Mis­takes plague strug­gling Horns

UT men

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - C

Barnes has had four fresh­men (Kevin Du­rant, Avery Bradley, Tris­tan Thompson and Cory Joseph) and four sopho­mores (LaMar­cus Aldridge, Daniel Gib­son, D.J. Au­gustin and Jor­dan Hamil­ton) leave school since 2006.

A case can be made both coaches have alumni who are bet­ter ad­ver­tise­ments for their pro­grams than any re­cent teams at those schools.

In­deed, two former play­ers, Du­rant and West­brook, led Ok­la­homa City to the NBA Fi­nals last sea­son.

Both col­lege pro­grams have suf­fered from in­ex­pe­ri­ence, bad chem­istry and other is­sues.

“That al­ways makes it tough, not know­ing for sure how long you are go­ing to have kids in your pro­gram,” How­land said. “I def­i­nitely re­late to what (Barnes) has dealt with.”

Said Barnes, “Both pro­grams in some ways have been very sim­i­lar. We have gone through a lot of the same things.”

UCLA and Texas, both 5-3, have some­thing else in com­mon this sea­son: play­ers who have missed games be­cause of NCAA el­i­gi­bil­ity is­sues.

Bru­ins fresh­man swing­man Shabazz Muham­mad missed three games when the NCAA ruled that its am­a­teurism poli­cies had been vi­o­lated be­cause a fi­nan­cial plan­ner whom his fam­ily con­sid­ered a friend paid for unof­fi­cial re­cruit­ing vis­its to schools. Muham­mad’s el­i­gi­bil­ity was re­stored on ap­peal.

Longhorns sopho­more Myck Kabongo has missed seven games, and re­mains in el­i­gi­bil­ity limbo, as the NCAA slowly de­ter­mines whether he ac­cepted im­proper ben­e­fits from a pro agent, also an am­a­teurism is­sue.

Both teams have suf­fered im­prob­a­ble de­feats this sea­son, the Longhorns to NCAA Di­vi­sion II Cham­i­nade in Maui, UCLA to Cal Poly at home. Ge­orge­town has de­feated both of them, UCLA by eight and Texas by 23.

UCLA, ranked 13th in pre­sea­son based largely on a fresh­man re­cruit­ing class that was rated No. 1 in the coun­try by some an­a­lysts, has stum­bled out of the top 25.

Now both teams must scram­ble to sal­vage sea­sons that are about onequar­ter com­pleted.

Both coaches have been start­ing three fresh­men, but How­land has the ad­van­tage of bet­ter tal­ent.

Draft­Ex­press.com lists Muham­mad as the top over­all NBA pick in 2013. An­other fresh­man, swing­man Kyle An­der­son, is listed as the 21st pick in 2014. Fresh­man guard Jor­dan Adams leads the team in scor­ing.

No Longhorns are ranked as highly by Draft­Ex­press as Muham­mad or An­der­son, although Kabongo and 6-9 fresh­man Cameron Ri­d­ley are on the radar.

UCLA also has a more com­pe­tent point guard. Though of­ten ma­ligned dur­ing three sea­sons at North Carolina, Larry Drew II has 68 as­sists and only 11 turnovers in eight games for the Bru­ins.

With Kabongo out, the Longhorns are left with Ja­van Felix, a fresh­man who ranks sec­ond in the Big 12 in as­sists but also in turnovers com­mit­ted.

The Longhorns av­er­age 19.1 turnovers, rank­ing near the bot­tom among 345 Di­vi­sion I teams. They were 331st on Mon­day, when NCAA stats were com­piled, and then pro­duced 22 turnovers in Tues­day’s 66-41 loss to Ge­orge­town.

Felix com­mit­ted five of them. The next morn­ing, Barnes went through the first four min­utes of game tape with Felix.

“Ev­ery­thing we said we wanted to do was open, putting the ball in­side,” Barnes said. “First play of the game, Cameron Ri­d­ley had done a great job of es­tab­lish­ing post po­si­tion. He’s wide open. Ja­van is look­ing straight at him and doesn’t throw him the ball.”

Barnes, like How­land, has been ma­ligned as a coach of of­fense, yet an­other link be­tween the two.

But Barnes said, “We have great con­cepts of­fen­sively, there’s no doubt in my mind. But play­ers have to make those plays.” NEW YORK — Base­ball’s av­er­age salary in­creased 3.8 per­cent this year to a record $3.2 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to fi­nal fig­ures re­leased Fri­day by the Ma­jor League Base­ball Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, the rise was the steep­est since 2007. The boost was helped by an in­crease in the min­i­mum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.

The New York Yan­kees had the high­est av­er­age for the 14th con­sec­u­tive sea­son at $6.88 mil­lion, ris­ing af­ter con­sec­u­tive de­clines from a peak of $7.66 mil­lion when they won the World Se­ries in 2009.

The Los An­ge­les Dodgers rose from 13th to sec­ond at $5.55 mil­lion and Texas from 15th to fifth at $4.89 mil­lion.

At nearly $685,000 Hous­ton had the low­est av­er­age since the 2006 Florida Mar­lins.

Cubs: Chicago fi­nal­ized a $9.5 mil­lion, two-year con­tract with Ja­panese pitcher Kyuji Fu­jikawa.

The 32-year-old righthander had 220 saves in 12 sea­sons with the Han­shin Tigers of Ja­pan’s Cen­tral League.

■ Third base­man Ian Ste­wart (.201, five HRs,

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