The A-Z Guide to Texas Men’s Basketball


Texas basketball tips off tonight at home against North Dakota State as the regional round of the 2K Classic tournament begins. For the uninitiated—and for those understandably still caught up in football—here is an A–Z primer on Texas men’s basketball, past and present:

.627: Texas’ all-time winning percentage.
4: the number of overtime periods in the longest Southwest Conference game in history, a 95-94 loss to TCU on Jan. 7, 1961.
13: the number of consecutive 20-win seasons for Barnes’ teams from 2000-12, a school record.
31: the number of NCAA Tournament appearances for Texas over the years.
41: the number of Longhorns drafted into the NBA since the draft began in 1947.
109: the number of years Texas has fielded a varsity basketball team.
2008: the last year Texas made it out of the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Aldridge, LaMarcus: Star power forward for the Portland Trail Blazers who, at No. 2 in 2006, was the highest draft pick to ever come out of Texas for exactly one year.
also: Augustin, D.J.; Alcohol sales still not allowed at campus athletic events


Barnes, Rick (pictured left): Current head coach entering his 17th year at Texas. Barnes’ record as head coach is 382-166 (.697).
also: Big 12 Conference

Consensus First-Team All-Americans: Jack Gray, 1935; Chris Mihm, 2000; T.J. Ford, 2003; Kevin Durant, 2007; D.J. Augustin, 2008.
also: Curtis, Abbdurant_kevin_j6001p

Durant, Kevin (pictured right): Played just one year at Texas, but left an indelible mark on the program. Selected in the first round—second overall—of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics (R.I.P). Durant is a perennial All-Star, an NBA MVP, and still a vocal cheerleader for Texas sports. also: Denton A. Cooley Pavillion

Elkins, Bull: Longhorn football and basketball player who was named a Rhodes Scholar in 1933, received his PhD from Oxford, and went on to become the president of the University of Maryland from 1953-70 and president of the entire UM system from 1970-78.


Frank Erwin Center, The: 16,540 capacity arena in which Texas plays home games. The Longhorns moved to the Erwin Center in 1977, and since then, the team is 450-104 (.812).
also: Ford, TJ and the 2003 Final Four

Gregory Gym: Campus gym where Texas played home games from 1929-30 until moving to the Frank Erwin Center. Now home to Zumba classes and occasionally our own Owen Egerton.
also: Gilstrap, H.C. Bully; Gray, Jack; gold medal winners (3)

Hardin-Simmons University: A Division III private baptist school in Abilene that Texas played 14 times between 1915-1983. Texas mercifully stopped—or Hardin gave up—after 14 straight Longhorn wins.
also: Hamilton, Jordan

Ivey, Royal: All-time leader in games started at Texas at the time of his graduation (126), and former teammate of fellow Longhorn Kevin Durant. Ivey is now an assistant coach with the NBA D-League affiliate for Durant’s Thunder, the Oklahoma City Blue.

January 11, 2010: The first time Texas had been named No. 1 in either the AP or the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.
also: Joseph, Corey; Jack Gray Award


Kansas University: Texas’ main basketball rival, especially since moving to the Big 12. Though Kansas leads the overall series 23-8, Texas is the only Big 12 school to post a non-losing record at home, currently sitting at 5-5 against the Jayhawks at the Frank Erwin Center. Kansas is the last AP Top 25-ranked team that Texas has beaten, on Feb. 1, 2014.
also: Kabongo, Myck (and what could have been).

Littlefield, Clyde: The first Longhorn to be named a basketball All-American, in 1916. Also coached the football team from 1927-33 and was one of the greatest track coaches in NCAA history, coaching Texas for an astounding 41 years (1920-60) and winning 25 SWC championships. Also served on the coaching staff of the 1952 U.S. Olympic track and field team at the Helsinki Olympics and founded the Texas Relays in 1925.
also: Legends of Coaching Award (Barnes won in the 2008-9 season); Longhorn Hall of Honor (41 members from men’s basketball)

martin_slater_003Martin, Slater (pictured left): The most famous Longhorn basketball player before Durant. A Seven-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion with the Lakers, Knicks, and Hawks, Martin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.
also: Mainland, Magnus

NIT Tournament, the winning of the: Though the lesser of the postseason events, the 1977-78 Longhorns clobbered NC State to win the 1978 tournament. The Dallas Herald, reporting on the game, called the team, “The funniest-looking college basketball team in America.”
also: NBA Draft first-round picks (14)

Oklahoma, University of: Texas’ main rival in football and, well, life, the tradition carries over to basketball, where Oklahoma leads the overall series 50-35. Eight years and Texas can take the lead back.

Premo-Porretta Championship: In 1932-33, the Longhorns went 22-1, winning the Southwest Conference—and were retroactively declared the winners of something called the Premo-Porretta Championship, a title still unclaimed by Texas.
also: Penders, Tom

abe-lemons-300x300Quotable coach Abe Lemons (pictured right): Asked if the Longhorns were a top-20 team by a reporter before the 1976-77 season, he coolly replied, “You mean in Texas?” Lemons did the cigar-smoking, endlessly quotable, self-deprecating coach as well as anyone.

Romney, Mitt: The former presidential candidate is named after his father’s cousin, Milton Addas “Mitt” Romney, who coached Texas to one lackluster 11-7 season in 1922-23.
also: Retired jerseys (Durant, Ford, Martin)

Southwest Conference: Texas’ conference from 1915-96, back when times were simpler and schools were actually grouped geographically. The Lonhorns won the SWC regular season title 22 times and the conference tournament twice, in 1994 and 1995.
also: San Marcos Baptist, a team Texas beat 102-1 on Jan. 10, 1916. So close to a shutout…


Turner, Myles: Seven-foot true freshman center from Trinity High School in Bedford, Tex. who will make his debut on Friday. The nation’s No. 2 recruit coming into the 2014-15 season, Turner received offers from Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas, among many others, before choosing Texas. Longhorn fans are pinning their hopes to the Turner Hype Machine.
also: Thompson, LaSalle; Theodore Roosevelt Award (Denton Cooley, 1980)

UNC-Greensboro: The first team Barnes ever beat, on Dec. 3, 1987, back when he coached at George Mason. Barnes should hit the 900 mark this season, barring an extreme setback, as he sits at 884 total wins in his career.

Van Gent, Eugene: Texas football and basketball coach in 1916 who left to fight in World War I. We also needed a “V.”

Wooden Award: The highest honor bestowed upon NCAA men’s basketball players, akin to the Heisman Award in football. T.J. Ford (2004) and Kevin Durant (2007) are the only two Texas winners … so far (see Turner, Myles).
also: Whitaker, BerryWright, Joey

Xavier Muskateers: Texas made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament in 1990 before running into a stout 28-4 Xavier team. The Longhorns came back to win 102-89 and advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in 43 years. Texas wound up losing 88-85 to Arkansas on a last second three-point miss, just narrowly missing a Final Four berth.

Yancy, Kendal: The Longhorns’ top recruit in 2013 who looks to bounce back as a sophomore after an underwhelming freshman season.

Zags: The unofficial nickname for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, a team Texas has never beaten. “Z” is another tough one.

All images except Kansas and Abe Lemons courtesy UT Athletics. Kansas photo by Frank Thompson via Flickr. Archival photo of Abe Lemons.


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