Give Dylan Disu his flowers and give the job to Rodney Terry.
The Texas Longhorns’ sensational season continues, with Rodney Terry’s club overcoming a late Penn State push with their own to win 71-66 and advance to the Sweet 16.
Here are some quick thoughts from Texas’ dismal late win over Penn State.
First things first… I don’t understand why you don’t give Rodney Terry the job at this point. I mean, he absolutely deserves it. Terry not only held Texas together after Beard, but also ensured they thrived and lived up to their expectations as one of the preseason best in the country. A No. 5 finish in the most recent AP Top 25 poll, a Big 12 tournament title, and now a 21-7 mark under Terry after leading Texas to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008. And even beyond that, every chance players get, they vouch for him as the guy for Texas, and the results definitely back that up. It’s simple – Texas needs to remove the temporary label and name Rodney Terry as the next head coach.
Give Dylan Disu his flowers. In a game of this magnitude, he hit a career-high 28 monster points for the Longhorns, breaking Kevin Durant’s tournament record for most field goals in a tournament game at 14. He was Texas’ offensive line when they just couldn’t get much going early on against the Penn State athletic guards, and most importantly, he was late on Texas’ offense and scored 10 more clutch points after Texas fell 58-55 down the stretch. And this is just the latest and most significant example in a recent run for Disu, who also received the Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player award and is currently playing some of the best basketball players in the nation.
Timmy Allen was key to this win, especially defensively. Nine points, 12 rebounds, and three assists with a block is a pretty solid stat line, but his defensive influence was far more significant. He was All-American Jalen Pickett’s main defense, and Allen’s discipline and length was a big factor, limiting the Penn State star to just 5-14 for 11 points and forcing him to seven turnovers. Just as Texas won’t win this without Disu offensively carrying the load, they won’t win without Allen thriving the most in the task.
At the end of the day, this was a robust win for the Longhorns. Texas jumped to the top early, controlled most of the game and did just enough to keep the Nittany Lions at bay despite being far from their best basketball overall. And when a 10-0 run at Penn State suddenly fell out of Texas’ favor and it seemed like they were overwhelmed, that veteran group only responded with a 14-4 run to effectively seal their Sweet 16 bid, despite some Last-second mistakes gave Penn State a final breath. But either way, they’ve been resilient all year and struggling with the game on the line was an early offense when Terry took over. And then, in a game that might have just gotten him the job, they struggled in the closing minutes and advanced past the first weekend for the first time in a decade and a half.
Texas beating a really good Penn State team despite only hitting a 3 is a remarkable achievement. And to be sure, the length and athleticism of the Nittany Lions had a lot to do with it — Texas missed a pair they should have made, but Penn State made it really hard for Texas guards to do much. This game plan worked. Texas started 0-12 from the deep and a timed Trey by Sir’Jabari Rice was Texas’ only success. If you told me Texas was shooting from the touchline this way while Penn State was drilling an eight and Camren Wynter was working a 16 in midrange, I’d almost guarantee Texas would lose. But thanks in large part to the suffocating first-half defense and of course Dylan Disu, they survived and progressed.
This story will be updated.
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