Give Dylan DeSo his flowers, and give Rodney Terry the job.
The Texas Longhorn’s exciting season continues, as Rodney Terry’s club beat a late push from Penn State with one of their own to win 71-66 and advance to the Sweet 16.
Here are some quick thoughts from Texas’ late win over Penn State.
First things first… I don’t know how you can’t give Rodney Terry the job at this point. I mean, he sure earned it. Not only did Terry keep Texas together after Bird, but he kept them thriving and fulfilling their preseason expectations as one of the best in the country. Ranked No. 5 in the most recent AP Top 25 poll, Big 12 championship title, and now, 21-7 mark under Terry after leading Texas to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008. Even then, every chance players get, they witness him as the guy in Texas, and the results emphatically back that up. It’s simple – Texas needs to remove the temporary tag and name Rodney Terry as its next coach.
Give Dylan Desu his flowers. In a game of this magnitude, he hit a career high with 28 monster points for the Longhorns, breaking Kevin Durant’s tournament record for the most field goals in a tournament game with 14. So much against Penn State’s athletic guards early, and more importantly, it was the Texans’ offense late, scoring 10 more points after Texas fell behind 58-55. And that’s the latest and greatest example in the recent run for Disu, who also earned Big 12 Tournament MVP honors and plays some of the best basketball in the country right now.
Timmy Allen was instrumental in this win, especially on the defensive front. Nine points, 12 rebounds, and three assists on a block is a very strong baseline, but his defensive impact was far more important. He was the primary defender on All-American Jalen Pickett and Allen’s discipline and height were a huge factor in restricting the Penn State star to just 5-14 for 11 points and forcing seven turnovers. Just as Texas wouldn’t win this without Disu carrying the load offensively, they won’t win without Allen mostly on the job.
At the end of the day, this was a fluid and clutch win for the Longhorns. Texas jumped out front early, taking control of most of the game and doing just enough to keep the Nittany Lions at arm’s length, despite playing far from their best basketball collectively. And when a 10-0 win at Penn State suddenly swung things in Texas’ favor and they looked like they were overwhelmed, this veteran group responded just 14-4 to effectively complete their 16th bid, despite some last-second mistakes that gave Penn State one last breath. But anyway, they’ve been resilient all year and fighting with the game on the line was an early story when Terry took over. And then, in a match that may have just earned him the job, they battled it out in the closing minutes and led past the first weekend for the first time in a decade and a half.
Texas beating a truly outstanding Penn State team despite only hitting one 3 is quite an achievement. And to be sure, the Nittany Lions’ height and athleticism had a lot to do with this — Texas missed a couple they should have made, but Penn State really made it difficult for the Texas guards to do much. This game plan worked. Texas started 0-12 from deep and the well-timed drive from Sir Jabari Rice was just the Texans making. If you told me Texas would shoot that way from the perimeter while Penn State holed an eight and Camryn Winter worked the middle range for 16, I almost guarantee Texas would lose. But thanks in large part to a first-half defense smother and, of course, Dylan DeSeau, they survived and moved on.
This story will be updated.
Rep the Horns during March Madness with the help of Breaking T.
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