DALLAS -- Former Texas Longhorns star Kevin Durant came through Dallas on Friday night with the Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring 30 points in a 99-98 loss to the Mavericks. Before the game, Durant took a few minutes to talk about his favorite college basketball team as it puts its No. 1 ranking on the line at home against Texas A&M Aggies today at 5 p.m.
"Best team in Texas' history so far," Durant said. "They’ve got to get to the Sweet 16, the Elite Eight and the Final Four like some of Texas’ other teams, but I think it’s the most talented team that Texas has seen in a while."
The Longhorns enter today's game undefeated at 16-0 overall and 2-0 in conference. They've won 15 games by double digits. They boast one of the deepest rosters in the nation, led by seniors Damion James, Dexter Pittman and Justin Mason, juniors Dogus Balbay and Gary Johnson and a trio of outstanding freshmen in Avery Bradley, J'Covan Brown and Jordan Hamilton. And now you have to add to the junior transfer Jai Lucas, a 3-point specialist.
Durant played with the seniors his freshman season, his lone campaign in Austin before jumping to the NBA. Durant singled out James' consistently dominant efforts this season. James leads Texas in scoring (17.3) and rebounding (11.2) and he's tied for second in steals (25). He's a candidate for national Player of the Year.
"He’s playing incredible. Every game he’s putting the team on his shoulders. I’m happy for him," Durant said. "He works. He works every summer to get better, and he’s showing his improvement. I knew this was coming for him, especially as a senior. He was going to show the country how he really plays and how the team can get better and he’s going to lead them."