Younger play­ers show­ing ef­fort

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Mark Ros­ner mros­ner@states­man.com UT C

Rick Barnes can­not rea­son­ably hope for great­ness from his play­ers, not on a bas­ket­ball team de­void of su­pe­rior tal­ent and skill.

But the Longhorns coach can, and does, de­mand proper ef­fort and prepa­ra­tion. Barnes has used a ro­ta­tion of three sopho­mores and six fresh­men. The older play­ers have more ex­pe­ri­ence try­ing to meet stan­dards, but the three sopho­mores have ac­com­plished that to dif­fer­ent de­grees.

Barnes has handed the best grade to sopho­more Jonathan Holmes, a for­ward who av­er­ages a mod­est 7.3 points but leads the Longhorns (7-5) with 7.8 re­bounds a game.

The 6-foot-7-inch Holmes has be­come the team’s tough guy around the bas­ket. “A re­lent­less re­bounder,” Barnes said.

Barnes also has been sat­is­fied with Julien Lewis, a sopho­more guard who has es­tab­lished him­self as one of the Longhorns’ best de­fend­ers while rank­ing sec­ond on the team in scor­ing with 12 points a game.

Lewis was wildly in­con­sis­tent last sea­son, shoot­ing a poor 36 per­cent, in­clud­ing 32.4 on 3-point­ers. This sea­son he has im­proved to 44.3 per­cent over­all and 40.8 on treys.

Lewis scored 16 in each of the past two games, against North Carolina and Mich-

1 p.m.,

JACK PLUN­KETT / AP

Longhorns Jack­son Craw­ley (from left), Kenny Vac­caro and Jeremy Hills en­ter Royal-Me­mo­rial Sta­dium be­fore fac­ing TCU on Thanks­giv­ing. Texas lost that game to snap a four-game win­ning streak and fol­lowed with a loss at Kansas State. The Horns will try to fin­ish on a pos­i­tive note Satur­day night.

AL GOLDIS / AP

Texas sopho­more for­ward Jonathan Holmes has be­come a force on the glass, lead­ing the Longhorns with 7.8 re­bounds per game this sea­son.

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