AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Brad Buckman had been waiting for his
An emerging star for Texas (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) in last year's run to the
Final Four, Buckman was getting frustrated by a lack of production
this season as freshman P.J. Tucker became the Longhorns'
"I don't think anybody expected him to come out and do what
he's done," Buckman said.
A motivated Buckman had his best effort of the season Saturday
night with a career-high 16 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in
a 79-57 win over Baylor.
"I've learned from the kid. I love what he does," the
sophomore forward said. "I'm kind of tired of him doing
everything. I need to come in and do those things, too."
It was a welcome sight for coach Rick Barnes as Texas (9-2, 1-0
Big 12) heads into its conference schedule. The Longhorns have one
final non-conference game Tuesday night at home against Wake
Forest. Texas has won 23 in a row at the Frank Erwin Center.
"This team right now needs him to have a presence inside,"
Tucker, the Longhorns' leading scorer and rebounder this season,
added 13 points for the Longhorns but finished with just one
rebound. He played just 20 minutes after logging a season-high 38
in a win over Providence.
After weeks of praise, Barnes sent a stern message to his star
"If P.J. wants to play the minutes he's been playing, he's got
to rebound the ball," Barnes said.
Harvey Thomas scored 19 points for Baylor (5-9, 0-1), which
outrebounded Texas 33-32.
Playing with just five scholarship players, Baylor kept it close
in the first half by using a zone defense that kept Texas from
getting the ball to its post players. The Bears also were patient
on offense against the Longhorns' half-court trap.
Tucker didn't take a shot until there was just 1:24 left in the
half and his driving layup gave Texas a 36-26 lead.
Royal Ivey made it a 42-28 Texas lead at halftime with two free
throws and a layup off a steal on the inbounds pass with four
In the second, Tucker scored six points and Buckman had four --
including a fast-break dunk -- as Texas used a 12-2 run that opened
a 54-30 lead with 12:22 left. The Bears never again got the lead
Already depleted by defections from the program after last
summer's scandals involving the murder of player Patrick Dennehy,
NCAA violations and coach Dave Bliss's resignation, the Bears lost
two more key players earlier this month when senior co-captains
R.T. Guinn and Terrance Thomas were ruled academically ineligible.
"Everyone has us down," Thomas said. "But once we believe in
ourselves, anything can happen. To win a game in the Big 12 with
the team we have, we're going to have to basically play the perfect
game. If we keep playing hard, I think we can sneak off one or
Texas guard Kenny Taylor is one of the players who transferred
from Baylor. He finished with five points.
"I know each night they're going to come out and compete,"
Taylor said. "It didn't really hit me until I walked out and saw
Baylor on the other side of the court."