Texas takes lumps, preps for next year

Wes Maulsby

Eleven days ago, Texas was eliminated in the first round of the Big 12 tournament by Kansas State and its regular season came to an end.

A rough season that featured a nine-game losing streak, including seven straight losses to begin conference play, is over. Now the Longhorns have to pick up the pieces and rebuild for next season.

Texas only won one road game in conference play and finished tied for eighth in the Big 12 with Kansas State. It didn’t beat a single team that finished in the top five of the conference. Two of its five conference wins came against TCU, which only won two conference games.

The Longhorns were last in the conference in three-point field goal percentage. That was a heavy contributor to them finishing ninth in the conference for scoring offense, only ahead of TCU. Texas was a solid rebounding team that finished second in the Big 12 in offensive and defensive rebounding to Baylor and Iowa State, respectively. It also shot just under 40 percent from the field, which shouldn’t translate to ninth in scoring in the Big 12. What this does translate to is Texas’ turnover margin. It was last in the Big 12 by a significant margin, averaging a nightmarish 20.5 turnovers per game.

Texas’ frontcourt held up well in the Big 12, but its backcourt will have to pick up its production. Junior guard Chassidy Fussell led the team in scoring, but she will need to work with the rest of the backcourt to increase the team’s three point shooting percentage, as well as significantly cutting the turnovers down.

All in all, there are not a whole lot of positives to take away from this season. The schedule shows a lot of losses and some of the statistics are just as ugly. So with the 2012-2013 basketball season over, it’s time for Texas to begin looking forward.

Texas only played with two seniors this season, so the bulk of the team will be returning. Its three freshmen were among some of the best in the nation coming out of high school according to ESPN’s recruiting rankings. Texas will be bringing in another Top 100 player in the backcourt next season, which could help fix some problems there.

Conference heavyweight Baylor will be replacing four seniors heading into next season, including Brittney Griner. Without that obstacle, the conference will be a lot more open considering that the second place team this year had six conference losses. With players returning to an open field next season, there are some things to look forward to for Texas. That should help to get rid of the foul taste this season left.