Horns watch Nebraska replay to learn, prepare for Cyclones

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Men's Basketball

The Longhorns had to go to class on Sunday. Taught by head coach Rick Barnes, Texas sat through an extended version of its film study so they could learn what exactly went wrong Saturday against Nebraska.

The team watched an entire replay of the 70-67 loss in Lincoln less than 24 hours after it happened.

Dribble penetration defense, screening and rebounding were a few of the many topics discussed.

“It was an eye opener,” said freshman Tristan Thompson. “We still have a lot of room to grow.”

Texas looks to take what they learned from the film session on Sunday to build a new win streak tonight when they take on the last-place Iowa State Cyclones.

Prior to watching the video of Saturday’s loss, Barnes’ message to his team was simple.

“I told them, ‘You got to look at this tape and you got to be honest with yourself and be able to evaluate yourself and see the areas where you got to get better,’” Barnes said. “Every time they go back and look at the game, they are always surprised because they always think they are playing hard.”

Rebounding stood out the most to Thompson when reviewing his performance.

“I played 18 minutes and had three rebounds,” he said. “That’s unacceptable. For me being the player that I am, that’s unacceptable.”

Barnes showed his team how they did not execute their game plan throughout the game. The failure to do so enabled Nebraska to do what they wanted.

“We didn’t play our usual defense,” said senior Gary Johnson. “We let them get comfortable at home. Any team that is that comfortable at home already has a foot up in the game and that’s what they did.”

Once again the Longhorns got off to a quick start against the Huskers, taking a seven-point lead into halftime.

Throughout the 11-game streak, Texas had been struggling more in the second half, but a large enough first half lead had previously proven insurmountable for its opponents. Saturday was a different story.

“You learn that if you don’t come out of the gate strong in the second half like we haven’t been in the second half, we are going to face a loss, like we did,” Thompson said.

Barnes said he has been impressed with every practice this season, but doesn’t always see that effort continue into the games.

“I just don’t understand why we haven’t attacked the game the way we need to for 40 minutes,” Barnes said.

The loss was Texas’ first in conference play, ending an 11-game win streak that began Jan. 11.

“The positive is that sometimes you need to feel the sting of defeat,” Barnes said.

Postseason play is two weeks away and the Longhorns are making sure that if they lose again, it will happen before the NCAA tournament.

“It’s never good to lose, but at the same time it’s better to lose now than in March,” Thompson said.