A victory over Purdue was nice, but UT needs more from Roach

Coach Shaka Smart has stocked the Texas Longhorns with enough talent that senior guard Kerwin Roach II doesn’t necessarily need to lead the team every night.

But for the Longhorns to reach their potential this season, Roach will need to play better than he has been playing lately.

Which is to say, not all that great.

Roach is at the center of one of the early mysteries to the new season.

In the state of Texas, few players have the athleticism that Roach can bring to the floor every night.

His skills were on full display on Nov. 22 when he scored 32 points to help the Longhorns defeat the seventh-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.

In addition to his 12 of 15 shooting against the Heels, he also produced seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.

Since then, his offensive efficiency has declined dramatically.

Over the past four games, including Texas’ 72-68 home victory over Purdue on Sunday night, Roach has hit only 21 percent of his shots from the field.

Yes, Matt Coleman, Dylan Osetkowski and freshman phenom Jaxson Hayes can, and should, be leading on a nightly basis.

The Longhorns can win their share of games in the upcoming Big 12 race with those three playing well.

But, no matter how you slice it, 9 of 43 from the field from Roach over a four-game stretch is not going to inspire much confidence leading into conference.

Shooting 80 percent shouldn’t be expected every night. But, some consistency would be a welcome sight for the fans.

Longhorns grind out a 74-70 win in OT at Iowa State

Forward Dylan Osetkowski scored a career-high 25 points Monday as Texas subdued the Iowa State Cyclones, 74-70, in overtime at Ames, Iowa.

With the scored tied, Osetkowski hit a three-pointer, lifting the Longhorns into a 70-67 lead with 36 seconds left in OT.

From there, 6-foot-11 UT center Mo Bamba contributed on the defensive end with a blocked shot.

Bamba’s play was the beginning of the end for the Cyclones (9-4, 0-2 in the Big 12).

The Longhorns (10-4, 1-1) made it a five-point game when when Matt Coleman knocked down the first two of his four straight free throws in the final 12 seconds.

After Coleman’s first two freebies, Nick Weiler-Babb gave Iowa State a glimmer of hope in front of the home fans when he hit a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining, cutting the UT lead to 72-70.

But Coleman answered again with two more free throws to account for the final points.

Texas returns home to face the Baylor Bears on Saturday.

West Virginia wins again

The West Virginia Mountaineers entered play Monday ranked sixth nationally in the Associated Press poll and then backed it up with their 13th win in a row, a 77-69 road victory at Kansas State.