Players fight for Rodney Terry - as Texas advances to its first Elite Eight in 15 years
Kansas City, MO -- The second seeded Texas Longhorns dominated the Xavier Musketeers from start to finish in their 83-71 victory in the Sweet 16. Rodney Terry’s team is set to face Miami on Sunday with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
Texas has had a very interesting season so far. In December, head coach Chris Beard was arrested due to domestic violence accusations and was originally suspended, leaving Terry to take over the program. Beard was later fired in January, and Terry was named the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Terry led the Longhorns to a second place finish in the Big 12 regular season with a 12-6 conference record. Texas then went on to win the Big 12 tournament as it defeated regular season champion Kansas by 20 points in the championship game.
They now head to the Elite Eight for the first time in 15 years, hoping to make the school's first Final Four since 2003.
Which raises the question everyone is asking: Is it time to make Rodney Terry the team's permanent head coach.
“He’s been helping us since day one,” Texas guard Marcus Carr said. “The way I look at it, he is our head coach.”
Longhorns guard Tyrese Hunter explains how they are only focusing on the task at hand. The sophomore talks about how they don’t want to be distracted with anything else, and that the team is focused on the tournament while hoping that Rodney keeps the head coaching job.
“We just live in the moment,” Hunter said. “He (Terry) has helped us from the moment we started training over the summer, and we’ve just been taking it day-by-day and focusing on what’s next as we keep advancing in the tournament.”
There is no doubt that Terry has his squad playing its best basketball of the season right now. The interim coach credits his team’s strength and resilience for their run in the tournament, as well as mentioning how having a tough schedule helped them for this moment.
“This has been a resilient team all year long,” Terry said. “When you play in the Big 12, you are constantly being challenged so we were well prepared for tonight as we faced a talented Xavier team.”
Follow Ethan on Twitter - @_EthanBurke_
To get full odds on the NCAA Tournament - visit Betfred Sportsbook
21+ OH Residents. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler