Schedule has been weak to this point
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.”
Longhorns freshman point guard Javan Felix is averaging 34.6 minutes per game, nearly five minutes more than his teammates.