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Men’s basketball preview: No. 8 Texas vs. San Jose State

Texas basketball players wear shirts honoring former head coach, Abe Lemons, during the starting lineup announcement ahead of the Longhorn’s game against Northern Colorado on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 at the Erwin Center. Texas won the game 62-49.

Saturday’s game

No. 8 Texas vs. San Jose State, 5 p.m. Erwin Center (capacity 16,540)

TV/radio: Longhorn Network/104.9 The Horn

About the series: First meeting.

About the Longhorns: Texas had a much stronger presence on the glass in Wednesday’s win over Northern Colorado. Now through three games, Texas has a plus-8 edge in offensive rebounding and plus-3 on the defensive side. Mitchell credits the coaches for teaching players how to watch opponents’ rebounding style. “Who crashes, who gets back, who’s going to fight for you every time, who’s going to fight for a second and then let you go,” Mitchell said. It’s early, but Texas is one of just three Big 12 teams shooting 40% or better from the floor. Kansas State (43.9%), Texas (40.6%) and Kansas (40.5%) are the league’s top three teams after the first week.

About the Spartans: Miles, who spent seven years at Nebraska, is building a tough program on the West Coast but the Spartans have to learn how to close games. San Jose State was locked in a one-possession game against Stanford with eight minutes left but lost by 14. On Thursday, SJSU had a nine-point lead on California Baptist with 9:29 remaining and lost by three. “So we’ve got be able to be a better closing, finishing, stronger team,” Miles said afterward. “A lot of that comes with experience and gaining confidence.” Omari Moore, the team’s leading scorer (14.0) missed the game. Diallo recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Cardenas had a season-high 10 points in his first game after being named the Mountain West freshman of the week.

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