Texas Betting Odds – College Basketball Future Lines
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2009/2010 Season Preview: Texas Longhorns Predictions (Big 12)
- Bodog.com Betting Odds – Texas Odds To Win 2009/10 National Championship – 13/1
As you read this the Texas Longhorns football team is ranked in the top five, undefeated and appears likely to compete for the BCS National Championship. However, most pundits would give the basketball team a better chance of walking away with championship honours this season. Somehow, coach Rick Barnes has made Texas a national hoops power that can recruit coast to coast with anybody in the country, especially Big 12 hoops rivals Kansans and Oklahoma. They have even gone international to grab Dogas Balbay.
Texas enters this season loaded in the frontcourt with athletic forwards in Gary Johnson and Damion James as well as beefy pivot Dexter Pittman. If they can get consistent play in their backcourt, which no longer has the services of leading scorer and three points marksman AJ Abrams, they will be lethal, especially if that play included knocking down the occasional three point shot. There is a long list of guards of varied experience that will try and make up for Abrams scoring including top recruit Avery Bradley. The key will be whether the combination of Florida transfer Jai Lucas and holdover Dogus Bolbay can run this team effectively from the point guard position. Last year, the PG spot was the weakest link. Even if the PG play is the same the Longhorns will benefit from having more size on the floor as Abrams was a sub six-foot SG.
Surprising Stat – They shot a miserable 41% from the field last year. That needs to go up if they want to be elite. Good PG play will help. (do you see a theme here).
Strengths – The greatest strength is their balance and athleticism. Without a TJ Ford type at the point they play at multiple paces while playing excellent man-to-man defense. Against most opponents they have better athletes than you…and their athletes are really good players. They are really strong on the offensive glass.
Weaknesses – They need good PG play as they do not have a lot of great one on one players who can get a good shots when it matters. They will miss AJ Abrams fearlessness he always wanted to take the shot and that will be hard to replace.
Post Season – Of course…I think this is going to be a Final Four year although Kansas’ greater consistency will probably mean no Big 12 title. They can compete with anybody.
Jai Lucas – A true PG for the Longhorns with speed. Rarely do such highly touted prospects transfer. He won’t be eligible until the end of the first semester.
Avery Bradley – A top recruit who is still improving his game. If he matches Abrams production then this team will be playing the final weekend.
Shawn Williams/Jordan Hamilton – A couple of lean athletes who provide depth up front and on the wing.
AJ Abrams – Their leading scorer and shooter. He took all the big shots last year and made many. Was the heart of the team.
Connor Atchley – A physical presence who was reliable. A shooter who made smart decisions with the ball.
Damian James – A great athlete who stuffs the stat sheet. Probably the best rebounder under 6’8″ in the country.
Gary James – His game is all about explosion and he is fearless. Needs to avoid stupid fouls to be a better contributor at crunch time.
Dexter Pittman – The big guy is getting better every year. When they play other top teams they need him to play smart and stay in the game.
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