Time running out for Texas in Big 12 play

AUSTIN, Texas -- Myck Kabongo had to sit and watch against Kansas.

Rick Barnes didn’t pull any punches when asked why.

“We need to run offense,” the Texas coach said.

Kabongo, a freshman, is apparently only capable of that when he is sternly reminded.

“When he went back in, he did exactly what he needed to do for us,” Barnes said.

By then it was too late.

That’s the theme at Texas lately. The Longhorns, who have dropped three straight in Big 12 play, are great late and terrible early.

In six Big 12 games, Texas has averaged 30 points in the first halves as opposed to 38.5 points in the second halves.

Kabongo’s inability to get his team into transition early is one of the main reasons why the offense has been so poor in the first half. The other is Kabogno does not have the court awareness it takes to understand when the best times are to run and when Texas should set up the offense.

Then there is the offense itself. Rarely does a post player make himself available for an entry pass. Therefore, Texas is resigned to passing the ball around the outside, hoping to get a decent look. And when they are there in the post, Kabongo, who is so involved in his own game, refuses to look.

“We wanted to run and run hard early in the game,” Barnes said after the Kansas game. “[The post players] were there and we never looked at them.”

Instead Texas settles for an outside shot. Sometimes it works -- Sheldon McClellan had three straight 3s against Kansas -- most times it does not, particularly after smart teams figure it out and adjust.

Texas figures out how to adjust as well. But, as is evident by the 2-4 conference record, by then it is too late.