Dec. 20, 2010
#18/22 Texas (9-2) vs. #12/12 Michigan State (8-3)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 • 6 p.m. Central
Breslin Center (14,759) • East Lansing, Michigan
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS
TELEVISION: The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2. Dave O’Brien (pxp) and Jay Bilas (analyst) 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 TexasSports.com for a listing of affiliates carrying the game.
SERIES: Tied, 3-3. Last meeting: Texas 79-68 (Dec. 22, 2009; Austin)
Tough Road Test, Part Two
Wednesday’s contest at Michigan State marks the second straight game for the Horns against an elite national program in a hostile environment. Texas passed its first test with a 78-76 victory against North Carolina on Saturday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C. The Longhorns now visit the Breslin Center and attempt to stop MSU’s 52-game home win streak against non-conference foes.
Series vs. Michigan State
Wednesday’s contest marks the seventh meeting between Texas and Michigan State. This is the fifth straight year that the two schools have met on the hardwood. The all-time series is tied at three wins apiece entering Wednesday’s game. Five of the previous six matchups have come at neutral sites.
One Year Ago Tonight
No. 2/2 Texas 79, No. 9/9 Michigan State 68. Dec. 22, 2009 -- Damion James posted a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Horns to an 11-point win at the Erwin Center. Turnovers plagued both teams in the first half, as Michigan State committed 15 miscues and Texas had 12. A pair of Delvon Roe free throws trimmed UT’s lead to 68-63 at the 4:25 mark, before Gary Johnson sealed the victory in a three-possession span. Johnson opened the stretch with a mid-range jumper at the 4:00 mark. After a steal near mid-court, Johnson fed Dogus Balbay for a breakaway dunk. Then Johnson stole the ball on MSU’s next possession and finished the play with a dunk to give Texas a 74-63 cushion with 3:22 left. Texas hit 19-of-32 (.594) field goals in the decisive second half, while holding MSU to 38.5% (10-of-26) FG shooting. Jordan Hamilton joined James in double-figure scoring with 14 points (4-of-6 threes), while Balbay added eight points and six assists without a turnover. Balbay also held Kalin Lucas to just 11 points (3-of-11 FG) and two assists against six turnovers. Chris Allen paced the Spartans with 12 points (2-of-3 threes).
North Carolina Game Notes
• UT recorded its fourth straight win against North Carolina.
• The Longhorns posted a +3 (40-37) rebound margin, including a 16-13 advantage on the offensive glass. UT has outrebounded its opponent in 10 of its first 11 games.
• Texas posted its biggest come-from-behind victory of the season. UT trailed North Carolina by seven points (67-60) at the 5:43 mark of the second half.
• Jordan Hamilton (24 points, 10 rebounds) posted his third double-double of the year and fourth of his career (45 games). He topped the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season and seventh time in his career. Hamilton reached double digits in points for the 10th time this year and 28th time in his career. He reached double figures in rebounds for the third time this season and fourth time in his career.
• Cory Joseph (21 points) recorded career highs in points and field goals made (8-of-14). He reached the 20-point mark for the first time this season. Joseph reached double digits in scoring for the sixth time this year. He also added three assists without a turnover in 35 minutes.
• Gary Johnson (11 points) reached double figures in scoring for the seventh time this year and 43rd time in his career. (99 games).
• J’Covan Brown (10 points) reached double figures in points for the fifth time this season and 20th time in his career (44 games).
• Alexis Wangmene set a career high in rebounds (nine), including five on the offensive glass, and tied a season high in minutes played (15).
Solid defense continues to be a Texas trademark under coach Rick Barnes. UT has held its first 11 opponents to an average of 62.5 ppg on 36.5% FG shooting, including a 47-of-164 (.287) mark from three-point range. Texas has limited six of its first 11 opponents this year to below 40% FG shooting and three below 30% FG shooting. The Horns also have allowed just 98 assists against 161 turnovers through the first 11 contests. Since Barnes arrived in Austin, the Horns have held 201 of their 420 opponents to under 40% FG shooting. Texas sports a 183-18 (.910) mark in the Barnes era when accomplishing the feat.
Hamilton Off to Solid Start
Jordan Hamilton has been a much improved all-around player to start the 2010-11 season. Through the first 11 contests this year, Hamilton leads the team in scoring (19.4 ppg) and double-doubles (three) and is third in rebounding (7.2 rpg). He has converted 75-of-165 (.455) field goals, including 27-of-63 (.429) from three-point range, and 36-of-47 (.766) free throws. Hamilton posted a game-high 24 points (10-of-18 FG, 4-of-7 threes) and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes against North Carolina on Saturday.
Joseph Doing a Little Bit of Everything
Cory Joseph has been called the team’s “most complete guard” by coach Rick Barnes. Through his first 11 collegiate games, Joseph leads the team in assists (2.9 apg) and minutes played (32.2 mpg) and ranks second in scoring (11.9 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (3.8 rpg).
Career Day for Joseph
Cory Joseph posted his finest offensive performance of his career during Saturday’s victory at North Carolina. Joseph tallied career highs in scoring (21 points) and field goals made (8-of-14), including the game-winning field goal from just beyond the free throw line with 1.4 seconds left. He also added four rebounds and three assists without a turnover in 35 minutes played.
Joseph Gets Offensive
Over the last six contests, Cory Joseph has averaged a team-best 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while converting 35-of-66 (.530) field goals, including 17-of-33 (.515) from three-point range.
Cory Joseph: By the Numbers
First 5 Games Stat Last 6 Games
6.8 Points per game 16.2
32.4 (11-34) FG% (FG-A) 53.0 (35-66)
15.4 (2-13) 3 FG% (3FG-A) 51.5 (17-33)
Thompson Not Playing Like a Freshman
Tristan Thompson has played beyond his years on both ends of the court. Through his first 11 collegiate games, Thompson ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg), second in rebounding (7.4 rpg) and minutes played (30.0 mpg) and tops on the squad in blocked shots (23). He has converted 40-of-85 (.471) field goals and also leads the team in steals (13).
What Can Brown Do For You?
Despite playing just 19.5 minutes per game off the bench in the first 11 games, sophomore guard J’Covan Brown ranks fifth on the team in scoring (9.1 ppg). Brown recorded 14 points (5-of-6 FT) in 22 minutes against No. 5/4 Pittsburgh (Nov. 19). He had 12 points in 21 minutes against Sam Houston State (Nov. 23). Brown added 10 points (4-of-4 FT) in 25 minutes during Saturday’s win against North Carolina. He has reached double figures in scoring in five of UT’s first 11 contests.
Brown Becoming Offensive
J’Covan Brown has improved his offensive numbers recently. Brown has averaged 11.5 ppg while converting 6-of-16 (.375) from three-point range and 14-of-15 (.933) from the free throw line in the last four contests.
Wangmene a Factor Again
Redshirt junior forward/center Alexis Wangmene has played in 82 career games off the bench during his career. In the first 11 contests this year, Wangmene is averaging 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing 11.3 minutes per game. He tied his career high with eight points (4-of-6 FT) to go along with four rebounds in 15 minutes against Texas State (Dec. 11). Wangmene set a career high with nine rebounds (five offensive) in 15 minutes during Saturday’s win against North Carolina.