The Longhorns lost their top four scorers from last season, and this year’s group has only one upperclassman, junior Jonathan Holmes. Thus, they were picked to finish eighth in the preseason. Yet Texas coach Rick Barnes guided his club to a third-place finish in the Big 12 standings and was recognized for it Sunday. Barnes was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, the league office announced on its Twitter feed. It’s the fourth time in his 16 years at Texas he’s captured the honor. “Think about it: we were picked to finish eighth and the fact that I’m sitting here disappointed speaks volumes,” Barnes said after Saturday’s regular-season finale against Texas Tech. “I think we’re better than third in the league. We could have won the league. But that’s me, because I love these guys. They’ve worked hard.” The award comes in a year where many Texas fans thought it might be Barnes’ last in Austin. Instead, Texas finished the regular season with a 22-9 record and 11-7 mark in Big 12 play. ““I don’t know who thought that,” Barnes said Saturday. “Probably people like you that don’t know what’s going on, maybe. “But I think if it was ever going to be a coach’s last game, I think someone would have told me a year ago,” he continued. “No one ever mentioned that. All they said to me was we want you to be happy. The only way I’m going to be happy was to do what we’ve done this year.
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