Here it is: the week Cougar fans have scheduled for a while – at UT-Austin and at Kansas. Austin will be rocking Monday night as the Coogs are in town. They’ll even stripe the arena in burnt orange and white (ew).
But Rodney Terry has a very talented offensive team. Based on the two games I’ve studied, UT’s games against OU and BYU, let’s take a closer look.
the daily #178 | 1/29/2024 | Archives
They have two guys that make them go on offense. They have three/four other threats that could lead them in scoring, but they will play through #3 Max Abmas and #1 Dylan Disu.
Abmas (pronounced ACE-miss) is an Oral Roberts grad and one of the top scorers in NCAA history. He’s a FG away from moving to 14th on the all-time NCAA scoring list. Abmas is an elite three-level scorer but is best when his three-point shot falls.
He’s not afraid to shoot it from anywhere, anytime in the shot clock. I would expect him to get the “Jamal Shead treatment once again,” as the Coogs leader shut him down last year (Abmas was 1/13 with four assists and three turnovers last season). It’s hard to keep an elite talent held down in back-to-back games, so he will likely look to get going early. I will discuss Disu more in my “head of the snake” section below.
#4 Tyrese Hunter, #23 Dillon Mitchell, and #2 Chendall Weaver are all playing well for the Longhorns. Hunter is a three-level scorer who is deadly at attacking the rim. Mitchell is a super-athlete! He can jump out of the gym! Mitchell is a good mid-range guy but is excellent at finishing at the rim with an electric dunk. The Coogs must put a body on him, as he is an excellent offensive rebounder. Weaver is UT’s Damian Dunn. He is starting to figure out his role with the Horns and is improving every game. He wants to get to the basket! I would give him some space when guarding him and force him to shoot the three. He is a capable shooter but prefers to go to the rim.
Defensively, I am not impressed with Texas. They give up a ton of back-door cuts. They have been HORRIBLE in help-side defense. UH guards should be able to attack the paint as much as they would like and look for open cutters. (Look for Jamal to drive baseline and have a big man cut down the middle of the lane for a big dunk at some point in the game). It’s hard to score on the road, though.
If the Coogs will attack and be aggressive on offense, they should be able to get great shots at the rim.
Head of the Snake
I went back and forth on this. Max Abmas is one of the best scorers in NCAA history. He’s the Longhorns’ spark plug and a high-level volume scorer. He is their leading scorer at 18ppg. Jamal Shead made him look silly in the Coogs’ 83-45 victory over Oral Roberts last year. Because of his size and match-up issues, I’m going with forward Dylan Disu as my “Head of the Snake.”
Disu is the definition of a stretch-forward. He can score at all three levels and in the post. He is capable of stretching the defense and making difficult shots. At 6’9″, he can shoot over smaller defenders. He is an elite shooter for his size. He is a pretty good passer, defender, and shot blocker as well. His weakness is playing vs a double-team. The Coogs like to monster trap the post, which should give Disu some problems when he is in the paint.
- They don’t run a lot of great set plays. They typically give the ball to Abmas, Disu, or Hunter and let them go to work. Weaver has been a very aggressive driver over the past couple of games. They like to space the floor and allow their playmakers to decide. They also like to drive and kick out to Brock Cunningham when he is in the game.
- Solid shooting team. Ranked #30 in the nation in field goal %, while shooting 48.24%;
- Really good three-point shooting team. Ranked #28 in the nation in 3pt% at 37.75%. Have to locate their better shooters at all times. Houston is ranked #9 nationally in 3pt% defense;
- Only try to score in transition 27% of the time. When they do, they prefer to attack the rim (whereas a team like BYU would prefer to shoot the three in transition);
- Primarily play halfcourt man-to-man;
- May try some fullcourt M2M;
- Except Mitchell, they don’t rebound very well, which could be a HUGE advantage for the Coogs;
- Ranked #35 in the nation in blocked shots per game with 4.8. Head fake and get into their body to force a foul. Damian Dunn?;
- Not very good in help-side defense; BYU played a lot of “5-out,” and their cuts hurt UT;
- Not great in defensive transition;