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

Takeaways from Texas’ 86-59 win over Delaware State

Skyler Sharp
Junior guard Tyrese Hunter jumps with the ball toward the hoop as an opponent from Delaware State attempts to block him on Nov. 10, 2023. Hunter scored 13 points for the Longhorns in this game, contributing to the 86-59 victory.

It wasn’t the prettiest, but No. 18 Texas pulled away late in the second half to handle Delaware State in an 86-59 victory on Friday. While the Longhorns’ offense was stagnant for much of the night, ultimately lights-out shooting and a 27-2 run in the closing minutes were enough to make Texas’ second win of the season a comfortable one.

Here are a few takeaways from the victory:

Texas will live and die from three-point range

For the first 30 minutes of the game, the only thing keeping Texas ahead of Delaware State was its shooting from beyond the arc. The Longhorns went a scorching 12-22 from distance, led by UCF graduate transfer Ithiel Horton who knocked down five of his six attempts. 

Graduate guard Max Abmas also flashed his volume shooting, canning four of his eight attempted three-pointers and dishing out five assists.

“We want to take good shots,” Texas head coach Rodney Terry said. “But (Max) is a guy that has the green light to shoot the basketball, Ithiel Horton, same thing, he’s an elite shooter.”

Texas’ willingness to operate from three-point range has been on full display through two games, with 48 threes attempted on the season. With three capable outside shooters currently in the starting lineup in Abmas, Horton and junior guard Tyrese Hunter, the Longhorns will look to continue to punish teams from distance, especially on nights where their offense struggles to get it going inside.

Longhorns have to take better care of the ball, especially against better competition

Part of Texas’ struggle to find a rhythm offensively stemmed from carelessness, especially in the first half. Rodney Terry’s offense was sluggish primarily due to 12 turnovers in the first half, ten of which came in the opening ten minutes.

“The one area that was glaring was the turnovers,” Terry said. “We were just too casual in taking care of the basketball, whether it was coming up the floor or attacking their pressure.”

The Longhorns were fortunate that the visiting team was equally careless, as Delaware State finished with 21 turnovers and granted Texas some leeway as the offense worked out the kinks. However, against Power Five competition, Texas’ relaxed passing and inability to generate good looks near the hoop for a majority of the night will be exposed.

Brock Cunningham remains a key connective piece

The Longhorns’ ability to get out in transition sparked the run to put the game away, but graduate forward Brock Cunningham was an unsung hero for Texas’ breakaway. Against Delaware State’s zone defense that was preventing Texas from getting to the rim, Terry turned to Brock Cunningham in the mid-post to serve as a facilitator offensively.

The player from Austin, Texas, finished with six points and four assists, threatening the Hornets’ defense with his mid-range jump shot and ability to find the open man consistently.

“Just having a guy that can play-make,” sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell said. “And he’s so unselfish, he’s looking for the open guy. He doesn’t care about his shot.”

Sticky point-of-attack defense

Texas’ on-ball defense helped tremendously in giving it the upper hand. Hunter and Horton in particular smothered Delaware State’s guards and were quick to close out, while Abmas and freshman guard Chris Johnson, who made his collegiate debut, were active defensively as well.

For a team missing graduate forward Dylan Disu, Texas’ defense down low was a bit less encouraging. It’s clear graduate transfer center Kadin Shedrick is still recovering from offseason surgery, as he did not look like the dominant paint protector he’s shown in the past and had trouble against Delaware State’s defense, logging just one shot in 11 minutes.

Additionally, junior forward Ze’Rik Onyema, while active on the boards, wasn’t as productive as he was in the opener when he scored 11 points. His one bucket of the night came on a lob from Abmas, though, and should be an area he looks to get more involved in.

While not the start-to-finish beatdown fans were looking for, Texas took care of business and improved to 2–0. The Longhorns will host the Rice Owls at home on Wednesday.


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