AUSTIN (KXAN) — He wasn’t named the Big 12 Conference coach of the year, but one national publication thinks Longhorns interim head coach Rodney Terry is the best in the country.
The Sporting News named Terry its men’s college basketball coach of the year Wednesday after Terry led the Longhorns to a top-10 ranking and No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Conference tournament. In the first draft of the top 16 seeded teams for the NCAA Tournament, the Longhorns were slotted at No. 5 by the selection committee. Given the circumstances under that Terry took the team over, it’s remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish.
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Terry took over as acting head coach when Chris Beard was arrested and charged with third-degree felony assault on Dec. 12 (which has since been dropped), leading to his suspension by the University of Texas and eventually his firing on Jan. 5. The team was 7-1 and ranked No. 12 by the Associated Press at the time Terry was named acting head coach, and the Longhorns ended the regular season 23-8. Terry received a pay raise from the university to $1.2 million, as well.
Under Terry this season, Texas is 7-1 in games decided by five or fewer points or in overtime and has 11 Quadrant 1 wins, tied for second-most in the country. Heading into the conference tournament, the Longhorns are ranked No. 7 by the Associated Press and rated No. 8 in the KenPom.com efficiency table
It’s the first time ever the publication has named a Texas coach its coach of the year. Providence head coach Ed Cooley won the award last year.
Texas will play either Oklahoma State or Oklahoma in the Big 12 quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Friday at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.