So, is Texas good enough this year to eventually qualify as a team that will finish with a winning record? That's debatable. Yes, the Longhorns are 12-4, but they lost their first two Big 12 games to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and then barely survived Texas Tech on Saturday, winning 67-64 at home.
Texas had few signature wins this season until a week before Christmas, when the Longhorns beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill, 86-83. But even though North Carolina has slipped (the Tar Heels are last in the ACC at 0-3), that win for Texas is still better than any win West Virginia has managed to date.
Texas brings to the Coliseum a fairly deep group, a 10-man rotation of primarily sophomores and freshmen with a mix of size and perimeter players, but no real take-control scorer. Jonathan Holmes, a 6-foot-8 junior who is the only upperclassman in the rotation, averages 12.7 points and 6.9 rebounds.
Guards Javan Felix and Isaiah Taylor and 6-9 sophomore center Cameron Ridley all average low double-figures scoring.
That's a change from the team West Virginia faced Saturday, which had three potential game-breakers in Marcus Smart, Le'Bryan Nash and Brown. The Mountaineers' goal now is just to switch gears as quickly as possible and avoid a second straight home loss after opening the league season 2-0 on the road.
"This is one of those bad-taste games you don't want to linger,'' Juwan Staten in the aftermath of Saturday's loss. "You want to get out there and get rid of that taste as soon as you can.''
BRIEFLY: West Virginia leads the series with Texas 3-2 and the five games have been decided by a combined 11 points. Every game has been undecided right up until the last possession of regulation and the widest margin of victory was WVU's 57-53 overtime win in Austin last season.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1