Rick Barnes job status at Texas will be something to keep an eye on all season long

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Earlier today, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com posted an interesting column on Rick Barnes (Insiders only, unfortunately) in which he not only asserts what everyone who has been paying attention has noticed — that Barnes is on the hot seat at Texas — but offers up a reason for Barnes’ recent struggles with the Longhorns: his job is no longer his priority in life.

But Barnes had changed. I’m not sure exactly what it was in his life, but something had altered his priority structure. He’s not in his 30s or even 40s anymore, and his family has become the priority in a landscape that doesn’t always promote a quality home life. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not the norm in this industry.

Goodman goes on to say that Barnes has gotten somewhat complacent on the recruiting trail, and it’s one of the biggest reasons that Texas has hit the skids in recent years. Remember, this is the guy that landed Damion James, DJ Augustin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Avery Bradley, Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, Myck Kabongo and some guy named Kevin Durant.

He was as good as anyone.

And despite that — despite making the NCAA tournament in his first 14 seasons at Texas — Barnes could find himself out of a job after this season.

Frankly, it’s one of the most fascinating story lines heading into the season for a number of reasons.

For starters, nothing has gone right for Texas over the course of the last four or five years. Most expected Avery Bradley to be a one-and-done player, but I’m not sure many expected both Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson to leave after one season. Jordan Hamilton lasted two up-and-down seasons in Austin, as did Myck Kabongo, who spent the first 23 games of last season suspended. Julien Lewis and Shelden McClellan, Barnes’ two promising wing talents, both transferred out of the program and Ioannis Papapetrou signed a huge pro deal in Greece. This is coming off of a season where the Longhorns were relegated to the CBI.

Next season’s big names? Javan Felix, Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Jonathon Holmes. Not exactly the TJ Ford’s Texas teams.

Put it all together, and the Longhorns should be happy that TCU joined the Big 12 because it all but guarantees that UT will avoid the basement of the 2013-2014 Big 12.

That’s a long, quick way for the Longhorns to fall, and while it’s not entirely Barnes’ fault, there’s a chance that it could cost him his job.

And that job just so happens to be one of the ten best in the country. I truly believe that, and I know that there are many people that agree with me. Texas has a ton of money and an enormous national profile, but given that the school is a football school in a football state, the pressure to win there is relatively small compared to places like Indiana or Kentucky or Kansas.

Let’s say Barnes does end up getting fired; the demand for that job will be quite high.

In a season where Kentucky wants to go 40-0 and Andrew Wiggins will be auditioning for NBA superstardom while Louisville looks to repeat as national champs, whether or not this ends up being the end of the Rick Barnes era in Austin will be one of the most interesting stories to follow over the next eight months.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.