Jan 28, 2022 - News

Hitting the hardwood with the intriguing Longhorns

Timmy Allen #0 of the Texas Longhorns holds the ball in front of Isaac Likekele #13 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the Frank Erwin Center.
Timmy Allen of the Texas Longhorns holds the ball in front of Isaac Likekele of the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the Frank Erwin Center on January 22. Photo: Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Bounce, bounce, bounce.

  • The basketball court at the University of Texas' Erwin Center holds Austin's most fascinating sports storylines.

The big picture: The women's team is ranked No. 9 nationally, and the men's squad is finding its footing ahead of a tricky stretch.

Saturday night sees Rick Barnes return to Austin, the coach who worked with the men's team for nearly two decades and now helms the 18th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers.

  • Expect warm applause for Barnes, whose UT teams were generally very good — routinely qualifying for the NCAA tournament — but often underperformed in the national spotlight.
  • How else to describe teams that featured Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge?
  • Unranked UT has had a couple key recent victories, and the next two weeks against five ranked opponents will test whether head coach Chris Beard and this version of the Longhorns can make a postseason run.

Meanwhile: The women's squad runs a gauntlet of its own, with a game at Oklahoma this weekend and back-to-back match-ups against its nemesis Baylor next weekend.

  • On Wednesday, the Longhorns held Kansas State to just 48 points — a few days after the Wildcats saw one of their players go for a record-setting 61.

What they're saying: "It brings joy to my heart to see them play like that," Longhorns women's coach Vic Schaefer said. "To see them enjoy it, to see them fired up about it."

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found

Austinpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more