The temptation might be to blame Texas' horrible performance on the road at Kansas State on Saturday on a first-half knee injury to Jonathan Holmes, the Longhorns' leading scorer and second-leading rebounder.
The reality is, this one already was trending toward ugly for Texas before Holmes left the game for good after logging 9 minutes in the first half. Kansas State completely overwhelmed Texas in a 74-57 beat down just a week after the Longhorns upset Kansas.
Holmes was the guy who beat the Wildcats in the first meeting between the teams last month with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Kansas State was the ranked team in that game and Texas was beginning to prove it could compete in the Big 12 this season despite losing much of last season's team.
No. 15 Texas went into Saturday's game as the only team in the Big 12 within a game of the league-leading Jayhawks and looking like a serious challenger to end Kansas' decade of dominance in the conference. They emerged uncertain of how serious Holmes' injury might be and looking like a second-place finish in the league is the best-case scenario.
A week after grabbing 19 offensive rebounds and blocking 12 shots against the Jayhawks, coach Rick Barnes' team committed 18 turnovers and allowed Kansas State to shoot 53 percent.
Kansas State (16-7, 6-4) obviously needed this one much more but it looked like it wanted it more as well. Guard Marcus Foster was lights out scoring a career-best 34 points on 13-for-16 shooting.
Forward Thomas Gibson was Kansas State's leading scorer with 24 points in the first game this season against Texas, a three-point loss in Austin. Gibson scored just three points Saturday.
Texas 18-5, 7-3 still remains on the best turn-around stories in college basketball this season and a young team is bound to have some of these days, but Barnes has to be headed back to Austin with some significant anxiety considering four of his next six games are against ranked opponents, including a rematch with the Jayhawks in two weeks.
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