Austin, Texas T.J. Ford is no Edsel. Texas University's precocious point guard scored 16 points and collected 11 assists as the Longhorns failed to survive an overtime shootout with No. 2-ranked Kansas.
"Man, that was the first time all season both teams were going at each other on both ends," said Ford, a freshman from Houston. "Everyone got the T."
That's T as in tired, not T as in technical fouls.
"I don't think there's very much difference between us," Ford said following the 110-103 overtime defeat. "That's two teams that love to compete."
Texas, inconsistent in the Big 12 since losing 6-foot-8 senior bellcow Chris Owens to a knee injury, is 16-8 in all games and 7-4 in the conference. The Longhorns gave Oklahoma all it wanted in the Erwin Center earlier, but UT also lost at home to less-than-fearsome Texas A&M.;
"We weren't surprised," Ford said when asked if he thought the 'Horns would play the twice-beaten Jayhawks that close. "We knew we'd give them a good game. Eventually, we'll be in the same situation again, and we'll come out with a win."
Perhaps they will if Brian Boddicker stays hot. Boddicker, a 6-8 sophomore who hasn't lived up to his McDonald's All-American status since enrolling at Texas, scored a career-high 19 points off the bench. Boddicker shot nine three-pointers and made four of them.
Why was he so open on those threes?
"I think because I'm hitting 10 percent," Boddicker said with a smile.
Actually, Boddicker was shooting 28.8 percent from three-point range. Overall, while averaging 6.9 points, Boddicker was hitting only 36.5 per cent of his shots and he has been looking for answers.
"I stopped playing for the fans and the media," Boddicker said. "Everybody was telling me what to do about my shooting, but I just played for myself and for my team tonight."
Brandon Mouton, a sophomore guard, scored 25 points and made half of his eight three-point attempts.
"We just need to finish games," Mouton said. "Fortunately for them, they got some shots when they needed them."
Like in overtime, when Kansas made all five of its shots while Texas missed five of its seven attempts. Then there were those easy inbounds baskets by the Jayhawks.
"If I could take back anything," Texas coach Rick Barnes said, "it would be those out-of-bounds plays. We gave them 11 points there."
Barnes said the primary difference was court time. He uses mostly freshman and sophomores while the Jayhawks have mostly upperclassmen.
"We went toe-to-toe with them and the difference was experience," Barnes said. "Both teams got tired, but both teams fought through it."
Texas has another toughie on tap. The Longhorns must play at Missouri on Sunday.