Although Texas led for the majority of Saturday’s game, the Longhorns could not put any space between themselves and the Boilermakers due to the stellar play of Carsen Edwards who finished the game with 40 points. Edwards was a one man show for the Boilermakers shooting 15-of-26 from the field and 7-of-14 from behind-the arc. The rest of the team shot a combined 2-of-18 from deep range.
The Longhorns struggled to protect the ball in the first half, turning the ball over nine times in the first 20 minutes. The Boilermakers couldn’t capitalize scoring just four points off turnovers as they began the game shooting 1-for-13 from deep range. In the second half, the game became a dual between opposing point guards. Matt Coleman and Edwards accounted for 46 of the 73 total points scored in the half. Both guards showcased an ability to score the ball in key situations from multiple areas of the court. Although Edwards may have won the individual battle between the two, Coleman ultimately helped Texas grab the victory.
For only the second time this season, Texas shot better than 40 percent from behind the three-point line (shooting 29 percent from behind-the-arc as a team this season). In contrast, the Boilermakers shot well below their season average from deep (38 percent) making just nine of their 32 attempts. Purdue’s inability to score effectively from long range is one of the key reasons their offense struggled throughout the contest. As a result, Purdue recorded a season-low six total assists on 27 made baskets.
The Longhorns leaned on their young players more so in this game than they have all season, especially during crunch time minutes late in the game. Both Jaxson Hayes and Kamaka Hepa logged career high minute totals and were pivotal players down the stretch for Texas. Hayes also recorded his fifth consecutive game recording three or more blocks. Jase Febres grabbed a career high six rebounds in limited court time.
Carsen Edwards’ scoring outburst on Saturday was of historic proportions. Not only did it match his career high in points scored in a single game, it was the highest individual scoring effort at the Frank Erwin Center in nearly a decade (2009) and the highest scoring total in a game that ended in regulation since 1996. His near limitless shooting range was on full display as he made multiple shots from nearly 30 feet. Edwards’ pit bull mentality on both ends of the court is infectious and energizes his team. Although not a big guard, he is well built and explosive around the rim. Edwards is a shifty ball handler and has the ability to stop or start very quickly to create space between him and his defender.
Coleman’s season high in points came from a variety of areas on the court. Although he has struggled with his jump shot so far this season, Coleman proved that he has the ability to shoot the ball effectively from deep range. His vision and passing has improved this season as well. Coleman can stop and start in traffic to create easy floater opportunities or find open teammates for easy buckets. Although Edwards scored 40 points, Coleman was impressive on the defensive end throughout the game. He has the length and foot speed to stay in front of most guards. In addition, he does well to not accrue foul despite how aggressively he plays defensively.
Although most of his points on the season have come at the rim in the form of dunks, Hayes had an impressive night against Purdue in extended minutes. An explosive athlete at the rim, Hayes is able to get quality positioning on the offensive end which has led to a multitude of easy finishes this season thus far. Through eight games, Hayes leads the team in field goal percentage shooting 66 percent from the field. He is a solid and aggressive help-side shot blocker. However, it often puts him out of position in defensive rebounding. He leads the team in total blocks with 20.
Texas (6-3) will host Grand Canyon this coming Saturday (12/15). Purdue (6-4) will head home to take on Notre Dame this coming Saturday (12/15) as well.
This article was written by Justin Ullestad, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter. We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout apprenticeship program. For information contact us and forward your resume.