BEVO BEAT

Longhorns quietly start men’s basketball practice

Posted October 3rd, 2014

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The days of Midnight Madness are long gone. But the Texas men’s basketball team quietly hit the floor Friday morning for its first official workout of the 2014-15 season.

The season opener is still weeks away. Coach Rick Barnes’ club won’t kick things off until Nov. 14 against North Dakota State in the first round of the 2K Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Big 12 won’t release its preseason poll until next week, but there is already talk that Texas could be the team that knocks longtime champ Kansas out of the top spot. The Jayhawks have won or shared 10 straight Big 12 basketball titles. Both teams should start the year ranked in the top 15.

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Incoming freshman Myles Turner was named the Big 12’s preseason co-freshman of the year along with Kansas’ Cliff Alexander. Jonathan Holmes, Cam Ridley and Isaiah Taylor all grabbed honorable mention honors on the preseason All-Big 12 teams.

The biggest question this preseason is how Barnes divvies up the minutes on a team that now has a loaded frontcourt and some intriguing backcourt options with Taylor, Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland.

“Every one of those guys have had great summers,” Barnes told the American-Statesman earlier this fall. “But now, as we get back and get into it, they understand they’re competing against each other. What’s great about these guys, as a team, we don’t have a lot of guys who are hung up on who starts and who doesn’t. I think we have a lot of guys who want to win.”

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