AUSTIN (KXAN) — If Monday’s Maui Invitational Opener (played in Asheville, North Carolina) provided a snippet of the Longhorns depth, then Tuesday’s blowout win over Indiana showed a more complete picture of the strength of the entire roster.
Star freshman Greg Brown only had 2 points, Jericho Sims was only 1 of 5 from the field, Courtney Ramey only shot 3 of 11, Andrew Jones could only make 5 of his 16 FG attempts and Texas still beat the Hoosiers 66-44.
Texas was led by starting point guard Matt Coleman, who led the Longhorns in scoring with 16 points.
“I think we took it personal, matching the intensity of Indiana and just being mature,” Coleman said. “They came off a big game yesterday, and we came off a win.”
The Longhorns got a huge boost off the bench from former Westlake star Brock Cunningham. The sophomore made two three-pointers, and grabbed 11 rebounds along with three steals.
Besides his Head Coach, Cunningham’s performance put a smile on his roommate Matt Coleman’s face.
“Brock is one of those guys who you love playing with, but you hate playing against,” Coleman said. “He’s going to give you extra possessions, he’s going to make open shots, and he’s just going to fly around and that’s what you need, he fits perfect into how we want to play.”
The defensive end of the floor was where Texas wore Indiana down, forcing the Hoosiers to shoot 28% overall.
“I told the guys yesterday after the game, I didn’t necessarily think that we led with our defense and Davidson deserves a ton of credit for how they scored the ball,” Smart added. “But today we led with our defense and that’s what our identity has to be.”
Next, Texas will play No. 14 North Carolina after the Tar Heels survived their semifinal game against Stanford 67-63.
Since taking the reins of the program at Texas, Shaka Smart has a perfect record against North Carolina.
Tipoff is at 3 p.m. CT; the game will air nationally on ESPN.