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Javan Felix (5'11" 190lbs, #3 Guard) Highlights of Javan Felix: Outlook: After a season of on-the-job training as a freshman, Javan Felix was supposed to come into his sophomore year as a more polished player and a key starter for the Longhorns. Then Isaiah Taylor happened. Despite Taylor's emergence, Felix still averaged the same amount of minutes as he did in his freshman year. He also managed to improve his 3-point shooting percentage and averaged more points per game (11.6) than Cameron Ridley (11.2). At the other end of the floor, his defensive presence is good. Even though Felix is limited physically when matching up with tall guards, he still averages nearly a steal per game. The downside of his contributions is that Felix took too many bad shots. His FG% was 35.8% - the lowest percentage of anyone on the team averaging at least 10 minutes/game. His rebounding numbers also dropped from his freshman to sophomore year. Often at a height disadvantage, Felix averages 2.4 personal fouls a game. Felix must do a better job of moving his feet on defense, especially on players who are driving to the basket. So what can we expect from Javan Felix in his junior year? A good 6th man. Felix will play the point guard position when Taylor needs a break. Since Felix is more of a spot-up shooter than Taylor is, defenses will play him and the rest of the team differently when he is on the floor. Felix's willingness to shoot 3-pointers is an asset to the team only if he takes smarter shots. If he can fake more of his three point shots and bounce pass the ball to the paint or to a cutting guard to make a layup, that high percentage play will put the Longhorns in a better position to win games. If Felix embraces his role and becomes a smarter player in terms of shot selection and knowledge of the game, he will get more playing time. I have faith in Javan, he is a very smart, disciplined player. He just needs to show it on the court in pressure situations.
Demarcus Holland (6'2" 190lbs, #2 Guard) Highlights of Demarcus Holland: Outlook: As a sophomore, Demarcus Holland saw a dramatic increase in his minutes per game from 16.5 up to 29.6. All of his statistical averages doubled accordingly. The issue with Holland is his inconsistency as a shooter. As a freshman, he shot 34.4% from the field and as a sophomore, it only increased marginally (41.4%) despite his increased minutes. If Holland doesn't improve his shooting percentage, opposing teams will play off of him and clog up spacing for other players. One positive trend in Holland's game is that his 3pt shooting percentage nearly doubled from 17.4% to 29.2%, The bad side was his free throw percentage dropped from 66% to 57% - that is unacceptable for a guard who plays nearly 3/4th of each game. The improvements needed for this season are better dribble penetration and an improvement in free throw shooting. It's clear that he can shoot from three point range, if he improves to 35% - 40%, it will create more space down low for the big guys which is going to be Texas's bread and butter.
In anticipation of the 2014-2015 Texas Longhorns Men's Basketball season, HornSports' Chris Flanagan will preview all the players on the 2014-15 roster. Here is our men's basketball walk-on preview: Walk-ons: Danny Newsome (Soph., F, #4) Brandon Allums (Jr., F, #22) Ryan McClurg (Soph. F #30) Tarale Murry (Sr. G #40) Outlook: Walk-ons rarely get playing time, especially during close games. The time a walk-on normally shines is at the end of the game when the contest is already decided but the final buzzer hasn't sounded yet. Everyone appreciates the hard work of walk-ons, and many fans cheer loudly when they enter at the end of games. Walk-ons show up to practices, workouts, study sessions - essentially they do everything that a regular scholarship player does, but without the full ride scholarship. That's dedication to the game that you love. On March 7th, 2015, when Texas plays it's final home game of the season against Kansas State, give a rousing ovation to Tarale Murry who is a senior and should be in the starting lineup for the Longhorns on that day. Be sure to check out the coming installments of this feature throughout November. Keep up with the best Texas basketball coverage on the internet by being a HorSports premium member! The first game of the season is November 14th. Here's a quick review of last season: