Texas has so many weapons they could be considered an armory. In round one of the NCAA Tournament, Sir’Jabari Rice hit seven three-pointers and scored 23 points, Marcus Carr sank four three-pointers en route to a 17 point game while Dylan Disu never took a three-point shot, but dropped 17 points and ripped down 10 rebounds.
Texas was impressive in shutting down the #1 three-point shooting team in college basketball. Colgate normally hits 40.7% from the outer ring. Against Texas, Colgate took 13 three-point shots and made only three (20%). The goal of Texas was to keep them to six.
So how does Penn State prepare for Texas in round two? Stopping Rice from hitting three-pointers would be a good start and that is exactly what they did. Rice took six three point shots and made only one — late in the second half. While Penn State was focused on Rice, Dylan Disu scored 28 points hitting 14-20 to set a Texas NCAA Tournament single-game record for most field goals made.
Disu’s 28 points was the highest single-game points made since Kevin Durrant hit 30 points in the NCAA Round of 32 back in 2007 against USC.
Disu is the most recent weapon for Texas with three double-doubles in the past five games. During the season, Marcus Carr had been the main target for opponents. Against Penn State, Carr scored five points less than his average of 15.9 per game.
Now, teams have to figure out how to contend with Rice, Disu, Carr, and throw in Tyrese Hunter into the mix. While trying to figure out how to guard Carr, Rice, and Disu, Tyrese Hunter has stepped up and made other teams fling into the air their game plan like a stack of papers not stapled together.
Teams just have no idea which group of Texas players will bond together and wreak havoc.
Then there is the Texas defense. Teams can count on Rodney Terry and crew showing up to the game like Grandmaster Chess players who use basketball players as knights, castles, bishops, and a different king each game.
Xavier is next up for Texas. They are the 2nd leading three-point shooting team behind Colgate. While Xavier will be game planning to battle Texas, you never know if coach Rodney Terry introduces resident baller Brock Cunningham and really throws a wrench into the game.
Though the Texas defense may be the real weapon.
Teams can anticipate Texas forcing 16 turnovers per game, stealing the ball about 7.9 (say 8) times per game (Marcus Carr has 67 steals on the season), and blocking the ball 3.7 times.
It will be most exciting to see how Texas plays Xavier on Mar. 24 (Fri) at 8:45 p.m. in Kansas City, MO at the T-Mobile Center for the NCAA Sweet 16.