basketball looks like at The University of Texas. Sometimes you have to wonder if you are watching basketball or a chess match.

Rodney Terry gets fired up for good reason.
Texas Men's Basketball head coach Rodney Terry gets fired up. Texas is now 11-3 under Rodney Terry's leadership. and are 4-0 against Top 20 opponents at home this season.

The exciting part is fans get to go on a journey and experience potentially 18 additional games with this Texas Men’s Basketball team. 

Enjoy the ride and like coach Terry did after the buzzer, go ahead and, “lose yourself in the music the moment. You owned it, You better never let it go. You only got one shot don’t miss your chance …”

The moment when I realized what I may have uncovered, the song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem popped into my head. I stopped and played it. If we were to put on the shoes of these players or coaches then we may understand just a little of what is in their heart and what drives them.

Listening to the song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem allowed me to go on the court and take a shot in my mind.

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#HookEm

Cue music “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

Verse 1

Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted, one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?

Chorus

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

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You can do anything you set your mind to, man.

“Lose Yourself" by Eminem https://youtu.be/xFYQQPAOz7Y