AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gone are the days inside “The Drum,” for Texas Longhorns basketball, and the men’s team got a chance to take the floor in the program’s new home Wednesday — the Moody Center.
The 15,000-seat arena is home to both the men’s and women’s teams along with being a world-class entertainment venue, and the players were blown away.
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“This is crazy,” senior forward Timmy Allen said. “When we’re out here playing, it looks like an NBA arena. When I look around, it looks like an NBA arena.”
Brock Cunningham, a fifth-year player from Westlake, said he had heard how nice the new place was going to be, but actually seeing it gave him new appreciation.
“I’ve heard about it for a long time, but to actually get in here and see it, it’s awesome,” he said.
Senior forward Dylan Disu said it “gave him butterflies.”
“It feels like there’s going to be a show here every night we play,” he said. “It feels like showtime.”
The team was able to get in the gym after the NCAA relaxed some offseason practice rules, and Longhorns head coach Chris Beard said he’s thankful for that because his guys need to get used to the sightlines in the spacious stadium.
“We’re gonna have to get in here and work a lot, shoot a lot, spend a lot of time in here,” Beard said. “If you look at our early schedule, which we’re really proud of, I think we’ll play one of the best schedules in college basketball … we have to make sure the event doesn’t become more important than the 40-minute game.”
The nonconference schedule is highlighted by a November 16 home showdown with one of the best programs in the country, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Longhorns host UTEP in the first men’s game at the Moody Center on November 7, and then Houston Baptist comes to town November 10 before the big game with the Bulldogs.