The Revival of Texas Basketball and Coach Rick Barnes
Sitting amid summertime umbrellas and thatched roofs at the lakeside restaurant Hula Hut, Texas coach Rick Barnes is telling a decade-old tale about an East Coast prospect he never thought would bypass the ACC and SEC to play here.
Despite concerns about entering what he deemed was an unwinnable recruiting battle, Barnes, as the story goes, grudgingly listened to assistant Russell Springmann and traveled 1,220 miles for a 5 p.m. meeting and his first conversation with the teen-ager. Barnes wasn’t thrilled that a couple other prominent coaches had already beaten him to it.
The slender player walked toward Barnes wearing a hood, staring at the ground. Barnes introduced himself and said, “You really don’t want to sit down and talk to another coach, do you?”
The player shook his head.