Austin, Texas When Texas forward P.J. Tucker, the likely Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, talked about how good his team is, he talked about the present. When he praised Kansas University, he talked about the future.
"We know how good we are," Tucker said after contributing 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals to an 80-55 victory over KU on Saturday in the Erwin Center. "In-house, we know we're a good team, and we know we're going to keep getting better."
Tucker on the Jayhawks: "I always said Kansas is going to be a great team with all those freshmen coming in. They're just young. Once they get older and get more experience, I heard someone say they'll be a top-five team coming into next season."
Texas coach Rick Barnes didn't write off this season for the Jayhawks after his team overpowered them.
"I said at the beginning of the year I thought Kansas by the end of the year could be as good as any team in the country, and I believe that right now," said Barnes, gracious in victory.
In the marquee matchup, Tucker got the better of KU freshman star Brandon Rush, who scored a season-low three points.
"He is a great all-around player," Tucker said of Rush. "He can knock down the open shot and drive. I had to stay down, contest every shot. Daniel (Gibson) came in and did the job as well. And our zone did a good job on him."
The Longhorns have some respect for Kansas, a possible opponent in the Big 12 tournament title game.
In that game, Texas won't have a homecourt advantage, even though the tourney is played in the Longhorns' home state.
"We had a great crowd today," Tucker said. "We were amped up. We knew it was going to be a great game."