Horton scores 17 points to lead new-look No. 18 Texas in 88-56 romp over Incarnate Word
Mon, Nov 6, 2023
NCAAB News (AP)
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Ithiel Horton scored 17 points and No. 18 Texas unveiled its new transfer-heavy lineup with an 88-56 season-opening romp over Incarnate Word on Monday night.
Texas made it to the Elite Eight last season, then rebuilt the team with five transfers. Three started - Max Abmas from Oral Roberts, Horton from Central Florida and Ze'Rik Onyema from UTEP - and the Longhorns needed little time to find their on-court chemistry.
Those three combined for 40 points, and five Longhorns scored in double figures.
"Sometimes, I get the ball and I'm open and I don't shoot, and they tell me, 'We want you to shoot the ball,'" said Horton, who made three of Texas' 10 3-pointers.
Texas used a 21-0 run to open a 26-6 lead. Tyrese Hunter and Abmas made 3-pointers before Dillon Mitchell and Kadin Shedrick, another transfer from Virginia, had consecutive dunks off steals.
Shedrick and Mitchell later combined on a fast break when Shedrick fed Mitchell with a nifty pass in the lane for another dunk that made it 34-11. Texas led 48-17 at halftime.
"The running the floor part is new to me," said Shedrick, a 6-foot-11 forward who played in a much slower-paced offense at Virginia. "I like getting out in the open court."
Shedrick, who just recently fully returned to practice after offseason shoulder surgery, finished with 12 points in 11 minutes.
Texas coach Rodney Terry called the Longhorns a "work in progress" as he's still trying to mold a lineup that has a lot of experience - just not with each other. Abmas, Horton and Shedrick are all graduate transfers.
"The challenge you have when you are putting a team together is time," Terry said.
Sky Wicks scored 26 points for Incarnate Word.
Incarnate Word: The Cardinals have a new coach in Shane Heirman for a rebuilding project with eight transfers and three freshmen. One of the freshmen is guard T.J. Ford Jr., whose father was an All-American and national player of the year when he led Texas to the 2003 Final Four. The elder Ford wore an Incarnate Word sweatshirt at the game for his son, who had three turnovers in his first two minutes on the court. He finished with five points.
"The reality for T.J. is his name in this state is gold. There's a lot of pressure on him," Heirman said. "We're really excited about his potential."
Texas: Shedrick will carry a big load for a while. The Longhorns expect to be without standout forward Dylan Disu due to a foot injury until the start of conference play in January. Disu was a breakout player last March when he led the Longhorns in scoring during the postseason and was the Big 12 Tournament MVP.
Texas forced 17 turnovers, had nine blocks and held Incarnate Word to 30% shooting. All good signs well before Big 12 play starts in January.
"You have to try to be one of the best defensive teams in the league," Terry said. "We have a chance to have elite rim protection."
Incarnate Word hosts Schreiner University on Nov. 14.
Texas hosts Delaware State on Friday.
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