In this week's podcast, Jacob Kerr, Amanda Voeller and guests Nicole Cobler and Chris Hummer discuss Texas Student Media's decision to keep The Daily Texan's print schedule at five days a week. They also talk about the ad hoc committee of student leaders' revised tuition proposal and Chris' story on the future of the Frank Erwin Center.
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Frank Erwin Center
UT’s fastest growing sport doesn’t compete at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium or on the court at the Frank Erwin Center. In fact, this sport doesn’t even take place on the 40 Acres. It happens on Lake Austin — with the help of a rod and reel.
The Texas bass fishing team has more than doubled in size since its founding in 2008. After starting with just seven active members and a few sponsors, the team now has 15 fishermen and eight sponsors.
“The Texas bass team was pretty small when I joined,” said Cody Levy, public relations senior and team president. “I became president of the team with a goal of fishing more tournaments, gaining more members and securing more sponsorships to help with expenses. This year, we have started right where we left off and have been growing and securing bigger and better sponsorships.”
Wade Middleton, director of collegiate operations for the Association of Collegiate Anglers, said collegiate fishing, even outside of Texas, is growing at an unprecedented rate.
“There are now over 250 schools nationwide that actively compete yearly,” Middleton said. “College fishing has grown about 400 percent since the ACA had its first event nine years ago.”
The Texas team hosted its first ever competition, the University of Texas Collegiate Invitational, on Lake Austin last Sunday.
“This is an Association of Collegiate Anglers event for all colleges,” Levy said. “I think everyone is going to talk about for it for years because it is the first college fishing tournament that guarantees all anglers will be rewarded with at least some [equipment] after the competition.”
In a collegiate bass fishing tournament, each school sends at least one team of one or two anglers who fish from the same boat for eight hours. If an angler wants to fish alone, the tournament director may assign a non-fishing observer to accompany the angler. Teams are scored based on the combined weight of their five heaviest bass of at least 15 inches in length.
“Largemouth bass, spotted bass and smallmouth bass are counted,” Levy said. “Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the official length are not counted.”
Of the 10 schools that competed in Sunday’s tournament, the Longhorns’ top pairing of Carter Lyon and Carlos De La Fuente finished eighth overall, with a combined weight of 17.52 pounds. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s top duo won the event with a combined weight of 26.79 pounds.
The result may not have been what Texas was looking for, but the team’s passion and desire to succeed remains as high as ever.
“When I went through a breakup, that feeling didn’t even come close to the pain I was feeling when I lost a bass while fishing,” Levy said. “No matter what I go through, I will always be a fisherman and never give up.”
Not even beer could bring excitement to a lethargic matchup at the Frank Erwin Center on Wednesday night.
In the first game at which alcoholic beverages were served at a home Texas basketball showcase, the Longhorns took on a lowly TCU in front of a lackluster crowd. Texas outlasted the Horned Frogs 66-54 in the Longhorns’ last home game of the season.
“I think this was a good win for us,” freshman guard Isaiah Taylor said. “Coming off a tough loss at Oklahoma, we needed this one to help move us forward.”
Texas dominated most of the first half after sophomore center Cameron Ridley started the Longhorns’ scoring with a two-handed slam. Texas (22-8, 11-6 Big 12) was able to move the ball well and make open shots as it took an 11-5 lead to start the game.
The Longhorns had little trouble stopping the Horned Frogs (9-20, 0-17 Big 12) on defense, except for guard Kyan Anderson, who scored 18 of TCU’s 27 points in the first half. It wasn’t until the 5:20 mark in the period that another Horned Frogs player recorded a basket.
In the second half, Texas never trailed TCU, but allowed the Horned Frogs to hold onto hope of gaining their first Big 12 win. Both teams lacked energy and consistency as they exchanged baskets until Texas eventually wore down TCU.
“Fouls kept them in the game,” Taylor said. “We kept fouling and putting Anderson and [Hudson] Price on the foul line. Putting them on the foul line stopped the flow of the game. And they are a good free throw team so it kept them in it.”
Texas’ senior night — with no seniors — was led by Taylor with 21 points and five assists. The Longhorns were without starting forward Jonathan Holmes, who missed the game with a right knee injury. Both Ridley and sophomore forward Connor Lammert, who stepped into his place, recorded a double-double on the night. Ridley’s 14 points and 10 rebounds tallied for his third straight double-double while Lammert recorded a career-high 13 rebounds.
“Unfortunately we had to deal with Holmes being out again,” Lammert said. “But we know the team isn’t about one person. I knew my teammates would have confidence with me so I just went out there and gave it my all.”
The Longhorns have had little trouble at home this season. They finish with a 16-2 mark at the Frank Erwin Center, which is one shy of their single-season record for most home wins.
Texas, who has put a large focus on confidence, especially after trouble on the road, now has a chance to finish tied for second in the conference if it can win its last regular season game against Texas Tech at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Lubbock.
“I don’t think our guys have lost any confidence,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “Why wouldn’t we be [confident]? We got a group of guys that on Saturday have a chance to finish second in the best conference in the country.”
“Gala of the Royal Horses,” an international equestrian show, made its Austin debut at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday.
According to Master of Ceremonies Scott Ehredt, the tour, which originated in Spain, has been running internationally for three years, but has only been in North America for three weeks. Master horse trainer Rene Gasser demonstrated his years of training as he guided the horses across the arena, displaying their tricks to the crowd of roughly 3,000.
The riders, dancers and horses all originate from multiple countries.
“The crew is from all over the world, and so are the horses,” Ehredt said. “Spain, Portugal, America — same with the horses.”
According to Gasser, working with the show horses takes a lot of patience, skill and persistence.
“These are royal horses, made for war but appreciated for beauty,” Gasser said.
According to Ehredt, maintaining training while traveling has proven to be a challenge, but both the horses and their trainers have worked hard to overcome them.
“We usually do shows on the weekend, so we travel for a day or two, train for a couple days and then it’s showtime,” Ehredt said.
While new to North American audiences, “Gala of the Royal Horses” has attracted audiences from Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
“Rene just felt it was time to come to North America,” Ehredt said. “It was an untapped market.”
Gasser said he encourages the audience to get involved with the horses, as he displayed how to train them, what horses respond to and what it takes to become a master rider.
“It requires mutual respect,” Gasser said.
West Austin equestrian trainer Dan Keen said the personal time trainers spend with the horses is key to successful horse training.
“The horse is a replica of who’s in charge, so, the more knowledge you have and the more time you spend with them, the more confident and willing they’ll be to perform,” Keen said.
Gasser said appreciating the history of the horse breeds makes the ability to train them an honor.
“These horses are of royalty,” Gasser said. “These breeds are carefully chosen as the best for show, beauty and intelligence.”
The Frank Erwin Center will play host Saturday to a matchup that has turned into one of Texas’ biggest Big 12 contests in the last half of the season.
West Virginia (15-10, 7-5 Big 12), which has grown into one of the league’s hottest teams, will travel south to Texas to take on the Longhorns (19-5, 8-3 Big 12) Saturday night.
Texas and West Virginia are tied in their series, with both teams winning three games each. The Longhorns won the last game against the Mountaineers 80-69 in January in Morgantown, W. Va., led by sophomore guard Javan Felix, who posted 19 points in the contest.
Now, Felix is leading his team into this matchup after tallying 27 points in Texas’ romp of Oklahoma State on Tuesday. Felix hit a career-high six 3-pointers, which has given him much more confidence in hitting those outside shots that he was hesitant to take in the past.
“I know I can make those shots and it’s just a matter of me taking them,” Felix said in a Feb. 11 press release. “That’s something my teammates got on me about — about stopping passing up shots. That’s what I’ve tried to do, just take my open looks and get them within the flow of the offense.”
Texas was without leading scorer Jonathan Holmes in Tuesday’s game. While he is currently still a game-time decision for Saturday’s contest, multiple Longhorns have stepped up to replace their lone scholarship upperclassman.
Freshman guard Martez Walker noted a career-high 12 points against the Cowboys and brought a new energy to the court in replacement of Holmes.
“It is nice to come back and play better than we had the last two games, that is what was nice about it,” said Texas head coach Rick Barnes after Tuesday’s win. “I thought we had guys who were a little bit more locked in and focused and really tried to do the things we talked about. We did a nice job of just coming back and playing as a team.”
Texas looks to grab its ninth win in the last 10 games as it sits in second place in the conference. West Virginia, which was predicted to finish seventh in the Big 12 just in front of Texas, is coming off a 25-point win against No. 11 Iowa State. The Mountaineers have now won four of their last five games and are tied for fourth in the conference.
Texas fans witnessed a sight they haven’t seen in quite some time Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center.
In front of an electrifying, sold-out crowd, the No. 25 Longhorns overpowered No. 6 Kansas, 81-69, for their first win against the Jayhawks since 2011.
“I am very happy and excited for our guys because they went and earned it,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “They worked hard and deserve this kind of atmosphere. I told them before the game that they deserve it but are going to have to earn it.”
Texas and Kansas traded leads to start the game as the teams exchanged several fast-paced, sloppy early possessions. With 15:18 remaining in the first half, freshman guard Isaiah Taylor hit a 3-pointer to give the Longhorns the lead — a lead they would hold for the rest of the game. Texas held the Jayhawks to just 23 points in the first frame, Kansas’ second-lowest point total in a half this season.
The Jayhawks produced more offense in the second half, but failed to slow down the Longhorns’ scorers or create any real momentum as Texas outplayed the reigning Big 12 champions.
Barnes used a combination of man and zone defense to hold Kansas to a shooting percentage of just 38.5 percent on the day. Sophomore guard Demarcus Holland led the squad on defense, helping contain the Jayhawks’ star freshman Andrew Wiggins, who had just seven points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field. Wiggins, who came into the contest averaging 16.5 points per game, failed to record a field goal in the first half and fouled out of the game late in the second half.
“[Holland] was outstanding,” Barnes said. “All year long, I am not sure if people have appreciated what he does. I’m telling you, though, his teammates and our staff appreciate him. He understood what he needed to do.”
Texas was just as impressive on the offensive side of the ball, highlighted by performances from Taylor and junior forward Jonathan Holmes. Taylor finished with 23 points while Holmes poured in 22. It was the first time this season that two Longhorns have surpassed the 20-point mark.
“They had us on our heels the whole game,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “Their speed offset our length. I thought Taylor was the best player in the game. It was pretty much a dominating performance by the Longhorns over us today.”
A star-studded crowd came to watch Texas (17-4, 6-2 Big 12) earn its fourth consecutive win against a ranked opponent, a first for the program. Notable attendees included former Longhorns Colt McCoy, Fozzy Whittaker, Roger Clemens and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
The Longhorns travel to Fort Worth Tuesday to take on TCU (9-11, 0-8 Big 12). The Horned Frogs are dead last in the Big 12 and are without a conference win. The game starts at 7 p.m.
Texas’ first chance to make a statement in its pursuit of an NCAA Tournament bid will come at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center.
Eight of the Longhorns’ final 14 games are against teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 and the first of those games will be at home against No. 8 Iowa State (14-2, 2-2 Big 12).
“These conference games will be tough,” sophomore center Cameron Ridley said. “But we’re just going to treat those games just like every other. Play as hard as we can and play with the confidence we’ve been playing with.”
Despite what the two teams’ records might indicate, Texas (13-4, 2-2 Big 12) is likely the more confident team heading into the contest. The Longhorns go into Saturday on a two-game win streak, fresh off an impressive road victory over West Virginia in Morgantown, W. Va.
Head coach Rick Barnes’ veteran trio of Ridley, junior Jonathan Holmes and sophomore Javan Felix have all impressed early on in conference play, averaging 10.3, 10.8 and 15.8 points per game, respectively, through the first four games. Ridley and Holmes are also contributing in the rebounding department, each having already recorded a double-double and each averaging 7.3 rebounds per game in Big 12 play.
Iowa State, in contrast, enters the game on a two-game losing streak. After starting the season on a 14-game win streak, the Cyclones dropped their last two games, on the road against No. 25 Oklahoma and at home against No. 15 Kansas.
The Cyclones rely heavily on senior forward Melvin Ejim, who is second in the conference in scoring with 17.8 points per game. Ejim, the lanky Toronto native, is known as a physically gifted, inside-outside threat who can score from anywhere on the court. Couple him with do-it-all senior guard DeAndre Kane, who runs Iowa State’s offense, and you’ve got a potent scoring duo. Kane is averaging 16.8 points, 7.3 assists and 5.9 assists per game.
The Longhorns and Cyclones have two common opponents so far this season — they each played BYU in non-conference play, and they have each already taken on Oklahoma in conference play. With both teams having developed significantly since their respective meetings with the Cougars, a look at their respective contests against the Sooners is a much better representation of how the two teams match up.
Both Texas and Iowa State lost to Oklahoma. The Longhorns suffered a close 88-85 loss at home while the Cyclones lost 87–82 on the road in Norman. Both teams evidently struggled to slow down the Sooners’ scoring offense, but a closer look at the two games demonstrates where the scoring came from: second-chance points. Both Texas and Iowa State had better field goal percentages than Oklahoma in those matchups, but each team was heavily out-rebounded.
Regardless of their difference in ranking, the Cyclones and Longhorns appear to be very evenly matched on paper, so fans should be in for a good one at The Drum this weekend. It may not matter which group hits a greater percentage of their shots, but which team can corral more of the missed ones.
Texas came back from a 12-point deficit to beat UT-Arlington 72-69 at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday evening. Check out the photos from the game: