Peter Bean, of BurntOrangeNation, is the main reason I'm here on SBNation. So, I only thought it right to force him to answer some questions regarding the Texas basketball team as the Longhorns come into Ames for Saturday's regionally televised matchup. Likewise, I answered some questions over at BON.
1. DJ Augustin was my preseason pick for Big 12 POY. That crown now undoubtedly goes to Mike Beasley. The last chance I got to watch Augustin closely was when the Longhorns played at Missouri, and he struggled. Is DJ living up to expectations down there?
Depends what your expectations are, I guess. He set the bar awfully high with some magnificent play in the early non-conference season, and though he's not been able to play at that elite level every game since, he's been excellent more often than not. He's a pain for defenses to deal with.
2. It seems like Barnes has a lot of trust in his first five. Is Gary Johnson the only real threat off of the bench?
There's no depth in the back court, but Rick's slowly but surely developed a rotation of guys in the front court. True freshmen Alexis Wangmene and Clint Chapman have given Texas good minutes (though they remain inconsistent), while Dexter Pittman's had a few breakout moments against teams... well, a lot like Iowa State. If McDermott wants to go big and play at a slow pace, expect to see Big Dex.
3. Connor Atchley really appears to have a nice touch. How has he progressed this year?
He's a very, very solid role player. And one of the best shot blockers I've ever seen. Add in a terrific jump shot and you've got yourself a player every coach would want. His development has been outstanding.
4. Who do you expect to match up on our best player in Wes Johnson? What sort of defensive looks can we expect Saturday?
I'd guess Damion James - he's our best athlete and has the height to work with Johnson.
5. How has Texas done this year against the "let's wait til the shot clock hits 8, then run the offense" sort of teams?
Uh, like UCLA? Mostly well. This is an improving defensive squad, but we've had our struggles along the way. Texas has had more trouble with teams that have gotten into their offense quickly.
6. Saturday's home crowd should be one of the better ones this year. Texas is 2-5 all-time in Hilton Coliseum. Do you think that the fact that this will be our second biggest home game of the year will lead to any Brian Boddicker-like mishaps?
God let's hope not. Rick Barnes has always done a nice job on the road, but as we all know, there are no gimmes in the Big 12 away from home. Watch closely to see if we're settling for bad three point shots. If so? Iowa State's got a fine chance to win.
I'll pass. The last time I predicted a score we got trounced by A&M. I'm keeping karma on my side this time...