March 28, 2007

Hoops questions will need to be answered

The Texas Longhorns enjoyed another successful season under Rick Barnes in 2006-07, winning 25 games for the sixth time in nine seasons, advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in nine seasons and making a ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Longhorns' 25-10 record was also an eighth straight season of 20 or more wins.

The success of the 2006-07 Texas team didn't go without notice, but the focus of most Longhorn fans immediately turned to the prospects of the 2007-08 Texas team as 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances have become a yearly occurrence.

The majority of questions centered on the chances of Kevin Durant returning for his sophomore season at Texas and what that would mean. Simply put, the Longhorns would enter the 2007-08 season with a top-three ranking and they could quite possibly be the favorite to cut down the nets in San Antonio.

While the return of Durant would bring more attention and higher expectations than ever for the Longhorn program, taking a look at Texas next season with Durant means the best player in college basketball would have made an unprecedented decision.

When looking back at the 2006-07 Texas team, there were pluses and minuses that will factor in next season. Texas found itself in a number of tight games, including five overtime contests. In games decided by five points or less, the Longhorns compiled a 9-6 record. Texas won two of five overtime games and four of its five games that were decided by a single point. Headed into next season, the Longhorns will return an experienced group of players that have played in every situation imaginable.

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