Texas has one more tuneup left before facing its first ranked opponent of the season.
The second-ranked Longhorns will be heavily favored to post their ninth straight double-digit victory to start the 2009-10 season when they host Texas-Pan American on Tuesday night.
Texas (8-0) has posted an average victory margin of 27.8 points during its perfect start. The Longhorns, who went 11-0 two seasons ago, have won every game by at least 16 points - the first time they have accomplished that in school history.
Texas-Pan American (1-9), meanwhile, does not have a player who has a double-digit scoring average, with Jared Maree’s 9.8 points per game leading the way. The Broncs’ average margin of defeat in seven road losses is 24.6.
This is the last game for Texas before it travels to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Saturday to take on defending national champion No. 10 North Carolina.
No Longhorn has averaged more than 26.6 minutes per game with nine healthy players averaging more than 11. Coach Rick Barnes is enjoying his abundance of talent.
“They know they’ve got a job to do and if they don’t do it, they’re not going to get the minutes,” Barnes said. “They’re going to do what we want done or they’re not going to play.”
Barnes could be without one of those nine players if freshman J’Covan Brown can’t play. Brown who has started four games and is averaging 12.6 points, had to be helped off the court about 6 minutes into the second half after a fall near the basket Saturday in an 87-54 win over Texas State.
This is the last game Texas will play without Jai Lucas, a Florida transfer who is eligible to play Saturday against the Tar Heels.
“You don’t ever have enough players,” Barnes said.
Damion James notched his 40th career double-double Saturday with 21 points and 16 rebounds. The Longhorns leading scorer and rebounder wasn’t happy with his three turnovers, though.
“I had too many turnovers,” James said. “I turned the ball over three times. That’s not acceptable. I just have to continue to get better. All I want to do is help this team win and lead them every day.
The Longhorns finished with 18 turnovers - their highest total since they had 21 in a 73-41 victory over Western Carolina on Nov. 18. Senior guard Justin Mason had a season-high six - matching his total from the first seven games.
“We played OK, but we can’t play like that against our opponent on Tuesday,” James said. “We have to fight, play hard, get better every day and make sure we don’t turn the ball over.”
The Longhorns may not have to play better to beat a Texas-Pan American team that has lost four straight. Texas has won all five previous matchups by an average of 22.0 points, winning 82-54 in the last one Nov. 25, 2005.
The Broncs fell 84-58 to Texas-San Antonio in their last game Dec. 7. Nick Weiermiller was the only Texas-Pan American player to reach double figures with 13 points.