Oklahoma's Andrew Fitzgerald (4) grabs the ball in front of Texas' Tristan Thompson during the NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
"There's not much of a drop off when those guys go to the bench, so they can keep that pressure up all game, push the ball and have fresh bodies."
So is this the best defense in Barnes' 13 seasons at Texas?
"It has a chance to be," Barnes said. "We have a number of guys that stay in front of the ball for the most part which allows you to extend your defense a little and guard the 3-point line. And we have some guys inside that when they do penetrate they can block some shots or change some shots.
"And with our size we're able to crack down and get rebounds. But, yeah, this team, up to this point, has played about as well defensively consistently over the past month as any team we've had."
Barnes was asked Durant, now an NBA All-Star with the Thunder, ever came close to playing this type of defense.
"He tried," Barnes said, smiling. "He did get better at it. But it would be nice to have Big Skinny (Durant) out there with us. It was great seeing him tonight."
NOTES: OU senior guard Cade Davis limped into the postgame press conference. Davis said he'll have to have his ankle examined but is hopeful he can play Saturday at Missouri... To show how big impact an Durant has had on Oklahoma City, the reigning NBA scoring champion was cheered as he returned to his seat at halftime and cheered again after the game as he headed up the tunnel for the Texas' locker room. One OU fan even coaxed Durant into taking a photo with him... OU freshman Tyler Neal played well during 20 minutes off the bench. Neal grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and scored six points... Texas dominated the boards (38-27) and also owned a sizeable edge in the paint (28-14)... The Sooners committed only eight turnovers, their lowest total in conference play... OU returns to action Saturday afternoon on the road against Missouri.