Having already found success on the road, No. 15 Texas prepares for a trip to Fort Worth
During his postgame press conference at Iowa State on Wednesday night, Texas coach Vic Schaefer revealed that for parts of road trips, his players don't have access to their cellphones.
The night before road games, the Longhorns must turn in their phones. Texting and social media must wait until after the game has ended.
Schaefer explained that the phones are embargoed in an effort to keep the Longhorns focused. That plan isn't flawless, though. The players still have access to technology since classes are back in session, and Schaefer conceded that "they're not just on their iPads doing schoolwork."
During this season, though, phone privileges are about the only thing the Longhorns have lost on the road. Texas is 5-1 in away games, and three of those wins have come at the expense of nationally ranked teams. The Longhorns also knocked off San Diego in a neutral-site game played in Las Vegas.
An overtime loss to Tennessee on Nov. 21 has been Texas' only road setback. Tennessee was No. 16 at the time. The Lady Vols have since climbed into the No. 5 spot in The Associated Press Top 25.
No. 15 Texas (13-3, 3-2 Big 12) has been upset by Texas Tech and Kansas at the Erwin Center.
"We've had some good wins. We've played well on the road at times," Schaefer said. "It's great, but it's also concerning; why can't we have that focus at home as well and not be a little lackadaisical or take things for granted?"
Back on Nov. 14, Texas traveled to California and topped a Stanford team that was ranked third. The Longhorns own a 76-60 victory at rival Texas A&M, which was then No. 17, and Wednesday's 66-48 win at No. 7 Iowa State. UT has also been victorious at Princeton and Oklahoma State.
Texas beat Stanford on the same day the school hung the banner it had earned for winning last year's national championship. One week later, Texas and Tennessee played in front of 9,460 fans in Knoxville. When Texas journeyed to College Station on Dec. 5, the majority of the announced crowd of 7,100 was wearing maroon.
Iowa State starters Ashley and Aubrey Joens weren't at Hilton Coliseum on Wednesday night because of COVID-19 protocols, but 9,774 fans were. For comparison's sake, Texas is averaging just under 2,300 fans at the Erwin Center.
"Even though you go in there and play a team that's maybe a little shorthanded, their fans weren't shorthanded," Schaefer said. "The weather wasn't shorthanded. ... I thought the rest of that team played their absolute guts out."
Against Iowa State, Texas never trailed after taking a 20-18 lead in the second quarter. The 18-point triumph was UT's most lopsided win over a Top 10 team since 2017.
"We were excited to beat the No. 7 team. That's incredible, something not many teams can say that they've done before," freshman forward Aaliyah Moore said. "We were happy, especially because of the rough path we had taken a couple weeks before that game."
Last season, the NCAA began using NET rankings to determine seeding for its postseason tournaments. Those NET rankings provide a way to judge the quality of wins and losses on a team's résumé.
Of the road wins recorded so far by Texas, four are considered "Quadrant 1" victories. That means Texas beat an opponent currently touting a top-75 NET ranking. As of Friday, Stanford was the third team listed in the NET rankings, and No. 8 Iowa State, No. 36 Princeton and No. 41 Texas A&M also were regarded as "Quadrant 1" teams. Oklahoma State just missed the cut at No. 79.
If Texas, which boasts the sixth-best NET ranking, had played those games at home, only the Stanford and Iowa State wins would be considered "Quadrant 1." A "Quadrant 1" home victory is equivalent to besting a team with a top-30 NET rating.
"Obviously, they really put a heavy emphasis on winning on the road," Schaefer noted.
Texas will hit the road again this weekend, traveling to Fort Worth. At Schollmaier Arena on Saturday, the Longhorns will be the guests of a TCU team that is 6-8. The Horned Frogs are just 2-3 in Big 12 play. They have a NET ranking of 134.
However, TCU is just a few days removed from a 51-50 win over a Texas Tech team that bullied and beat Texas by 13 points earlier this month. Senior starters Lauren Heard and Michelle Berry were key contributors for the Horned Frogs when the program recorded its first win ever in Austin two seasons ago.