Golden: When the time arrives, McCarty taking charge for Longhorns

Longhorns junior point guard Brooke McCarty is deferential by nature, but there were a few instances during Sunday’s victory over North Carolina State that let us know she believes Texas is her team.

On a roster that doesn’t really have another consistent long-range shooter, McCarty has to wear two hats, especially when talented but foul-prone backcourt mate Ariel Atkins is on the bench. On Sunday, McCarty put the team on her back down the stretch, delivering a pair of three pointers and four free throws to help keep the season alive.

“I think that sometimes she tries to facilitate and do what a point guard’s job is,” said Longhorns coach Karen Aston, “but I think she has grown in the sense of understanding what is the moment where she needs to make plays.”

Aston added that McCarty didn’t understand that concept at the beginning of this basketball season but has grown into that understanding as the season progressed. Aston doesn’t want to tell McCarty to take over games, but at this point of the season, she doesn’t have to because McCarty has quietly accepted that it’s her job to do whatever needed to get her team a win.

If that means taking a 25-foot three-pointer at the top of the key early in the shot clock, which she made, stealing an in-bounds pass or smartly duping the referee into a loose-ball foul call that disqualified N.C. State’s best player, then she will do it.

That’s called leadership.

From the You Knew This Was Coming File: According to an ESPN report, the Cleveland Cavaliers took a call from the NBA league office seven minutes after the team announced it was sitting LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for its nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Here’s where it gets dicey. We’ve all read the stories of hard-working fans spending big bucks to see a star player come into their team’s home arena only to be disappointed when said star doesn’t play. Now the money men are taking a PR hit. ABC/ESPN and Turner are in the middle of a nine-year, $24 billion deal, and the TV execs can’t be too happy with what happened with San Antonio-Golden State last week and this latest episode with the Cavs and Clips.

So what can they do?

Well NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced next season will being extended one week to cut down on back-to-backs and the likelihood of teams playing four games in five nights. It’s a step in the right direction, especially if USA Basketball expects its stars to represent the country in international competition after such a long regular-season grind.

With that said, the game is much softer than the one I grew up watching.

Case in point: Michael Jordan, the greatest to ever play rarely missed a practice, let alone a game. Not counting his second season, when he broke his foot and missed 64 games, or when he returned from retirement late in the 1994-95 season, Jordan played in all 82 regular-season games in nine of the other 13 seasons, including his final season at age 39.

This all makes me wonder if the league has ever contacted Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who has made resting his best players in marquee matchups an art form.

Tiger Woods should hang up the golf cleats, but he won’t.While the world’s best 64 golfers tee it up for a head-to-head competition that I will simply call Dell Match Play to save vital space and protect those with short attention spans, the best player of his generation has faith he will play in next month’s Masters.

The 41-year old Woods appeared on “Good Morning America” on Monday to discuss his memoir, “The 1997 Masters: My Story,” and also talked about his efforts to return to Augusta on the 20-year anniversary of one his greatest triumphs after back and knee injuries have basically crippled his career.

“I know that the mind is sharp; I just need to get the body willing to do it,” he said on GMA.

In a sport in which guys like John Daly, Craig Stadler and others have made a mint on the PGA Tour with not-so svelte physiques, it’s amazing how a non-contact activity like golf brought down the best athlete it ever produced.

Remember Art Acevedo? The former Austin police chief is now heading the Houston PD and is being credited with helping the FBI take down that scary national threat known as the Mexican media member whom NFL officials said was in possession of two stolen jerseys that Tom Brady wore in Super Bowls, including the one he wore as the MVP of Super Bowl LI in Houston.

Mauricio Ortego, who resigned last week as the director of Mexico’s La Prensa, is under investigation for the thefts of the jerseys, the NFL said. The SB LI jersey is believed to be worth a reported $500,000 on the collector’s market.

“It’s like the Texas bravado,” Acevedo said to reporters. “You came to the wrong state, you know what I’m saying?”

Well played, Chief.

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