AUSTIN, Texas -- Once again, a Texas freshman scored more
than 30 points. Only this time --surprise! -- it wasn't Kevin Durant.
With Durant struggling with a bad shooting game, point guard
D.J. Augustin had 31 points and Texas (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today) snapped a two-game losing skid in the Big 12 with a 77-68 win over Iowa State on Saturday.
Several stud frosh are making a big splash in the 2006-07 college basketball season. Here's how the top 5 fared on Saturday and how they stack up against each other:
Augustin was 9-of-13 shooting, hit all 10 of his free throws and
had six assists and four steals as the Longhorns (17-7, 7-3)
withstood a late rally to get the win.
"I thought it was the best performance from anybody on our team
this year because of what he did on both ends," said Texas coach
Rick Barnes. "He really, by far and away, led today like he's
never led before."
Durant, the Big 12's leading scorer and rebounder, had one of
his worst shooting games, hitting 6-of-16 from the floor for 17
points and didn't have a 3-pointer. It was the first time he didn't
score at least 26 against a Big 12 opponent and his six rebounds
were well below his season average of 11.
"My teammates picked me up so good," Durant said. "D.J. did a
great job keeping us focused. When they made a run, he would yell
at us about playing defense."
Mike Taylor hit five 3-pointers and scored 25 points to lead the
Cyclones (12-12, 3-7), who lost for the seventh time in eight
The Cyclones did everything they could to stymie Durant, who
faced two and three defenders every time he touched the ball.
Augustin made easy work of the Iowa State defense, slashing through
the lane for twisting layups or pulling up to hit three 3-pointers.
Augustin had 15 points in the first half and Texas led 42-23 at
"Kevin had three guys on him in the post," Augustin said. "I
tried to get it to him everytime I could and he did a great job
kicking it out."
Cyclones coach Greg McDermott said the game plan was to force
Durant to take shots away from the basket to neutralize his
"If we could have got D.J. to cooperate, it would have worked
to perfection," McDermott said.
Texas led 49-29 before the Cyclones mounted a rally. Taylor hit
a 3-pointer and Wesley Johnson scored four straight points,
including a dunk down the middle of the lane, to pull Iowa State
within 61-53 with just over six minutes to play.
The teams traded four consecutive 3-pointers before Durant came
up with the special kind of play he's been making all season. He
used his long left arm to poke the ball away from Taylor, then ran
up court, spun around two defenders and floated a soft shot that
dropped in to put Texas up 69-59 with four minutes left.
Iowa State got within 73-66 when Corey McIntosh hit two free
throws with 1:25 to play. The Cyclones had a chance to get closer
but Durant blocked Rahshon Clark's layup. A.J. Abrams and Augustin
hit Texas' last four free throws to close it out.
The win gave Barnes No. 208 at Texas, tying Tom Penders
(1989-98) for the most in school history.
On Monday, Texas hosts Oklahoma State, which beat the Longhorns
105-103 in triple overtime last month. The Longhorns will need a
win if they hope to stay within striking distance of the Big 12
Durant scored 37 in the loss, a nationally televised game that
jump-started the debate about whether the freshman could win
national player of the year honors.
"It was a regular game. As far as me, I don't know," Durant
said. "It was just a loss in our book and we took it hard."