Rick Barnes

Shaka Smart replaced longtime head coach Rick Barnes in early April. Smart led VCU to a spot in the Final Four in 2011.
Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

The 2014–2015 school year was a roller coaster year for Texas athletics. Fans saw shake-up at the top in men’s basketball, another national championship for men’s swimming and diving and another trip to the Final Four for volleyball. But those changes and successes were punctuated by disappointment — Texas football ended its season with two blowout losses, and baseball is on the verge of missing the NCAA Tournament yet again. Here are five of the top sports highlights from the past school year.

Barnes out, Smart in

After 17 seasons and a recent loss of momentum, former basketball head coach Rick Barnes received his notice after this year’s short March Madness run. Days later, Barnes announced he was headed to Tennessee — and the Longhorns hired former VCU head coach Shaka Smart.

Smart is the first African-American head basketball coach to be hired at Texas.

Smart will bring a “havoc” style of play, an up tempo defense and an offensive system that helped propel VCU to the Final Four in 2011. He has been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 2009.

Sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor decided to return to Texas for his junior season, and may well serve as engine in Smart’s system next year.

Men’s swimming and diving captures 11th national title

The Longhorns dominated the pool at the NCAA Championships in March, winning the team’s 11th nation championship. Texas led the meet from the start and finished with 528 points. Second-place California ended with 399 points.

In addition to the team titles, the Longhorns also claimed seven individual titles. Sophomore Will Licon and freshman Joseph Schooling led the way for Texas, winning two events each.

Texas is now tied with Ohio State for the second-most national championships in swimming and diving.

Volleyball returns to Final Four

The Longhorns returned to the Final Four in December largely on the strength of senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman. Eckerman finished the season with a team-high 44 aces and 3.24 kills per set in her final year.

The accomplishment was the third-straight trip to the national semifinal round for Texas — a feat only matched by the 1986–1988 team.

Still, the season ended in disappointment. Texas fell behind unseeded BYU 2–0 and couldn’t rebound, losing 3–1 in the national semifinal round. The Longhorns finished the year with a 27–3 record overall and a 15–1 Big 12 record.

Strong’s first season yields mixed results

Head coach Charlie Strong had an up-and-down season in his first year at the helm for the Longhorns. On the one hand, the defense was stout, finishing first in the conference in pass defense and total defense. Senior defensive tackle Malcom Brown had 11 tackles for loss and was selected by the New England Patriots in the first round of the NFL draft.

But the offense struggled with first-year starting quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and a revolving door along the offensive line.

Strong did finish the year on a positive note, locking down the No. 9 class for 2015 according to ESPN.

Baseball fails to live up to expectations

Before the season began, Texas head coach Augie Garrido said this season’s Longhorns would be just as good as the 2005 national champion winning team.

It was a bold statement, but a fair one — Texas was coming off a deep run in the College World Series and had just fallen a game short of playing for the national championship.

But after 48 games, the Longhorns have shown they have little in common with the ’05 team. Texas holds a .500 record, and, barring a run at the Big 12 championship, it will likely miss the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.

“We really assumed and thought we had the leadership on this team as a result of how close they were and how many guys were coming back,” Garrido said.

Unfortunately for Texas, Garrido assumed wrong, and the team failed to live up to its own expectations.

Men’s basketball head coach Shaka Smart talks at the podium during his introductory press conference in April.

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Less than a week after Rick Barnes left the head coaching job, Texas found its program’s 24th basketball coach. Shaka Smart, who spent the last six seasons coaching at Virginia Commonwealth University, finally left the Rams after essentially rewriting the program’s history book.

Smart guided the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in each of their last five seasons, the longest streak in school history, including a trip to the 2011 Final Four — the first time the program ever advanced past the Tournament’s second weekend.

In Smart’s six seasons at the helm, the Rams won 163 games, which tied Smart with Jamie Dixon for the second-most wins of all time by a coach in their first six seasons in Division I basketball.

Smart won at least 26 games in each of his seasons at Virginia, an accomplishment that had been achieved only twice in the program’s first 37 seasons of D-I competition. And in each of those seasons, the Rams won at least 70 percent of their regular season games, despite making the leap from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Atlantic-10 Conference in the fourth year of Smart’s tenure.

Over the same six-year stretch in time, Texas won 26 or more games just once. Further, the team hasn’t hit that 70-percent win mark in the last four seasons. Over the past three seasons, VCU has also averaged a 14.75 on the Simple Rating System — which uses strength of schedules and point differential to give each team a rating of how many points above or below average they are — nearly three points higher than Texas’ 11.9.

When he transitions from coaching at a mid-major school to Texas, Smart will likely be able to achieve success — primarily by making drastic changes to Texas’ style of play.

At VCU, Smart ran his signature ‘havoc,’ full-court press defense, ranking the Rams among the top five in the nation in both steals and turnovers forced the last four seasons. In contrast, the Longhorns didn’t rank higher than 108th in steals or 150th in turnovers forced.

This past season, the VCU’s typical lineup featured no starters taller than 6-foot-6-inch, primarily playing four-guard lineups. Meanwhile, the Longhorns often started three players 6-foot-7-inch or taller. With Texas’ frontcourt depth taking a hit with senior Jonathan Holmes graduating and freshman Myles Turner declaring for the NBA draft, Texas will likely start at least three guards for the majority of the 2015–2016 season.

With a likely shift in focus to a press-based defense as well as Smart’s emphasis on the backcourt, the Longhorns will probably soon look like a totally different team than the team who played under Rick Barnes this season.

While next year’s squad may struggle a bit in adapting to the system at first, come March, the Longhorns should return to the NCAA Tournament’s second weekend for the first time since 2008.

Clockwise from top left, Shaka Smart —Virginia Commonwealth, Gregg Marshall — Wichita State, Archie Miller — Dayton, Tony Bennett — Virginia

Rick Barnes is gone from his post after 17 seasons with the Longhorns, leaving the head coaching position vacant. Texas immediately began the search for his replacement, which it could find within a week. Here are the top prospects to begin the next era at Texas.

Shaka Smart - Virginia Commonwealth

Smart, a favorite to replace Barnes, burst onto the national scene in 2011 when he led Virginia Commonwealth to the Final Four. Although he’s only 37 years old, Smart has led the Rams to five consecutive NCAA Tournaments and six straight 20-win seasons. He’s rumored to be interested in the job at Texas, although some wonder if he’s interested in advancing to a bigger school. Despite his postseason success, he has yet to win a conference title in either the Colonial Athletic Association or the Atlantic-10, but his 163–56 career record makes him a hot commodity on the coaching market.

Gregg Marshall - Wichita State

Marshall may be the most likely name out there. After a loss in the Sweet 16 to Notre Dame, he said he would listen to offers, which seems to mean he is ready to bolt. He had tremendous
success at Wichita State, where he went undefeated in the regular season last year and earned a No. 1 seed in the Tournament.

Archie Miller - Dayton

Miller is as big of a name as there is out there right now. Last season he took the Dayton Flyers to the Elite Eight, and this year he won two tournament games. In his last two years he is 53–20. 

However, Miller is sitting pretty at Dayton. He just got a contract extension until 2022. Texas would need to offer him a contract that Dayton just can’t match--it might be able to. 

From the Longhorns’ perspective, he is a bit of a gamble. He’s only been head coach for four years.

Tony Bennett - Virginia

 This year’s U.S. Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year, Bennett turned Virginia from an average program to a power in the ACC over the course of his six years there. Bennett’s Cavaliers won the ACC and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament last season. This year, Virginia climbed as high as No. 2 in both the coaches and
media polls. 

The Cavaliers led the nation in scoring defense this season, allowing just 51.4 points per game. It remains to be seen if Bennett would entertain the idea of leaving Virginia.

Update: Tennessee officially hires Rick Barnes

Update: The University of Tennessee has officially hired Rick Barnes as its new head coach, the school announced Tuesday morning. A press conference is set for later this afternoon in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

"Rick Barnes is an elite basketball coach in every respect," Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart said in a statement. "Rick brings an extremely impressive track record of excellence, as well as much-needed stability, to our men's basketball program. This is an exciting day for our Tennessee family."

Barnes' new contract with Tennessee is for six years, at $2.25 million per year with incentives, according to multiple reports. In addition, Barnes will get his $1.75 million buyout from Texas. 

His new contract is similar to his $2.55 million per year base salary he received at Texas this past year. The hiring comes just two days after Texas let go of Barnes.

Original story: ESPN reported Monday afternoon that Barnes and Tennessee were close to a deal that would send the former Texas head coach to the Volunteers. In his farewell press conference Sunday, Barnes hinted to the fact he would land another coaching job soon when asked about his future.

“Will I coach again? Yeah, quicker than you’d probably think,” Barnes said.

Barnes and Texas “mutually agreed” to part ways Sunday morning, according to the official announcement. But it wasn’t as mutual as the report suggests. After failing to live up to expectations in the last couple of years, which includes losing to Butler in the first round this year and missing the tournament entirely in 2012-2013, reports leaked Thursday that Texas men's athletic director Steve Patterson told Barnes to make changes to his staff or risk being fired.

His staff offered to leave, but Barnes wouldn’t let them.

"I couldn't do that," Barnes said. "That would be me saying this is about me. I've been carried by a lot of people here. We're in this together."

Barnes would be the third coach in three years for the Volunteers, who saw Sweet 16 success just two years ago under the guidance of Cuonzo Martin before he bolted for Cal this summer. Donnie Tyndall of Southern Mississippi replaced him.

However, Tyndall's time at Tennessee was short-lived as he was fired Friday after just one season. His time was doomed before he started when Southern Mississippi released a statement in November that it was under investigation by the NCAA. Later in January, it said it had inflicted a self-imposed postseason ban. All this comes after Tyndall headed Morehead State when they went on probation five years ago for booster related activity.

"Knowing what I know now, is that a mistake?" Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart told the AP on Friday. "Probably. ... But, you know, there are a lot of coaches out there that have a transgression in their history somewhere that had an opportunity to do better. Obviously, if we'd known [then] what we know now, we would have moved in another direction."

Tyndall finished 16-16 in his lone year with a chance of future punishment “highly likely,” according to Hart.

Tennessee loses its top scorer from last season but will return juniors Kevin Punter and Armani Moore, who finished averaging double-digit points.

Barnes’ wife is also an alumnus of Tennessee.

Texas head coach Rick Barnes put Texas in the national spotlight after taking over in 1998.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

In one tweet, Texas basketball legend T. J. Ford summed up the situation: a sad ending to the greatest chapter yet of Texas basketball.

“Dear Rick Barnes, I never thought this day would come,” Ford tweeted. “I dreamed of a fairy tale ending. You put Texas Basketball on the Map. Love you.”

And it should have been a fairy tale for head coach Rick Barnes. Until Barnes left Clemson for Texas 17 years ago, UT’s program was irrelevant.

In the first 59 years of the NCAA Tournament, Texas made it just 16 times. In the next 17, under Barnes’ guidance, Texas made it another 16 times. He won more than 400 games and got Texas to the Final Four once.

Barnes also had a knack for putting legends in a Texas uniform. First it was Ford. Then it was Kevin Durant. Before Barnes, Texas’ only well-known basketball player was Slater Martin back in the ’40s.

Barnes made Texas basketball a part of the national conversation for the first time.

But focusing exclusively on his accomplishments on the sideline does Barnes a disservice. That’s not what he is and not what he wants to be remembered for. Barnes wants to know he did all he could for his players as their coach and mentor.

“We can talk about the program, the wins and losses — that’s not what it’s about,” Barnes said. “It’s about the relationships.”

Ford would call Barnes at 1 a.m. some nights and not just to talk about an upcoming game. Sometimes, Ford just had general questions about basketball. Once, he wanted to ask why Madison Square Garden is called the Mecca.

Barnes was just as generous with his players this year. He made time for senior forward Jonathan Holmes after Holmes’ concussion and talked to freshman forward Myles Turner after particularly disappointing games. Barnes was always there for the players and his staff.

At a press conference Sunday, Barnes hinted at an ultimatum he’d been delivered by men’s athletic director Steve Patterson: shake up his staff or leave himself. 

After Barnes’ assistants heard the news, they called him one by one and offered to vacate their spots. But Barnes wouldn’t hear it.

“There’s no way I could do that,” Barnes said. “That would be saying this is about me.”

That’s just the man Barnes was. He was a great coach, but a better person. He said he will be rooting for Texas down the line, and even gave some advice for the coach who will succeed him.

“Enjoy it — love it,” Barnes said. “You’re getting ready to walk into something really, really special.” 

In an ideal world, Barnes would have met the high expectations he set for Texas in his first 10 years and eventually left on his own terms, after cutting down the nets for Texas’ first championship. His name would hang in the rafters alongside Durant’s and Ford’s.

But basketball is a business, and the world isn’t ideal. Barnes said he knows that.

“You want the fairy-tale ending and it all to end right,” Barnes said. “Sometimes, you don’t always get what you want in life when you want it.” 

After speculation regarding Rick Barnes’ job security, Barnes and Texas officially parted ways Sunday, ending Barnes’ 17–year tenure on the 40 Acres. Barnes leaves the Longhorns as the winningest coach in Texas history with 402 wins.
Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

Rick Barnes’ tenure at Texas has officially come to an end.   

Texas announced Sunday that Barnes is leaving the program, ending his 17-year career with the Longhorns. With 402 career victories, Barnes leaves the Longhorns as the winningest coach in school history.

“I am grateful for the 17 years I’ve had at Texas,” Barnes said. 

When Barnes, now 60, arrived in 1998, he took over a middling Texas team that hadn’t reached the Final Four since 1947. Barnes quickly elevated it to a new echelon. In his first 10 seasons at Texas, he led the Longhorns to 10-straight NCAA Tournaments, appearing in five Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and one Final Four, in 2003.

But the Longhorns have failed to match that success in recent years. They haven’t advanced past the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament since 2008, and they missed the tournament altogether in the 2012–2013 season.

Texas appeared to be on the upswing coming into this season. After a surprising third-place finish in the Big 12 last season, the Longhorns returned all five starters and added a top recruit in 6-foot-11 forward Myles Turner. The team entered this season ranked No. 10 in both the coaches and AP polls.

After a strong start to the season, the Longhorns slumped to an 8–10 record in the Big 12, barely backing their way into the NCAA Tournament. They turned in perhaps their worst performance of the season in their only tournament game, scoring a season-low 48 points in a loss to Butler.

Despite the disappointing finish, Barnes said men’s athletic director Steve Patterson told him he would be brought back.

“I was told after our last game that I would be back as coach,” Barnes said. “Things changed.”

According to multiple reports released Thursday, which Barnes said he believes were leaked by the school, Patterson told Barnes he would need to make changes to his coaching staff if he wanted to return.

“There was no way I was going to put my staff out there and say, ‘You’re the problem,’” Barnes said.

Barnes said he believes the Longhorns are close to returning to national prominence, and he wanted to stay and “finish the job.” Although he won’t get that chance, Barnes said he isn’t bitter about the way his tenure ended.

“No one could ever diminish what I think about the University of Texas,” Barnes said.

In addition to his early success, Barnes led the Longhorns to three Big 12 Conference championships with 20 or more wins in 15 seasons. 

Former Longhorn T. J. Ford whom Barnes had a close relationship with, was even on hand for Barnes’ farewell press conference Sunday.

“I’m a product of him,” Ford said. “I am a product of what he believed in and his thought process.”

Barnes plans to coach again, and he said he believes he will find a new job more quickly than people expect. Before he looks ahead, however, Barnes made sure to look back.

“I don’t have any regrets,” Barnes said. “Truly, I love the University of Texas. I always will.”

After 17 seasons at Texas, head coach Rick Barnes’ career may have reached the end of the line.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Update: Head basketball coach Rick Barnes and Texas agreed to "part ways", according to a press release issued Sunday morning.

"I leave this job with no regrets," Barnes said in the statement. "Instead, I look back at our time here and say 'thank you' to all the players, coaches and staff who have worked with our program the last 17 years."

Barnes met with the media Sunday afternoon, where he spoke about his 17-year tenure and his departure from Texas. 

"We can talk about the programs, the wins and losses," Barnes said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about the relationships...this 17-year run here isn't about me. It's about so many people."   

The veteran head coach said he was told after Texas' loss to Butler in the NCAA Tournament that he would be returning next season, but "things changed," resulting in his departure. Reports surfaced this week that Athletic Director Steve Patterson wanted Barnes to make changes to his coaching staff, however, Barnes said Sunday he couldn't agree to that, despite several assistant coaches offering to give up their positions. 

"I couldn't do that," Barnes said. "That would be saying this is about me. I've learned and been carried by a lot of great people here. We're in this together." 

Barnes said he has no bitter feelings about his departure from the Longhorns. Texas now looks for Barnes' replacement, which the Austin American-Statesman reported will be found "within a week."

"I don't have any regrets," Barnes said. "I truly love the university of Texas and I always will...I would tell the next person to sit in my seat 'You're walking into something really, really special."

Patterson said in a statement he appreciated Barnes' hard work over his tenure.

"The University owes Rick a great deal of gratitude and respect for all he's done to put Texas on the Basketball map," Patterson said. "He elevated our program immensely and always did it with class. He put our student-athletes first. He won with integrity. We thank Rick for his many years of service to Texas and wish him continued success in the future."

For more on this story as it develops, follow @texansports on Twitter.

Original story: The Rick Barnes era at Texas has officially ended, according to multiple reports.

After weeks of speculation about Barnes’ future, Texas officials reportedly plan to release the veteran head coach Sunday or Monday, according to the Austin American-Statesman, ending a 17-year career with the Longhorns that made him the winningest basketball coach at Texas.

The news comes after multiple reports surfaced this week that said Barnes’ career at Texas was coming to an end after a 56–48 loss at the hands of Butler in the round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament. Thursday, reports said Barnes and athletic director Steve Patterson met twice to discuss the future of the basketball program. Patterson reportedly told Barnes he needed to make significant changes or risk losing his spot.

Then Friday, 247 Sports reported Barnes wouldn’t consent to the changes Patterson demanded, adding speculation to his future.

Barnes’ reported departure comes at the end of his 17th season at Texas, where he finished 20–14. After a strong 2013–2014 season and the arrival of freshman forward Myles Turner, many expected the Longhorns to make a deep postseason run and possibly decrown Kansas as the Big 12 champion.

However, despite a top-10 preseason ranking, Texas was on the bubble heading into the NCAA Tournament before scraping its way to an 11 seed. Throughout the speculation surrounding his job security, Barnes remained confident and had little to say.

Barnes, 60, has made a significant impact during his tenure with the Longhorns. After taking over a disordered program in 1998, he led Texas to 14 straight winning seasons, including three Big 12 titles. In his first 10 seasons, Barnes appeared in 10 straight NCAA Tournament games, with appearances in five Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and a Final Four in 2003. As the winningest head coach of the program, Barnes tallied a 402–180 overall record.

But Barnes’ biggest breakdown has been his recent struggle in postseason play. Since reaching the Elite Eight in 2008, Texas has failed to make it past the round of 32, even missing the tournament in 2012. The Longhorns have also finished unranked in five of the last six seasons.

Barnes’ contract, which runs through March 2019, is currently worth $2.5 million per year. After his recent contract extension at the end of last season, he is due $1.75 million if he is fired before April 1.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that Patterson plans to find Barnes’ replacement within a week. 

Report: Rick Barnes not expected to return as head coach

Texas head coach Rick Barnes isn’t expected to return to the Longhorns next season, according to a report from 247 Sports.

Multiple reports surfaced Thursday that athletic director Steve Patterson wants Barnes to make significant changes to the program or risk losing his spot. However, a source told 247 Sports that the veteran head coach is not expected to consent those requests.

Barnes’ job security has been in talks this season after once again failing to produce a deep postseason run. Last season, the Longhorns lost in the round of 32 before falling to Butler in their first game of the tournament last week.

Through his 17-year tenure, Barnes, the winningest head coach at Texas, has tallied 402 wins with the Longhorns, but hasn’t appeared in Sweet 16 or beyond since 2008.

Barnes’ contract, which runs through March 2019, is currently worth $2.5 million per year. After his recent contract extension at the end of last season, he is due $1.75 million if he is fired before. But after that date will be due $1.5 million.

Head coach Rick Barnes’ record in the NCAA Tournament as a lower-seed is reason for him to worry about his future.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Over the course of 17 seasons, Texas men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes has amassed an extensive list of accomplishments — but that list could be longer.

Barnes has guided the Longhorns to 20 or more victories in a single season 15 times. His 402 wins nearly doubles the previous high, 208, held by former head coach Tom Penders.

But when it comes tournament time, Barnes has underachieved, especially recently.

In Barnes’ first 10 seasons, the Longhorns won three conference crowns, failing to win more than 10 conference games just once. They received 10 bids to the NCAA Tournament, averaging a 4.4 seed by the selection committee. 

In that span, Texas won 16 tournament games and made it past the first weekend five times. A vast majority of those wins and all five of Barnes’ Sweet 16 appearances occurred in a seven-season span from 2002—2008. This includes 2005’s anomalous eight seed drawing, a result of an injury to freshman forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge and sophomore forward P.J. Tucker’s academic suspension.

During those six seasons in which the Longhorns were in full force, they won 15 NCAA Tournament games, 2.34 games better than the average amount won by their seeds in the past 30 NCAA Tournaments. The team’s most successful campaigns were in 2003, 2006 and 2008, when Texas received a No. 1 seed followed by two No. 2 seeds.

However, in their other 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, the Longhorns won just four games — 4.98 wins below average based on the team’s seeding.

Those struggles are particularly evident when Texas faces “better” teams.

Barnes’ record at Texas is only 1–7 against higher seeds in the tournament, compared to 18–9 when facing lower seeded teams. 

This means a Barnes-coached squad is more likely to make a deep postseason run if they receive a top-four seed.

However, over the past seven seasons, the Longhorns have fallen short of that plateau six times, including missing the tournament entirely in 2013. Texas’ average seed over this span was an eight seed, nearly doubling the 4.4 averaged in Barnes’ first 10 seasons.

Not surprisingly, Texas underperformed to its seed, winning only three games to the 5.13 expected by its seeding. In total, Barnes has won just 21 games in 22 tournament appearances, 5.74 wins below the team’s expected wins based on seeding.

He is the most decorated coach in program history — but his pattern of consistent struggles when it mattered most could be his ultimate downfall.

After 17 seasons at Texas, head coach Rick Barnes’ career may have reached the end of the line.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Rick Barnes is fading fast.

Barnes has been Texas’ head coach for 17 seasons and, in that time, he has done very little to merit staying here longer. It’s time for there to be a new head coach for the Longhorns.

Over the course of his tenure, Barnes has coached Texas into the NCAA Tournament 16 times — but he has been to just five Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and only one Final Four. 

In 11 of those 16 tournaments, Texas hasn’t advanced past the second or third round. Fans barely get a chance to enjoy the Longhorns in the tournament before they are eliminated, and Barnes goes home with yet another postseason loss.

It’s not like Barnes has suffered from a lack of talent in his teams. Through 16 seasons, Barnes has had 16 players drafted. He’s had two National Players of the Year: T.J. Ford in 2003 (also the year of Barnes’ only Final Four appearance) and Kevin Durant in 2007, when Texas was eliminated in the third round to USC, a team led by junior guard Nick Young.

This past season, the Longhorns were not only a contender for the Big 12 conference championship — they might’ve been National Champions. They gave No. 1 Kentucky a good game.

They had the ability.

Texas had arguably the best front court in the nation with freshman forward and phenom Myles Turner and the very intimidating junior center Cameron Ridley. 

To add to that, Texas had sophomore Isaiah Taylor —  arguably the best driving point guard in the nation. If Taylor developed a consistent jump shot, he could be the best point guard in the nation. But, despite all the talent, and a deep bench, Texas still just barely made it to the NCAA Tournament.

Through 17 seasons, Barnes has had enough time to make the adjustments he’s needed to build a national championship run. When his offensive and defensive systems weren’t working, he should have adjusted them to fit the needs of his team.

Basketball is ultimately about what the players do, but it’s the coach’s job to provide guidance — look to Kentucky head coach John Calipari, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Louisville’s Rick Pitino for examples. 

Barnes has struggled to give that guidance in recent years, most noticeably when poor clock management helped Iowa State’s buzzer beater in the Big 12 tournament when Texas failed to take the last shot.

Coaches are sometimes praised for their ability to do “more with less” — as SMU head coach Larry Brown did in the NBA — but Barnes seems to have a knack for doing “less with more.”

It’s time for a new era in Texas basketball.