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 men’s basketball comes in hot in season opener against Incarnate Word

Joy Li
Mens basketball coach Rodney Terry on March 27, 2023.

No.18 Texas defeated Incarnate Word 88-56 in its season opener at the Moody Center.

“It’s always an exciting time, starting a new journey, a new season,” Texas head coach Rodney Terry said after the game. “We got off to a really good start tonight (with our) effort, and the preparation was really good.”

The Longhorns showed a much stronger defense than in their exhibition game last week against St. Edward’s, which ultimately kept the Cardinals to just 56 points. Junior forward Ze’Rik Onyema, who had his first start as a Longhorn, showed a dominant presence in the paint with two blocks and seven rebounds.

Graduate forward Kadin Shedrick also showed promise defensively with three blocks and his large court presence due to his size. He also stepped up offensively with his first score for Texas being a slow and controlled dunk, and he showed his ability to draw fouls by the block, taking three in the first half.

“We’re gonna keep working through our next few games and keep building on tonight,” Shedrick said about his Longhorn debut. “You know, it’s just a starting point.”

Sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell was already a prominent defensive player for Texas last season and will be once again. Mitchell’s anticipation and timing of the opposing team’s offense are factors that make him a strong force at the rim and in the paint on the defensive end.

As for the offense, graduate guard Ithiel Horton proved his importance in the Texas lineup. Not only was he one of Texas’ starters, but he finished his game with 17 points, the highest of the team. While he was the top scorer for the Longhorns, what was most impressive was his quick turnarounds and fast pace of play. Midway through the first half, Horton flew down the court on a fast break layup. Following the score, Texas’ full court press caused a turnover, giving the ball back to Ithiel for a three. His first five points of the game took place in under 10 seconds.

“Being a green light shooter means everything,” Horton said. “Honestly, sometimes I get the ball and I’ll be open and I don’t shoot. But then, they’re on me saying they want me to shoot the ball. And that reassurance is everything to me.”

Sophomore guard Chendall Weaver also came in and showed Texas what he’s made of with seven points, including a dunk that brought fans to their feet. His high-speed energy on the court proved that he will be an important player for Texas as one of the first off the bench.

Overall, the Longhorns offense was unmatched. Texas went on a 19-2 run in the first half. While the beginning of the matchup seemed to have some poor communication that resulted in thrown away passes and turnovers, the Longhorns quickly turned around and built an efficient lead, something they were unable to do last week against St. Edward’s, when they went into halftime down 39-32.

“They have an incredible presence and they have incredible athleticism,” Incarnate Word head coach Shane Heirman said in regards to Texas’ offensive game. “I think their frontline is gonna be a lot; it’ll keep some coaches up at night.”

With their first game and win of the season under their belt, Texas is prepared to take on Delaware State at 8:00 p.m. on Friday night at the Moody Center.

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About the Contributor
Joy Li, Senior Photographer
Joy Li is a freshman business major from Houston, Texas and serves as a Senior Photographer.