Third Fiddle Horns Beat Texas State by 12

Lethargic b-ballers improve record to 6-4 before Tarheels come to town

Javan Felix
Javan Felix (Photo courtesy of UT)

Longhorns basketball is used to being overshadowed by UT football, but on Saturday night it was women’s volleyball that got most of the attention. The lady spikers swept Oregon to win the first v-ball national championship for Texas in 25 years. Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team improved its record to 6-4 with a boring ass 75-63 win

at home against the Texas State Bobcats, who drop to 4-6. Although Erwin Center attendance was officially just over 10,000 tickets sold, only 5,033 came through the turnstiles, as a lot of fans no doubt stayed home to watch volleyball.

They didn't miss much great basketball, though freshman point guard Javan Felix had his best game of the season, with 20 points, seven assists and aggressive defense. Young, tentative, without an identity, this is easily Coach Rick Barnes’ most lackluster team in 14 seasons at Texas. "One and done" usually refers to Hickory Rick's prized recruits, like Kevin Durant, Avery Bradley, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, who have treated Texas like NBA boot camp. ("Six foot ten? I didn't know they could stack shit that high!")

This year one and done is about how Texas will do in the Big 12 tournament. As evidenced by the game Texas, hindered by three Felix turnovers late, gave away to UCLA a couple weeks ago, this team is the one most likely to break "Bad Cop" Barnes' record of 13 consecutive 20-win seasons.

With sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo still sidelined while the NCAA continues to look into whether he had improper relations with LeBron's agent over the summer (less time was spent investigating Enron), Felix stepped up big, as did the San Antonio Sirs Jonathan Holmes and Connor Lammert. A ringer for fellow New Orleans native D.J. Augustin, “feh-LEEKS” made a key steal and two free throws with 3:09 left to put the Horns up by 10 on a 4-point swing.

Sophomore Holmes and freshman Lammert played hard and grabbed 21 rebounds between them, while a sleepwalking Cameron Ridley, the Horns top freshman recruit, was sent to the end of the bench.. Holmes also had 14 points on 5-8 shooting, while Lammert resembled a previous Connor (Atchley) by being long and active at both ends and hitting a big three. The Horns owned the middle against the shorter Bobcats and with Felix’s backup Demarcus Holland also having a strong game, with 7 points on 3-3 from the field, point guard was not the problem. It’s outside shooting. The team’s leading scorers Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis were clanging the iron like it was dinnertime at the farm.

Come and get it, North Carolina and Michigan State. Shooting less than 40% against a group from San Marcos does not bode well for a team set to face those perennial powerhouses Wednesday (NC) and Saturday (MSU).

The good news is that both games will be televised on ESPN2. Bad news: Texas could very well be a .500 team leading into Big 12 Conference play, which starts Jan. 5 at Baylor. Don't count on Kabongo suiting up this year: only Drew Carey pays his own way to Cleveland. But if Felix continues to Be Lyck Myck, the Horns just might surprise some people.

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