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Vic Schaefer on being unprepared in the SEC: 'You'll get embarrassed'

IMG_0985by:Griffin McVeigh06/24/24

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Of any Texas head coach in the athletic department, Vic Schaefer might have the most experience in the SEC. Schaefer spent eight seasons with the Mississippi State Bulldogs before being hired away by Chris Del Conte. He knows what it takes to compete in one of college basketball’s toughest conferences.

Schaefer recently spoke on the difficulty of the SEC, saying if you are not ready to play on any given night, blowouts will occur. Never can a team be fully comfortable about where they stand, making the drive to have success even more. A mentality he will need to instill into his program this offseason.

“I mean, I say it all the time,” Schaefer said via SEC Spring Meetings. “All I’ve done is jumped out of the frying pan and into the grease. I think the thing about the SEC, top to bottom, night-in and night-out, if you’re not ready to play, you won’t get beat, you’ll get embarrassed.

“And I think that’s true in any sport. And I think that’s what keeps you on edge and keeps you uncomfortable. And when you’re uncomfortable, that’s when you got a chance to reach your full potential.”

There was success going against Big 12 opponents for Schaefer in recent seasons. Four seasons resulted in four NCAA Tournament appearances and three different Big 12 Championships — one regular season and two Big 12 Tournaments.

Schaefer has still not reached the NCAA Tournament heights he did at Mississippi State with Texas yet, though. The Bulldogs made back-to-back Final Fours in 2017 and 2018, making them the only appearances in program history.

Texas got close this past season, making the Elite Eight before being knocked out by NC State.

SEC opponents and locations have already been released by the conference for the 2024-25 season. Top programs LSU, South Carolina, and Tennessee will all come to Austin. Road games might be easier overall but the Longhorns will face the Gamecocks again plus Schaefer’s old school, Mississippi State.

But the warning has already been sent out by the head coach. No off days are allowed as Texas needs to bring their A-game on a consistent basis. No matter the team or location, playing at 100% will be required to earn wins.

Texas likely has no plans of being embarrassed either. Schaefer still wants to compete at a national level and that begins by performing well in the SEC.