Sched­ule has been weak to this point


Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - Con­tin­ued from Con­tact Mark Ros­ner at 445-3958. Twit­ter: @MarkRos­neraas

pass­ing and back-door cuts.

“They are gonna test your men­tal tough­ness by putting you in long pos­ses­sions,” Barnes said.

The start­ing lineup has the much-im­proved ju­nior guard Markel Starks and four for­wards in the 6-foot-8-inch to 6-9 range. Otto Porter Jr., a 68 sopho­more, is re­garded as a po­ten­tial NBA draft lot­tery pick.

Un­ranked in the pre­sea­son, Ge­orge­town was el­e­vated to No. 20 a week ago af­ter beat­ing UCLA — an over­rated, as it turned out, No. 13 at the time — by a 78-70 score be­fore los­ing to No. 1 In­di­ana 8272 in over­time.

Then the Hoyas strug­gled to beat Ten­nessee 3736 Fri­day. They shot just 36.4 per­cent, in­clud­ing 27.3 in the first half.

“Go­ing into half­time ... I mean we were get­ting shots at the rim so I don’t think we needed to make that many ad­just­ments,” Thompson said af­ter the game. “So then we came out and did the ex­act same thing in the sec­ond half. I don’t know whether it was pretty or ugly or what, but I know I’ve never been part of a game like that.”

Re­gard­less, Ge­orge­town has the tal­ent and sys­tem to chal­lenge a Longhorns de­fense that ranks No. 1 na­tion­ally in field-goal ac­cu­racy al­lowed, 30.7 per­cent.

Ge­orge­town’s size could in­duce fur­ther dif­fi­cul­ties for the Longhorns on of­fense. Texas al­ready av­er­ages 18.7 turnovers a game, the most by a Big 12 team. Many of the mis­cues are the re­sult of ill-ad­vised passes, of­ten re­leased a lit­tle late, as the Longhorns work the ball around the perime­ter prob­ing for an open­ing in­side.

“Some­times guys are in­de­ci­sive,” Barnes said.

Fresh­man point guard Ja­van Felix av­er­ages 6.3 as­sists, sec­ond in the Big 12, but he also is sec­ond in to­tal turnovers with 24. Fill­ing in for Myck Kabongo — who is await­ing a de­ci­sion from the NCAA on his el­i­gi­bil­ity and did not travel to New York — Felix has av­er­aged 34.6 min­utes a game, fourth high­est in the league and nearly five more than his team­mates.

The Longhorns had more as­sists (18) than turnovers (16) for the first time this sea­son when they beat Texas-Ar­ling­ton on Satur­day.

Texas led by 28 dur­ing the sec­ond half and won by 16, prompt­ing Barnes to say, “There was the men­tal­ity that, when we got a lead, we didn’t stay en­gaged.”

Ri­cardo B. Brazziell / Amer­i­can-states­man

Longhorns fresh­man point guard Ja­van Felix is av­er­ag­ing 34.6 min­utes per game, nearly five min­utes more than his team­mates.

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