Texas was the first Big 12 team to start their regular season, beating Navy 83-52 in the opening round of the 2k Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. It was an easy enough first win for a Texas team that has a lot of question marks surrounding them this season, though it was far from perfect.
Texas was able to rebound from a sloppy first half, and put the game away quickly after the second half began. Jordan Hamilton led the Longhorns with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Senior center Gary Johnson added 17 points and 10 rebounds, freshman forward Tristan Thompson added 12 and seven.
A few things stood out to me, though it is important to remember this was just the first game of the season, so everything that happened should be taken with a major grain of salt.
Jordan Hamilton is key
For most of the first half, Hamilton wasn’t terribly impressive to me. He was taking contested three pointers, and missing them, rather than attack the basket. Hamilton was rebounding well throughout the first half, but he wasn’t contributing anything on offense.
He turned it on in the second half, though. For the first 10 minutes of the second half, Hamilton controlled the game completely. He was attacking the rim, drawing fouls, throwing down alley-oops, and not settling for the outside shot. Hamilton is arguably the most talented player on Texas, and he needs to have more games like this if Texas wants to compete in the Big 12.
Thompson Can Play
Freshman forward Tristan Thompson came off the bench and made a big impact in the first half. He was probably the best Texas player on the floor for the first 20 minutes. He was scoring easily in the post, and showed a few impressive moves. I wouldn’t be shocked if he was starting for the Longhorns in another month.
Joseph isn’t quite there
Texas’ other highly touted freshman Corey Joseph wasn’t quite as impressive as Thompson. He struggled shooting the ball, committed four fouls, and turned the ball over three times. He looked a lot more like a freshman than his prep school teammate.
Like I said above, it’s just one game. Joseph is still a star in the making, and even the most talented of freshman can have trouble adjusting to the college game.