1970s1980sAustinBasketballNCAANCAAM BasketballSWCTexas LonghornsUT AustinUT Basketball

NCAAM Basketball – 1980 – SWC Game Of The Week – Texas Longhorns Vs SMU Mustangs – 2nd Half


The 1979-80 Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team had lost 4 starters from the team that won the N.I.T. as well as two SWC (Southwest Conference) titles over the past two years….meaning the only returning starter was F Ron Baxter….who was in his senior season at Texas…. after being a four year starter for Coach Abe Lemons.  So, this 1980 team featured three really good returning lettermen including 6’6″ G John Danks, 6’6″ F Ken Montgomery and 6’6″ F Henry Johnson…..along with four really good freshmen in 6’11” C LaSalle Thompson, 6’2″ G Fred Carson, 6’8″ F Bill Wendlendt and 6’3″ G George Turner….which made up the nucleus of Abe’s players that got time on the court. 

It took nearly half of the season for this new bunch of Texas players to learn Coach Lemons’ system on offense and match-up zone on defense…..as they lost early games in the season to Harvard, Holy Cross and New Mexico…..and then had to face a tough SWC schedule with Arkansas , Houston and Baylor having strong teams….but were able to finish off the season with a more than respectable 19 – 11 season record….while going 10 – 6 for 3rd place in the SWC. 

As we have said before….during a typical Longhorn practice….Coach Abe Lemons would coach his starting five…..while assistant coach Barry Dowd would coach the rest of the team…..cuz the truth was that Abe’s starting five played most of each game….with very few substitutions…..but in this season of rebuilding….Coach Abe rotated these seven players….6’4″ F Ron Baxter 17.8 pts 7.6 rebs 2.4 asst…..6’6″ F John Danks 15.7 pts 3.7 reb 2.3 asst…..6’11” C LaSalle Thompson 12.8 pts 9.7 rebs 0.4 asst….6’6″ F Henry Johnson 9.3 pts 5.2 rebs 1.5 asst….6’6″ F Ken Montgomery 7.3 pts 1.9 rebs 1.2 assts….6’1″ G George Turner 8.5 pts 2.2 rebs 3.2 asst….and 6’1″ G Fred Carson 5.5 pts 2.5 reb 4.5 asst..   

The Horns would win this SWC Game of the Week 85 – 75 over the SMU Mustangs….as the game was aired live on Misslou Television Network…..with Jim Brimson and Rudy Davalos behind the mikes.

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