So far, not so good. That about sums up UT’s men’s basketball team this year, which is riddled with inexperience and injuries. Although the Longhorns still have practically half the season left, the team is well on its way to surpassing last year’s squad’s 14 losses, the most at Texas during the Rick Barnes era. Can they turn things around and salvage what many consider a lost season? With 13 conference games remaining and an NCAA tournament berth looking like a long shot, the Longhorns have plenty of room for improvement over the next couple of months. On that note, here is a statistical breakdown, from greatest to least, of the Longhorns’ season up to this point:
37 years since the last time a UT men’s basketball team lost its first five conference games, in 1976. After losing to Kansas on Saturday and to Oklahoma in Norman on Monday, the Horns dropped 0-5 in Big 12 conference play.
15.1 points per game for sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan, the Longhorn’s leading scorer. McClellan, one of two players averaging double digits in points scored, dropped 25 on Oklahoma on Monday.
14 years that have passed since the Longhorns last won the Big 12 outright in 1999, Barnes’ first year on the job. Texas has also held a share of the conference title twice in that span, in 2006 and 2008.
12 underclassmen on the roster, out of a total of 14 players. Although this inexperience has clearly hindered the Longhorns’ performance this year, the next several years should show plenty of improvement for this unproven squad.
7 home wins for the Longhorns, making up all but one of their victories on the season. Texas has a combined 1-8 record in away games and contests played at neutral sites.
3 losses they suffered in overtime this season. Texas lost consecutive overtime games to Baylor and West Virginia earlier this month, the first time that has happened in the Barnes era.
2 times a Barnes Texas team will have had fewer than 20 wins in a season if this year’s squad fails to reach that number. Oddly, the only team to finish under Barnes with fewer than 20 victories was the ’98-’99 group that claimed the Big 12 championship. That year’s team went 13-3 in conference play and finished 19-13 overall.
1 game this season in which the Longhorns have managed to score 70 or more points during regulation. Texas is currently averaging 63.9 points per game, a full nine points less than last year’s team and good for 260th overall in the nation.
0 times during Barnes’ tenure at Texas that the Longhorns have lost 10 or more conference games in a single season. With 13 games left on the schedule and their record at 0-5, this may be the first time that a Barnes-coached team finishes the season with double-digit losses in conference play.