This time last year, Texas head coach Rick Barnes was considered to be on the hot seat. His Longhorns were coming off a 16-18 (7-11 Big 12) campaign. There wasn’t much optimism heading into the 2013-2014 season either, as Texas lost its four top scorers to transfers or the pros.
However, Barnes orchestrated an impressive turnaround with a 24-win season, finishing fourth in the conference standings and returning to the NCAA tournament. In April, Barnes received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-11 center Myles Turner, keeping the top 10 talent in-state, something Barnes and staff had difficulty doing so in previous years. Turner joins the cast of key returners, as Texas should be the favorites with Kansas in the Big 12.
According to Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, Barnes could be going from hot seat rumors to a contract extension in less than a year. Davis reported on Friday that the University of Texas System Board of Regents released a meeting agenda on Friday. One of the topics for next week’s meetings will be Barnes’ contract status. His current deal runs through 2017. He has been with the university since 1998.
Barnes has won 382 games in his tenure with the Longhorns, though, they haven’t made it past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament since 2006. That includes first round exits — 2010 and 2012 — during that span.
College Basketball Talk listed Texas as a top 10 team back in April.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.