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Men's Basketball

Bohls: Erwin Center replacement to have 4,000 fewer seats than current arena

Posted February 14th, 2018

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Kirk Bohls released this week’s nine things and one crazy prediction. A couple were dedicated to the Longhorns. Here are Kirk’s takes on those items:

On the new Erwin Center having less seating:

There is a strong likelihood that the new Texas basketball arena that replaces the Erwin Center at a to-be-determined site may be cozy enough to create a more intimate setting and better home-court advantage. But it will probably be no bigger than 12,000 seats, which would increase ticket demand with less ease for walk-up sales on game day, and that might preclude the arena hosting some big-time concert acts. Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said the size of the new building is still in the discussion stage, but he smartly prefers smaller over bigger. “It would definitely hurt them for some shows — and I suspect would mean some major acts would play the AT&T Center in San Antonio instead of here,” said Peter Blackstock, our American-Statesman music writer. “That’s already happening a little bit as it is.” Blackstock said Katy Perry’s tour last month went to San Antonio instead of here, and Elton John’s upcoming farewell tour will as well. “If the new arena is 4,000 seats smaller, (than the Erwin Center), I would think even more big-name acts might bypass Austin,” Blackstock said. The AT&T Center’s listed capacity of 18,581 is almost 2,000 more than the Erwin Center’s 16,734. Asked if it could mean less revenue, Del Conte said, “I don’t anticipate losing any revenue. It will be a new design that will uniquely fit the needs of our basketball program and the city of Austin.”

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On Texas’ baseball’s upcoming season:

Texas baseball begins Friday with one of its strongest schedules ever with 30 of its 53 games against teams in last year’s NCAA tournament, including three College World Series teams. The Longhorns face powers like Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Stanford, Arkansas and Texas A&M. “I was looking around for Our Lady of the Salt Mines, but couldn’t find it,” UT coach David Pierce said during our “On Second Thought” podcast. “The schedule is a risk-reward one. I want the players to know what they’re up against. I like it because you come out of it prepared for the Big 12.” The Longhorns have 21 new players to go with a set rotation topped by ace Nolan Kingham, whom Pierce loves because “he throws deep into games and he has a little Houdini in him. He has some escapability.”

Texas guard Matt Coleman (2) shoots the ball over TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10) during a NCAA college basketball game in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Nick Wagner/American-Statesman)

On where Shaka Smart should start looking for talent:

Shaka Smart should borrow a page from TCU basketball coach Jamie Dixon: Look Down Under. I was thoroughly impressed with terrific shooter Kouat Noi, the Horned Frogs’ 6-7 forward from Newcastle, Australia. He’s one of 26 Australian freshmen playing college basketball, and one of four foreigners on Dixon’s roster. Besides Noi, who hit four threes in TCU’s win over Texas, Dixon has 6-8 forward Lat Mayen, ranked the No. 1 player in last year’s Australian recruiting class and a redshirt this season to satisfy clearinghouse regulations; 6-11 forward Vladimir Brodziansky, a senior from Slovakia and a force inside with a terrific baby hook shot; senior forward Ahmed Hamdy from Egypt, who graduated from VCU with a degree in homeland security; and 6-10 center Angus McWilliam from New Zealand, who averaged 27 points and 22 rebounds as a senior and is also redshirting.

For the rest of Kirk’s 9 Things, including his takes on Yu Darvish signing with the Cubs and Tim Tebow, click here.

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