1970sAustinBasketballNCAANCAAM BasketballSWCTexas LonghornsUT AustinUT Basketball

NCAAM Basketball – 1979 – SWC Game of the Week – Texas Longhorns Vs Arkansas Razorbacks


Ron Baxter and Johnny Moore….starters for Coach Abe Lemons’ Texas Longhorn men’s basketball teams for one prestigious N.I.T. (National Invitation Tournament) Championship and SWC (Southwest Conference) titles in 1978….the year prior to this 1979 SWC Game of the Week game seen herewith….for these two boys wererewe more than regular customers….more like steady customers at Bone Daddy’s sports bar…..for Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place had lots of games to play…pool + billiards, shuffleboard, chess, backgammon, pop-a-shot, pinball, packman, asteroids, et al….and these two “ball players” loved to play games….all games!!!….and so did Bone Daddy…..which made for some fun times and expensive lessons for over four year careers at Texas.  

Johnny Moore started all 112 games of his four-year college career at Texas…..while finishing as Texas’ all-time career assists leader with 714….and still remains in 2018 as the Horns second all-time in assists per game, averaging 6.38 assists over the course of his four years as the Longhorns’ point guard.  His per-game average of 8.34 assists as a senior remains a UT men’s basketball record….Moore also posted a double-figure scoring average in each of his four seasons. He received first-team All-Southwest Conference (SWC) honors following his senior season.  

As a junior, Moore helped guide the Abe Lemons-coached 1977–78 Longhorns basketball team to a 26–5 overall record (then tied with Jack Gray’s 1947 Final Four team for the most wins in a single season in school history), a share of the Southwest Conference championship, and the 1978 National Invitation Tournament championship.  The following season, Moore helped Texas win a share of the SWC championship for the second consecutive year, defeat a school-record three AP-ranked teams, advance to the 1979 NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed, and finish the season with an overall record of 21–8, giving the Longhorns their first back-to-back seasons of 20 or more wins in 31 years.   

Moore was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the second round of the 1979 NBA draft as the 43rd overall pick….then the second-highest NBA draft position for any basketball player in UT history.  Over 520 games in his NBA career….Moore averaged 9.4 points, 7.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.96 steals per game….and a field goal percentage of 46.0.  Moore recorded 20 assists during three games in his career  ….as once was during the playoffs….which makes him one of only seven players to record 20 assists or more in a playoff game.  He also had two games of nine or more steals in a game….being one of only 50 different players to record nine or more steals in a game.  Moore is one of eight players to have his number “00” retired by the Spurs.  What important here is that Johnny Moore was a very competitive person….be it basketball or packman. 

On the other hand….while Ron Baxter was a Longhorn from 1977 to 1980…..he was the 1980 Southwest Conference Player of the Year….while being a three-time first-team All-Southwest Conference pick (1978–1980)….was voted team MVP in 1977 and 1980…while being a member of the 1978 NIT Championship team….as he averaged double-digits in scoring in each of his four years….was up to the end of his UT career 4th in UT history in career points (1,897) and rebounds (919)….after being 3rd in school history with 40 career double-doubles….and was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2001…..which meant that he too was very competitive….be it shuffleboard or pop-a-shot. 

Long story short, Bone Daddy taught these two “ballers” a few things bout home field advantage over these players careers at Texas….for I will go into great detail of time spent in “friendly competition” at the games at The Sports Place in my L E’s Stories Section of ImaSportsphile…..cuz these were really good times back in the day when Coach Abe Lemons could take his boys from Texas into fabled Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas…..and come home with a victory after “out-foxing the ole ball fox” with his All American laden team.  

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