Eight Facts From Rick Barnes’ 17 Years At Texas

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    Sean Payton’s Last Season With The Saints Was A Success

    After seven years as Tennessee’s head coach, Rick Barnes makes his return to Austin Saturday night when the Vols face Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

    Barnes is one of the most successful coaches in Texas basketball history and took the Longhorns on their most successful run in modern history.

    To get ready for Barnes’ return to the Frank Erwin Center, here’s eight facts about the Hickory, North Carolina native’s 17-years in Austin.

    Barnes Took The Longhorns To 16 NCAA Tournaments

    Texas’ program was in a strong spot when Barnes took over as his predecessor — Tommy Penders — guided the Longhorns to eight NCAA Tournaments in 10 years. However, under Penders, Texas was a double-digit seed five times and never higher than a five-seed.

    Barnes continued that consistency in Austin, making it to the NCAA Tournament in his first 14 seasons and 16 of his 17 seasons at Texas. The former Clemson coach got the Longhorns to a seven-seed in his first season and Texas wasn’t a double-digit seed until his 14th season.

    Once he took over the then-44-year old head coach immediately elevated the Longhorns program.

    Seventeen Longhorns Were Drafted Under Barnes Tutelage

    Barnes not only had success on the court, but put a number of Longhorns in the NBA. Seventeen Texas players were drafted into the NBA under Barnes’ tutelage including 11 first rounders and six top 10 picks.

    Barnes coached NBA stars Kevin Durant (No. 2 in 2007 draft), D.J. Augustine (No. 9 in 2008 draft), Lamarcus Aldridge (No. 2 in 2006 draft) and P.J. Tucker (No. 35 in 2006 draft).

    Barnes Went 2-2 Against Tennessee While In Austin

    While at Texas, Barnes faced his future school four times, splitting the matchups.

    Barnes and Texas blew out Buzz Peterson and the Vols, 95-70, at the 2004 Maui Invitational.

    A year later, Bruce Pearl and Tennessee’s upstart program earned its first major win, knocking off No. 2 Texas, 95-78, in Austin. A year later, Tennessee earned a major comeback win over Barnes and the Longhorns in Knoxville.

    Chris Lofton nailed a shot over future NBA great Kevin Durant that now lives in Tennessee basketball infamy.

    Barnes got his revenge on Pearl and Tennessee a season later, dominating the Vols by 19 points in a neutral site game.

    Ten Barnes’ Teams Ranked In The Top 25 Of Adjusted Offensive Efficiency

    Defense has become a staple of Tennessee’s program in Barnes’ seven years in Knoxville. For the second straight year, Tennessee ranks in the nation’s top five of adjusted defensive efficiency.

    However, Barnes’ Texas programs had more success on the offensive side of the court than defense. Ten of Barnes’ 17 teams ranked in the top 25 of adjusted offensive efficiency and four ranked in the top six.

    Barnes Is The Big 12’s Second Winningest Coach

    Barnes arrived in Austin four years after the Big 12 was founded and immediately made his mark on the basketball side of the conference.

    With 402 wins at Texas, Barnes is the second winningest coach in Big 12 history. Kansas coach Bill Self (539) tops the list.

    Barnes Took Texas To Its First Final Four In 53 Years

    On March 30, 2003, Rick Barnes’ career reached its peak. At the Alamodome, just 82 miles southwest of UT-Austin, Barnes’ Longhorns knocked off Michigan State, 85-76, to punch its ticket to the 2003 Final Four.

    It was Texas’ third ever birth in the Final Four, but the first since 1947.

    The Longhorns would fall to Carmelo Anthony and future National Champion Syracuse in the national semifinal, but Barnes’ career was validated in his 16th season, making it to the first weekend April.

    Barnes Won Double Digit Conference Wins Nine Of His First 10 Years But Just Twice Afterwards

    Barnes’ tenure at Texas started with a bang and peaked when he reached the Final Four in his fifth season. While that was the peak, Barnes’ parlayed the run into elite recruiting (just take a look at the NBA stars Texas produced from 2006-08).

    In Barnes’ first 10 years, the Longhorns won 10 or more conference games nine times and won three Big 12 regular season titles.

    From there, his program began to fade and become stagnant. Texas won double-digit conference games just twice in Barnes’ final seven seasons and posted a losing record in Big 12 play twice.

    Barnes Took Texas To Just One Sweet 16 In His Final Nine Seasons

    Barnes’ success at Texas didn’t just wane in the regular season during the second half of his tenure. In fact, the struggles in the NCAA Tournament began earlier.

    After the Longhorns were bounced in the first weekend Barnes first three seasons, the head coach’s best run of postseason success began.

    Texas made it to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament in four of the next five seasons including the 2003 Final Four berth.

    From there, Barnes made it back to the Sweet 16 just once in Austin (2006). Barnes didn’t make it out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament his final seven seasons in Austin.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.