The Austin Chronicle


By Michael Corcoran, February 22, 2013, Sports

Though they may seem to mean the same thing, there's a difference between embarrassment and humiliation. Embar­rass­ment is trailing 60-30 and having the opposing team's star player do a 360 dunk on you. Humiliation is having the other coach's nerdy son – Kansas walk-on Tyler Self – double his season point total with a driving bucket, plus one.

Texas (12-14, 4-9 Big 12) held on to beat TCU on the road Tuesday, but that doesn't redeem their dreadful performance up at the Phog Allen Fieldhau5 Saturday night, losing 73-47 to an up-and-down Kansas team. The Horns shot 22% from the floor, including 2 of 21 from three-point range. They missed so many wide-open shots that it looked like the point was to make as loud a clanking sound as possible – as if audio meters, not the net, was how scoring was determined. After a while it got funny just how many shots in a row Texas missed. Embarrass­ment is dropping the soap in the prison shower.

The euphoria of last Wednesday night's double-overtime win over Iowa State at the Erwin Center was as short-lived as the period of time between banging one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and hearing her talk.

This Longhorns basketball team has tested positive for NIT – they've got as much chance of making the NCAA tourney as Manti Te'o going on a blind date – but the return of point guard Myck Kabongo, suspended the first 23 games of the season for receiving a gift of free airfare and using it to fly to Akron, Ohio, gave the team an almost spiritual uplift against ISU.

Saturday night against Kansas, he was just lead clown in the farce. If Allen Iverson was "The Answer," Kabongo is just "Huh?" This guy is ready for the NBA like David Lee Roth was ready to take over Howard Stern's terrestrial morning radio show.

Ioannis Papapetrou isn't ready for the WNBA. The teenager from Greece, who hit a clutch three to send the ISU game into the first overtime, played like a dancer from Grease. Jonathan Holmes also soiled the Sealy, letting some dreadful calls mess with his game head. But give Holmes credit for the Horns' lone highlight, a stuff of KU superstar Ben McLemore, who was going in for another slam. The ref called it a foul, of course, but Holmes knocked that future No. 1 pick on his ass cleanly.

This season has been the lowest point of Coach "Hickory Rick" Barnes' career since he couldn't make it past the second round with Kevin Durant in the lineup. Yeah, I know this is the youngest team in the NCAA, but the Greenhorns are full of blue-chip recruits, like center Cameron Ridley and Javan Felix. But these guys aren't "one and done," they're "four and more." They should stay in school to get their degrees, for a better job at the car dealership.

I've always defended Barnes, even though his "Dickery Rick" rep is that he's constantly up his players' asses like a jalapeno burr. But after that shameful showing on ESPN Saturday night, I've gotta question the job he's doing. His favorite offensive scheme seems to be throwing the ball around away from the bucket until the shot clock (also known as the Sheldon McClelland wake-up call) winds down, and then hurrying up a frozen pumpkin. UT is paying Barnes $2.4 million a year, which is a lot less than Mack Mediocrity gets, but Barnes matches Brownie with $800,000 per conference win.

This is a lost season. It's over. All we can hope for now is that some of the prized recruits considering Texas might fall in love with a UT gal while on their visit. They couldn't possibly watch the way Texas performed against Kansas and want to come play ball for that coach and with those guys.

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