UT ranks far down list in scor­ing

UT bas­ket­ball

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

start, they have all kinds of is­sues, most on of­fense.

The Longhorns blew an eight-point lead in the fi­nal three min­utes against UCLA, a span that in­cluded forced shots, poorly ex­e­cuted plays and two turnovers by fresh­man point guard Ja­van Fe­lix.

“We all got a lit­tle flus­tered,” fresh­man for­ward Con­nor Lam­mert said.

The Longhorns rank 279th na­tion­ally in scor­ing, 257th in field goal per­cent­age and 332nd in turnovers.

Fe­lix, forced to play 35 min­utes a game while the NCAA con­tin­ues to sort out Myck Kabongo’s el­i­gi­bil­ity, has com­mit­ted 33 turnovers, sec­ond-most in the Big 12.

Some­times Fe­lix throws passes that are in­ter­cepted or land out of bounds.

“The tim­ing is ei­ther a step too late or too early,” Fe­lix said. “You al­ways have that play­ing with new team­mates in a new of­fense.”

Fe­lix didn’t throw the ball away on his two turnovers late in the UCLA game; it was taken from him as he drib­bled, a lapse harder to ex­plain. Fe­lix said he might have been dis­tracted while look­ing for open team­mates or it was “me not be­ing aware of peo­ple reach­ing in.”

The Longhorns could have won that game had they con­verted one of the missed layups or had Fe­lix been a lit­tle more care­ful.

Per­haps that’s why Barnes says he is not con­cerned about an­other de­fect — perime­ter shoot­ing.

Texas has hit 29.9 per­cent of its 3-point shots, which ranks only 247th. UCLA left the Longhorns open to shoot them, and they re­sponded by con­vert­ing 4 of 20.

“Those are shots we are go­ing to make,” Barnes said.

“We didn’t make shots in the first half of that game and we were down just two. That’s (af­ter) miss­ing two wide open layups.” And at the end? “We stopped run­ning the of­fense,” Barnes said. “One guy would cut, stop and every­body was look­ing around like ‘what’s go­ing on next?’ ”

The Longhorns have been more suc­cess­ful on de­fense. The 33.1 per­cent shoot­ing ac­cu­racy they have al­lowed op­po­nents is sec­ond low­est in the na­tion.

Even so, Barnes said the de­fense fal­tered near the end against UCLA.

“Peo­ple look at the fact that we stopped scor­ing,” Barnes said. “But (UCLA) scored eight points about as quickly as you could score eight points.”

So Barnes must spend some time deal­ing with that.

At least he won’t have to keep re­mind­ing his play­ers about the missed layups.

“Do I have to ad­dress it?” Barnes asked. “I don’t. Their friends are do­ing it for me.”

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