After ending a horrid losing streak, Texas has started a much more desirable one by putting together two wins in a row. The Longhorns now sport a solid 2-7 conference record, which is good for ninth in the Big 12, and have set themselves up for a historic comeback if they can continue the winning streak until the end of the season. Even then, they probably won’t catch Baylor.
Although Texas now has wins over the eighth and tenth place teams, it isn’t time to rejoice and sound the victory bells quite yet. Texas has wins over the other worst teams in the conference and is still winless against the top seven teams in the Big 12.
The primary factor that won Texas its first conference game was its dominance on the boards. Texas outrebounded Kansas State by 21 including a 16-10 edge on the offensive glass. This advantage gave Texas a 24 point edge in the paint over the Wildcats.
Texas continued its dominance on the boards against TCU with a 37-25 rebound advantage. Texas also made twice as many free throws as the Horned Frogs. Despite its advantage on the glass in the past two games, Texas has not been able to score more second chance points than either Kansas State or TCU, while still leading the conference in turnovers by 60. The Longhorns average 21 turnovers per game, which is significantly higher than the ninth place team in the Big 12.
While turnovers are still a major issue, Texas is at least starting to do something right. After going 37 days without a win, it’s not reasonable to start complaining about finally getting into the win column.
Winning consecutive games for the first time since November is a good start toward making the season respectable again. But Texas will have its work cut out for it if it is going to make a push toward a .500 record. First, its schedule doesn’t get much easier as the second half of conference play begins.
Texas will play both Kansas State and TCU again this season, and is done playing the Sooners, who currently stand second in the conference.
Unfortunately, Texas still has to play Baylor twice and the Bears have not lost a conference game yet. They have won 18 games in a row since losing to Stanford in mid November. Considering that Baylor has won every conference game by an average of 24 points with only four coming by less than 20 points, the odds aren’t in Texas’ favor of winning against the team.
Four games against the bottom half of the conference could help the Longhorns add to their win total, but they will have to make some substantial improvements if they want a shot at winning the other five games.
Published on February 6, 2013 as "Two straight vicotories no reason to celebrate".