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New Texas A.D. Says Rivalry With A&M Not On The Front-Burner

Texas-AM-rivalryTexas has a new athletic director these days.  But Steve Patterson’s views on the Texas/Texas A&M rivalry don’t seem to be all that much different than those of his predecessor, DeLoss Dodds.  And that’s not a good thing for Texas.

During the conference expansion/realignment game it became standard operating procedure for schools left behind to use the “we won’t play you anymore” gambit.  Yes, it’s akin to taking their ball and going home, but what else might a scorned school do?  Try and sock it to the departees on the actual playing field?  Pshaw!

Kansas did it to Missouri.  Every school in the ACC will do it Maryland.  And most famously, Texas did it to long-time rival Texas A&M, killing off one of college football’s most-storied rivalries in the process.  Since Texas went down that road, the Aggies have zipped by the Longhorns on the field, in the national rankings, in recruiting, and in the national spotlight.  Yeah, that’ll learn ‘em.

Enter Patterson who sounds like he’s more interested in the Middle East than Middle Texas.  The reason Patterson is considering sending teams to Mexico City (football), China (basketball) and Dubai (who knows what team?) is he’s “more concerned with growing the footprint” for Texas’ athletic brand than he is in kickstarting old rivalries.  “Until there’s a case made that it makes sense to play a game against another school in the state of Texas, I don’t see us focusing on it.”

Earlier this month, LonghornDigest.com — the Scout.com site covering Texas — asked “four prestigious Texas high school football coaches” about the hierarchy of college football within the Lone Star State.  All four said that Texas now ranks behind Texas A&M and Baylor inside their own state.  Some might say that if the Longhorns are losing ground to their most hated rival by not playing them… perhaps that’s case enough to play them and to try to unseat them on the grass of an actual football field.  If Texas beats Baylor in Big XII player next year, the Horns will slip past them in the eyes of high school coaches and players.  But they have no such chance with A&M so long as they refuse to play them.

We wish Texas luck with the Dubai thing, though.  We’re sure Texas fans would much prefer games in Mexico City and Dubai to facing off with Texas A&M again.

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UT Cancels Basketball Trip To Italy

Tennessee has cancelled a summer trip to Italy for its basketball team.  Two reasons were given for the switch: travel and Cuonzo Martin’s duties at the World University Games.

According to athletic director Mike Hamilton, the trip would have been difficult from a travel perspective with the Vols also now heading to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational in November.

In addition, Martin is scheduled to serve on the staff of Purdue’s Matt Painter when he coaches the US team in the World University Games in China in August.  Training will be held for that event in Colorado from July 30th through August 8th.

“It will be better to wait a year for the trip because then we can get a feel for our players,” Martin said.  “When you take those trips, you’re also building team camaraderie.  It’s always a beneficial trip, playing five or six games and getting extra practice.”

For those reasons, it would seem to actually make more sense to take the trip this year, as Martin is laying the foundation for his program.  But let’s face facts — you don’t back out after you accept a position coaching a US national team.

Also, with Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris possibly NBA-bound, the Vols might have had a hard time even filling out a roster this summer.

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Video: Jon Hood says “I’ve come a long way.”

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

You had to feel good for Jon Hood. The sophomore scored 18 points and dished four assists. He made seven of nine shots, including four of six from behind the three-point line.

Afterward, Hood said he felt pretty confident after the shoot-around, and that “We started to click” in the win over the Bleu Devils. Hood also said that Terrence Jones “is really good when he plays like he did tonight.”

As for himself, Hood said he has worked on his defense, and his ball-handling. “I’ve come a long way since last year as a player,” he said, also crediting the summer basketball he played in China as helping his development.

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