Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Men’s basketball preview: No. 8 Texas vs. Northern Colorado

Texas guard Andrew Jones had a career game against Northern Colorado in 2019, scoring 20 points in 29 minutes in his first game back after a two-year battle with leukemia. The Longhorns host the Bears on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s game

No. 8 Texas vs. Northern Colorado, 7:30 p.m., Erwin Center (capacity 16,540)

TV/radio: Longhorn Network/104.9 The Horn

About the series: Texas leads 1-0. On Nov. 5, 2019, Andrew Jones set a career high with 20 points in 29 minutes in his first game back from a two-year-long battle with leukemia. Texas won 69-45.

About the Longhorns: Tre Mitchell looked confused when asked if there was anything he actually liked about Saturday’s 86-74 loss to No. 1 Gonzaga. “That I liked?” Mitchell said. “Personally, I think we looked like a completely different team out there. The second half of the game, there were portions of the second half where we showed who we were.” Texas played much better in the second half, shooting 51.6% and attacking the rim. The Horns had 12 free throw attempts compared to only four in the first half. It was 20 minutes Beard and his staff can build on. Also glossed over was guard Devin Askew’s solid night. He had nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, hit a corner 3-pointer and had no turnovers in almost 15 minutes.

About the Bears: It’s understandable if fans didn’t know much about this Big Sky school from Greeley, Colo. But the Bears had three straight 20-win seasons under Jeff Linder. Last season under Smiley, an assistant the past six years, the Bears went 11-11. They’re off to a solid start with wins over Pacific, Hawaii and Colorado College. This will be a dramatic step up in weight class, though. Dru Kuxhausen, a transfer from McNeese State, hit eight 3-pointers and scored 24 points in the 40-point blowout over Colorado College. Knecht, who earned junior college All-America status also had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. This team will protect the rim. In four games, Northern Colorado is averaging 5.5 blocks.

Brian Davis

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.