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Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Michigan manhandled the Longhorns in a 79-65 loss during the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, but the team can still fly home from Milwaukee, Wis., with a few ounces of moxie intact.

After all, the future is bright at Texas.

No. 2 seed Michigan proved to be a 3-point shooting buzzsaw against the Longhorns. The Wolverines converted a school tournament-record 14 treys and shot a blistering 50 percent behind the arc.

They played almost perfect offensive basketball and stymied a team that’s had issues scoring consistently all season. The Longhorns are a scrappy, young group but they cannot be confused with the most talented bunch.

Saturday, the Longhorns ran into a supremely talented unit on a great day. It was nothing more than that. Texas can only go so far on effort, and without further developed talent, it hit its ceiling for the season against Michigan.

But next year, that ceiling may prove to be the floor. With a roster boasting only one scholarship upperclassman — junior forward Jonathan Holmes — Texas will return every scholarship player. It’s a group that gelled well together all season, and an additional offseason of working with each other could reap significant benefits.

The team remaining intact is the foundation of Texas’ future success, but the individuals that comprise the roster will provide the greatest growth.

Freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor has been a spark plug for the Longhorns all season. An unheralded recruit entering college, Taylor finished his season among the top freshmen in the country in a group populated by future lottery picks. With an offseason of work, Taylor can develop his shaky outside shot, which would make him an even better offensive threat. 

And Taylor is far from being the only freshman guard who should develop nicely. Martez Walker, Kendal Yancy and Demarcus Croaker all have noticeable holes in their games but will elevate their skills by working with head coach Rick Barnes. Walker is the player to watch: He’s shown an aptitude for the spotlight late in the year, and it would not be surprising to see him getting the start over sophomore guard
Javan Felix next season.

Still, it’s Texas’ frontcourt that stands to make the biggest jump.

Sophomore center Cameron Ridley transformed from a pudgy freshman into one of the Big 12’s best players in 2013. At 6-feet-9-inches and 280 pounds, Ridley has the potential to be a force next season as his endurance and range of post moves continue to improve. It’s as Barnes said of Ridley: his next step is to “dominate.”

Elevated play from Ridley and Taylor would give Texas a one-two, inside-out combo that could take the team far.

After missing the tournament for the first time in 15 seasons last year, expectations were nonexistent at the beginning of the season and Barnes’ job was on the line.

Now, after a pleasantly surprising year, this energetic, hard-working team can hold solace in the future. And the Big 12 Head Coach of the Year honoree is here to stay.

Expectations for Texas basketball have returned. This team has earned them.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

After missing the NCAA tournament last season for the first time under head coach Rick Barnes, No. 7-seeded Texas is set to face No. 10-seeded Arizona State in the Midwest region of the tournament Thursday in Milwaukee, Wisc. 

“We felt great seeing our name up there [on the bracket], especially after last year,” sophomore guard Demarcus Holland said. “It’s just an opportunity to keep playing basketball and play at the highest level. Every team that is in this tournament has a chance to win.”

This is just the fifth time Texas and Arizona State have faced each other, and the first time in the NCAA tournament. The last time these two schools matched up was in 1999.

The Longhorns (23-10, 11-7 Big 12) and the Sun Devils (21-11, 10-8 Pac-12) are evenly matched heading into the second round of the tournament. Both teams possess a strong defensive front but are prone to struggle on offense. Additionally, neither team finished its season strongly: Texas lost five of its last eight games, while Arizona State fell in five of its last seven contests.

“We’ve been struggling lately, but I promise you coming into the NCAA tournament we’ll be ready,” freshman guard Isaiah Taylor said. “We’re ready to face anyone.”

Only junior forward Jonathan Holmes, the lone upperclassman on the team with a scholarship, has played in the tournament previously. Texas fell to Cincinnati two years ago in its first game, 65-59.

For the rest of Holmes’ young teammates, this will be their first chance at the tournament.

“It’s exciting,” Taylor said. “Especially going against a Pac-12 team. I think I can speak for the rest of the team, that everybody is excited.”

Sophomore center Cameron Ridley will provide one of the most interesting matchups of the game when he faces the Sun Devils’ 7-foot-2-inch center Jordan Bachynski, who leads the nation with 4.1 blocks per game. Ridley comes in three inches shorter, but leads his team with 8.2 rebounds per game.

Barnes uses Texas’ win against UNC earlier this season to describe how he thinks his team is ready for its opening matchup.

“If you go back to the North Carolina game, there is a great picture of them,” Barnes said. “They are walking off the court arm in arm, but not too emotional. Not jumping around like we didn’t expect this. They know they can win.”

The game will start at 8:40 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on CBS.

Photo Credit: Anik Bhattacharya | Daily Texan Staff

This article was corrected after its original posting. Forbes ranking came out in 2006.

Student life on any college campus can often consist of the occasional sip of alcohol. Recently, Austin was ranked by The Daily Beast as one of the top five drunkest cities in America.

Other cities ranked above Austin are: Charleston, S.C.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Norfolk, Va.; and Boston, Mass. The rankings are based on the average number of alcoholic drinks consumed by adults per month, percentage of population classified as binge drinkers and percentage of population classified as heavy drinkers.

Austin's place has not changed from a 2006 ranking by Forbes that also found it as the fifth drunkest city.

Other cities ranked above Austin on the list were Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Columbus, Mo; and Boston, Mass., respectively.  Cities were ranked on the basis of five categories: strictness of state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and rate of alcoholism. 

Cities were ranked on the strictness of state laws based on the “Rating The States” report conducted and written by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The report considered factors such as whether the state has passed laws forbidding open containers in cars or laws regarding the regulation and sale of alcohol.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 1,129 DWI or alcohol related car crashes and injuries in 2011 in Austin.

Statistics regarding the number of drinkers in the various categories were taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey conducted in 2004. According to the survey, adults who reported having had at least one drink of alcohol within the past 30 days were considered drinkers and adults who reported having five or more drinks on one occasion were considered binge drinkers. The number of heavy drinkers was calculated based on the number of adult men who reported having had more than two drinks per day, and adult women having had more than one drink per day.

In determining the rate of alcoholism, Forbes looked at the number of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held in the area as a ratio of the drinking age population.

Anthropology sophomore Samuel Deleon said it has become socially acceptable to drink in college. It is easy to access alcohol, especially with such a large population, Deleon said.

“If you search liquor stores in Austin, 161 store listings will come up,” Deleon said. “So it is easy to find alcohol and easy for older students to access it for younger students.”

Printed on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 as: Sixth Street, fifth place 

The wall of photos creates an installation piece composed of photographs taken through the cell-phone app Instagram. Photo courtesy of Co-Lab Projects. 

Photo Credit: Co-Lab Projects | press art

Milwaukee-based artist Joseph Reeves is out to prove that anyone actually can be an artist with his current exhibit, “The Cell Phone Photo Gallery,” at Co-Lab Projects in East Austin.  

Reeves, a filmmaker, music journalist and studio arts graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, first came up with the idea for “The Cell Phone Photo Gallery” during his senior year of art school, when he constructed a small-scale version. Interested in rejecting the typical, stuck-up character the art world seems to project, he set out to assemble a community-wide project to which everyone could contribute.

“The Cell Phone Photo Gallery” amounts to a gallery space transformed by several hundred community-submitted cell phone photos that reveal an enormous collection of digital memories from people all over Austin.

“Organizing a community-wide art project really takes away the ego you find so readily in art sometimes,” Reeves said. “By engaging a typically non-art audience, it opens up the dialogue about what art really means.”

Reeves explained that because cameras have become so readily accessible on phones, the cell phone photograph tends to be dismissed artistically as inferior to “real” photography. 

“The project refutes this notion by organizing large scale, city-specific, cell phone photo exhibitions that call upon the everyday citizen for their own unique interpretation of art, photography and meaning,” Reeves said.  

In a wider context, “The Cell Phone Project” aims to document, explore and question the rising sense of sociocultural awareness that is occurring in part from easier access to technology, including the camera phone. An entire generation has almost universal access to a simple and effective tool for documenting their experiences and expressing their thoughts at any given moment. 

Reeves explained that he does not mean to support or challenge the debatable worth of this technological shift, as much as invite conversation about its implications and artistic value. 

“The main idea behind the project is mainly to get people talking about art,” Reeves said. “In my opinion, art doesn’t need to fit in any specific box. It is what you make of it.”

To spread the word about the project, Reeves used a variety of tactics to spark interest and to get people to submit. The massive collection of cell phone photos was gathered through direct, alternative and above all, creative submission strategies. Such strategies included handwritten letters left on car windows, notes in plastic eggs scattered around Zilker Park and of course, through social media. 

The assortment of photos Reeves received was eclectic, ranging from classic scenery to the unbelievably awkward. 

“Despite how different each photo I received was, every one made me think, ‘What’s the story here?’” Reeves said. “Seeing a snapshot into someone’s life just offers you a whole new perspective on people in general.” 

When choosing a location to exhibit the project, Reeves noted that he immediately thought that Austin would be the perfect place to do so, citing a technologically savvy and receptive audience, and a certain regional color he has yet to find elsewhere. 

“Seeing people get excited about finding their photos among the masses was definitely the best part of it all,” Reeves said. “It proved that this is Austin’s project, not just my own.” 

MILWAUKEE— The Milwaukee Bucks are getting a much-needed big man and the Houston Rockets are positioning themselves to make a big move.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal said Wednesday that the Bucks and Rockets had agreed to a trade a day before the NBA draft, with the Bucks sending the No. 12 overall pick and three players to the Rockets for the No. 14 pick and center Samuel Dalembert. The Rockets get guard Shaun Livingston and forwards Jon Leuer and Jon Brockman in the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official. Several media organizations reported the deal earlier Wednesday.

Dalembert has career averages of 8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game. Center is a major need for the Bucks, who traded away Andrew Bogut last season and never really found a way to replace him.

Houston, meanwhile, is apparently positioning itself for a blockbuster move after dealing Chase Budinger to Minnesota for the 18th pick on Tuesday. The Rockets now have the No. 12, 16 and 18 picks in Thursday’s draft, but the team may make more moves as they put together a package to land a superstar big man — possibly Orlando’s Dwight Howard or Atlanta’s Josh Smith.

Howard, a five-time All-Star center, asked to be traded by the Magic during the season.

The Rockets went 34-32 last year, missing the playoffs for the third straight season. They’ve lacked a strong inside presence since former top overall pick Yao Ming started running into foot and injury issues and finally retired last summer.

Before last season, the Rockets were ready to trade forward Luis Scola, shooting guard Kevin Martin and point guard Goran Dragic for Pau Gasol, but NBA commissioner David Stern nixed the trade for “basketball reasons” on behalf of the league-owned New Orleans Hornets.

Houston picked up Dalembert in December. He started 45 games and averaged 7.5 points and seven rebounds per game in 2011-12.

First-year coach Kevin McHale said at a charity event on Monday that finding a dominant big man remains a high priority.

“From my standpoint,” he said, “getting bigger, protecting the rim, playing above the rim, rebounding and blocking shots is always a good thing.”

Howard was been named the league’s top defensive player three times and averaged a career-high 14.5 rebounds per game last season. He also publicly expressed frustration with coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith during the season. Van Gundy was fired and Smith parted ways with the team in May.

Speculation swirled this week that the Rockets were shopping point guard Kyle Lowry, who missed 19 games last season, mostly due to a bacterial infection that required hospitalization. Lowry and McHale developed a rift, arguing during a timeout in a game against Denver in April. Lowry told the Houston Chronicle in May that he would have “issues” playing for McHale.

With Lowry sidelined, Dragic emerged as a capable replacement, averaging 18 points and 8.4 assists in 28 starts. Dragic is an unrestricted free agent, but said after the season that he’d like to remain in Houston. He also said he wants a starting role in the NBA.

Bucks general manager John Hammond emphasized this week that he and his staff would take the best player available in the draft, conceding that the Bucks absolutely needed to find a center.

“I think right now there’s the assumption that we’re kind of looking into basically a narrow-minded set of, ‘We have to go big,’” Hammond said. “You know, there’s a need there, so obviously that is going to be a discussion and it’s going to somewhat of a priority for us.”

Before moving to get Dalembert, players projected to be of interest to the Bucks were North Carolina center Tyler Zeller and Illinois’ Meyers Leonard. Both run well for 7-footers, a must on a team that wants to play with an up-tempo style powered by guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.

Milwaukee also could go with a shooting guard such as Connecticut’s Jeremy Lamb or Washington’s Terrence Ross.

Hammond and coach Scott Skiles both are going into the final year of their contracts and aren’t considered likely to receive extensions before the season starts. Given the uncertainty, Hammond might be expected to favor drafting a player who can help the team right away over a project with a higher upside.

But Hammond said his contract situation won’t change the way he approaches the draft, even if fans and the media are discussing it.

“The issue at hand is how can we improve the Milwaukee Bucks,” Hammond said. “So for us, that may be discussed at the draft, it may be discussed during free agency, discussed even during the season when we talk about trades or other things that could come our way to change our roster. But at the end of the day, it’s about doing the right thing. And the right thing is what’s best for this team, this organization, this city and our fans. And I would never vary from that.”