Austin, TX – The Texas Longhorns (5-1) easily defeated the Wyoming Cowboys (4-2) in a declarative 86-63 victory. The Longhorns and Cowboys traded buckets early on. However, after the 10-minute mark Texas took control and never let their foot off the gas. This was a complete game for the Longhorns offensively and defensively which showcased their versatility and athleticism.
Offensively, Texas was very creative with the plays they ran seemingly every time they set up in half-court offense. The Longhorns would have double off ball screens (Mitchell and Cuningham) to get their guards open with the option to get Shedrick 1 on 1 in the low post or get an open shot from one of the guards. There were many permutations of this set and it was fun to watch. Defensively, they mostly ran switch heavy man, but this played into their strength which is to have size on the perimeter, and they took advantage of the lack of size of the Cowboys.
From the start, The Longhorns looked to get the ball into senior forward Kadin Shedrick’s (Virginia transfer) hands, and he did not disappoint. He finished the game with 17 points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. He was extremely efficient from the floor shooting 7-of-10. Shedrick had complete control of the low post. Defensively, he dominated in the interior with two blocks. Equally as impressive was his ability to switch onto guards and engulf them with his 6’11 height and 7 foot plus wingspan. It is nice to see an extremely big player be able to use his size with such fluidity. If he can sustain this level of play, Texas might have gotten themselves one of the best transfers in the country.
Putting Shedrick’s production aside, it wasn’t until senior guard Max Abmas started to hit some big-time shots that gave Texas a double-digit lead. Abmas finished with 23 points, four rebounds and theee assists. He was 57% from the floor and 50% from the 3-point line. To simply put, Abmas caught fire. He hit catch and shoot threes, He hit multiple off the dribble mid-range shots, He even hit a buzzer beater step back 3-pointer to close the half. Abmas showcased a serious ability to create for himself in today’s game. He will look to continue his hot shooting with their match-up against Texas State this Thursday.
Dillon Mitchell had himself another good game. He finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one block. Offensively, he scored his points on offensive rebounds and slashing to the rim. He has an extremely high finishing ability around the rim. He limits the ceiling of his team because he doesn’t shoot the ball well and doesn’t have good mechanics. However, his relentless motor energizes the team and is simply fun to watch. Defensively, he uses his monster size and strength to demoralize players. Mitchell has clearly separated himself on this team as the best defender. He might not have had the defensive counting stats of Shedrick, but he imposed his will that won’t show up in the box score. Mitchell has the highest ceiling on this team. If he can fix his shot, the Longhorns will be dangerous come March.
Off the bench, sixth-man Ithiel Horton serves an important role. He doesn’t start, but he might be one of the best players on this team. In this game, he had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. On the season, he is averaging 52.2% from the field and 47.6% on 3-pointers. If he shot better free throws. He could be flirting with a 50-40-90 season. Being a bigger guard at 6-5, he could get his way on an NBA team via a 2-way contract if he remains consistent with his efficiency.
Wyoming wasn’t expected to compete in this game. Texas just has too much size, length, and depth on their side. However, Texas has a historical tendency to play at the level of their competition and it’s refreshing that they are dominating teams they are supposed to beat. Texas will look to build on this win this Thursday against Texas State.