Dec. 16, 2009
#2/2 Texas (9-0) vs. #10/10 North Carolina (8-2)
Saturday, December 19, 2009 • 1 p.m. Central
Cowboys Stadium (46,753) • Arlington, Texas
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS
TELEVISION: The game will be televised nationally by ESPN. Dan Shulman (pxp), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Doris Burke (reporter) will call the action.
RADIO: The Longhorn Sports Network and KVET (FM 98.1/1300 AM Sportsradio The Zone) broadcast every UT game on the statewide network and on XM Satellite Radio Ch. 231. Craig Way (pxp) and Eddie Oran (analyst) will call the action. Check www.TexasSports.com for a listing of affiliates carrying the game.
SERIES: Tied, 2-2. Last meeting: Texas 78-75 (March 20, 2004; Denver)
Saturday's contest marks the first basketball game to be played at the new Cowboys Stadium. The venue also is set to host this year's NBA All-Star Game (Feb. 14, 2010), a NCAA Men's Basketball regional in 2013 and the 2014 NCAA Men's Final Four. The capacity for Saturday's game will be 46,753. The court for the game will be placed at the center of the stadium with a temporary floor seating system installed, similar to the setup utilized by the NCAA at the Final Four.
Series vs. North Carolina
Saturday's contest marks the fifth meeting between Texas and North Carolina. The series, which dates back to the 1992-93 season, is tied at two wins apiece. In the first matchup, then-No. 7 UNC posted a 104-68 victory in the championship game of the Diet Pepsi Tournament of Champions (Charlotte, N.C.) on Dec. 4, 1992. Two years later, the two squads opened the regular season (Nov. 26, 1994) against each other with then-No. 2 North Carolina recording a 96-92 win in Chapel Hill. Texas then registered a 74-72 upset of No. 14 North Carolina in Austin on Dec. 30, 1995. In the last meeting between the two schools, No. 12 Texas posted a 78-75 win in the 2004 NCAA Second Round in Denver (March 20, 2004).
Texas-Pan American Game Notes
• The 62-point margin was the ninth-largest in school history and the largest since defeating Prairie View A&M by 72 points (110-38) in Austin on Dec. 30, 2005.
• The 62-point margin was the eighth-largest margin at home in school history and the third-largest margin of victory in Erwin Center history (since the start of the 1977-78 season).
• UT won by at least 30 points for the fifth time in the first nine contests.
• The Horns topped the 100-point plateau for the second time this year. Texas improved to 95-9 all-time and 61-1 at home when reaching the century mark.
• The +33 rebound margin (64-31) tied for the second-largest in school history.
• UT limited the Broncs to 23.8% FG shooting (15-of-63). The .238 mark was the third-lowest field goal percentage allowed in a game by the Horns in school history.
• Texas improved to 96-11 (.897) against in-state foes during the Rick Barnes era.
• Avery Bradley (18 points) reached double figures in scoring for the sixth time in nine games this year. He set career highs in points, field goals made (8-of-15), assists (five) and steals (three).
• Jordan Hamilton (15 points) reached double figures in scoring for the sixth time in nine games this year. He also tied his career high in rebounds (seven).
• Dexter Pittman (14 points) reached double figures in scoring for the seventh time this year and the 24th time in 109 career games.
• Gary Johnson (12 points) reached double figures in scoring for the third time this year and the 24th time in 63 career games.
• Justin Mason (10 points) reached double figures in scoring for the first time this season and the 29th time in 117 career games.
• Clint Chapman set a career high in rebounds (nine).
Texas is off to a 9-0 start, winning all nine contests by double-digit margins. Five of the nine wins have been by at least 30 points.
• The Horns have opened the season with nine wins by margins of at least 15 points for the first time in UT history.
• Texas has opened the year with a 9-0 start for the 12th time in school history but just the third time since the 1947-48 season (14-0 in 1981-82, 11-0 in 2007-08, 9-0 in 2009-10).
• It marks the second time in the last three years that the Longhorns have opened the season with nine straight wins. UT began the 2007-08 season with an 11-0 mark en route to winning the Big 12 Conference title and advancing to the NCAA "Elite Eight."
• This also marks the first time since the 1921-22 season and third time in program history that the Horns have posted double-digit margins of victory in each of their first nine games. Texas also accomplished the feat in 1915-16 (won first 10 games by double-digit margins) and 1921-22 (won first 13 games by double-digit margins).
While Texas has rode solid defense to its early-season success, the offense has been improved of late. UT has reached the century mark in two of its last three games. The Horns posted a 107-74 home win against Long Beach State (Dec. 7) and added a 104-42 home victory against Texas-Pan American (Dec. 15). Texas has shot better than 50% from the floor in seven of its first nine games. By comparison, the Horns only reached the 50% FG mark in six of their 35 games last season. In the win against Long Beach State, UT had six players reach double figures in scoring (Bradley, 17; James, 14; Johnson, 14; Hamilton, 13; Brown, 13; Pittman, 11). This marked the first time Texas had six players reach double figures in scoring since the Horns defeated Tennessee 95-70 on Nov. 24, 2004 in the third-place game at the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Solid defense continues to be a Texas trademark under coach Rick Barnes. In their first nine contests, the Longhorns have held their opponents to an average of just 53.8 points per game on a combined 31.6% FG shooting, including a 37-of-168 (.220) mark from three-point range. UT has held its opponents to 30% or under FG shooting in nine of 18 halves this year. Since Rick Barnes arrived in Austin, the Horns have held 190 of their 384 opponents to under 40% FG shooting. Texas sports a 173-17 (.911) mark in the Barnes era when accomplishing the feat (7-0 this year).
James Approaching UT Career Rebound Mark
Damion James currently ranks second in school history and fourth in Big 12 Conference history with 1,059 rebounds in 117 career games (9.1 rpg). In the win against Iowa (Nov. 23), he became the third player in school history and sixth individual in Big 12 Conference history to reach the 1,000 career rebound plateau. James is just 19 boards shy of becoming the school's all-time leading rebounder and 85 rebounds shy of becoming the all-time Big 12 leader.
Most Career Rebounds in UT History
Rk. Name (Seasons) Rebounds
1. James Thomas (2001-04) 1,077
2. Damion James (2007- ) 1,059
Most Career Rebounds in Big 12 Conference History
Rk. Name, School (Seasons) Rebounds
1. Nick Collison, Kansas (2000-03) 1,143
2. Arthur Johnson, Missouri (2001-04) 1,083
3. James Thomas, Texas (2001-04) 1,077
4. Damion James, Texas (2007- ) 1,059
5. Stephane Pelle, Colorado (2000-03) 1,053
Lucas Becomes Eligible for UNC Game
Junior point guard Jai Lucas (first name is pronounced Jay) will become eligible to play in Saturday's game against North Carolina in Arlington. Lucas transferred from Florida to Texas prior to the start of the Spring 2009 semester. Per NCAA transfer rules, Lucas is permitted to practice with the Longhorns, but he will not be able to participate in games or travel with the team until the completion of fall semester exams. Lucas spent his freshman season (2007-08) at Florida and earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team while starting all 36 games for the Gators. He averaged 8.5 ppg and converted a team-best 43.5 percent of his three-point field goal attempts (37-of-85) while helping Florida post a 24-12 record (8-8 SEC, 4th East) and advance to the MasterCard Postseason NIT semifinals. Lucas earned McDonald's All-America and Parade All-America honors during his senior year at Bellaire High School in Houston, as he averaged 26.3 points and 7.5 assists per contest.
Balbay Gets the Point
Junior point guard Dogus Balbay has a team-best 47 assists against just 12 turnovers (3.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio) while averaging 22.8 minutes per game during the first nine contests this year. Balbay tallied 10 points (4-of-6 FG), eight boards, seven assists against two turnovers and two steals in 28 minutes against Pittsburgh (Nov. 24). In Tuesday's win against UT-Pan American, he added eight points, nine assists against just one turnover, five boards and three steals in 22 minutes.
Hamilton Showing All-Around Improvement
Freshman swingman Jordan Hamilton has averaged 14.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game over his last three contests. He also has nine assists against just one turnover during the stretch. Hamilton posted 13 points, two boards, three assists without a turnover, two steals and one block in 26 minutes against Long Beach State (Dec. 7). He had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists without a turnover in 26 minutes during the home win against Texas State (Dec. 12). Hamilton tallied 15 points, seven boards, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes during Tuesday's home victory against UT-Pan American. Hamilton has reached double digits in scoring in six of the first nine games and ranks fifth on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg) and fourth on the squad in rebounding (4.1 rpg) in 19.3 minutes per contest.
Bradley Breaks Out
Freshman guard Avery Bradley has averaged 16.7 points per game while converting 21-of-41 (.512) field goals, including 7-of-16 from three-point range, in the last three contests. He had 17 points (7-of-13 FG, 2-of-4 threes) in 25 minutes during the home win against Long Beach State (Dec. 7). Bradley returned to post 15 points (6-of-13 FG, 3-of-6 threes) in a season-high 32 minutes against Texas State (Dec. 12). He added a season-high 18 points (8-of-15 FG), five assists and three steals in 23 minutes during Tuesday's win against UT-Pan American. Bradley ranks fourth on the team in scoring (11.0 ppg) and leads the team in steals (14) in 24.1 minutes per contest through the first nine games. He has reached double figures in scoring in six of the first nine contests.