The Big 12 season is finally here!!! Texas defeated Navy to notch the conference's first win of the 2010-11 season. After a pretty horrendous first half, the Longhorns pulled out a solid victory over the Midshipmen. The Longhorns only managed 29 points in the first half, but McDonald's All-American frosh Tristan Thompson (I'm not sure how I missed him over the summer) kept them in the game with 10 points (including a ferocious dunk) and 4 rebounds. While he struggled from the free throw line (4-10), he made sure people remembered Josh Selby (hopefully) and Perry Jones aren't the only elite recruits coming into the Big 12 this season.
In the second half Jordan Hamilton totally took over the game, scoring 21 points. Hamilton finished with an impressive 26 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Johnson also had a double double with 17 points and 10 boards. Texas dominated the Midshipmen on the glass (as they should), winning the rebounding battle 50-30. Unfortunately, free throw shooting still looks suspect (the Longhorns only made 19 of 34 from the charity stripe). Poor free throw shooting plagued last year's squad too, so I would be surprised if coach Barnes didn't emphasize it this season. Texas also struggled from beyond the arc, as Hamilton made 3 of 8 and the rest of the team went 1 for 9.
Overall Texas looked inconsistent, and Rick Barnes will need to figure out a way to make this team click over the course of the season. They are clearly very talented but have a long way to go before reaching their full potential. If Barnes can get his team to shoot better, they'll be a very strong team this year.