Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas looks ahead after losses, COVID-19 cancellations

Jack Myer

Editor's Note: This story first appeared in The Daily Texan's February 5 online edition.

The past couple of weeks have been a struggle for the No. 6 Texas men’s basketball team.

The Longhorns lost three of their last four games and endured numerous COVID-19 issues that sidelined head coach Shaka Smart and multiple players over a two-week stretch.

“With what’s happened these past few weeks, this is the biggest time to improve,” senior guard Matt Coleman said at a teleconference Thursday.

Coleman and junior guard Courtney Ramey stressed that although it’s been hard to maintain a rhythm in practice due to absences, they don’t think the team has lost its flow. 

Sunday’s practice was the first time in 19 days Texas practiced with its entire team.

“I do think it’s different,” Coleman said. “When you’re hit with adversity like guys with COVID, (and) missing your head coach, that does matter.”

Coleman said the importance of maintaining a winning mentality during these turbulent times is crucial, and that starts with taking practice more seriously and focusing on the details.

Ramey was sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols and missed the Oklahoma game as a result. He was in line to miss the game at Kentucky as well before it was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within Kentucky’s program. Ramey said he tried to stay positive and provide leadership to his team from afar.

“It’s kind of hard to lead when you’re not there, because you don’t know everything that’s going on,” Ramey said. “The biggest thing I can do is just continue to be a leader and continue to help my teammates the best I can.”

Ramey said the team’s experience and maturity will allow Texas to handle this season’s unusual circumstances. 

“We’re an older team,” Ramey said. “The majority of our guys are players who’ve been around for a while. We just have to go into Oklahoma State with the mindset of doing whatever it takes to win.”

The Cowboys, led by freshman guard Cade Cunningham, boast an 11-5 record with wins over then-No. 13 Texas Tech and then-No. 6 Kansas.

“We have to come ready to compete,” Coleman said. “Both teams are coming off losses, so both teams are going to want to win.”

Ramey said the past few weeks have been frustrating because of the COVID-19 disruptions, but he acknowledged that was expected heading into this season.

“It’s been very frustrating,” Ramey said. “But we’re big boys, so we (have to) do it. We knew some games were going to get canceled throughout the year … The team (that) handles it the best is going to be the team that wins the national championship at the end of the day.”

Tuesday’s loss to Baylor was a tough pill to swallow for the Longhorns who did not live up to their lofty defensive standards. The Bears shot 11-of-21 from three-point range and scored 20 points off Texas turnovers.

“Let’s accept it,” Coleman said. “Let’s get better, (and) let’s move forward. Now, as we’re whole again or whatever you want to say, it’s just time to take advantage of everyone that we have in this locker room.”

To correct the mistakes that have plagued the Longhorns in recent games, Ramey said they have to practice with more purpose.

“It starts today,” Ramey said. “We all were there. We all saw what happened, and we just have to move on from it. Today’s a whole new day to get better, and we will get better.”

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About the Contributor
Matthew Boncosky, Sports Editor
Matthew is a senior studying journalism and previously covered football, men’s basketball, volleyball and swimming and diving. He is the "undisputed" ping pong champion of the basement.
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Texas looks ahead after losses, COVID-19 cancellations