Dec. 16, 2012
Dalton Pool, Texas Media Relations -
AUSTIN, Texas — Showing aggression on the offensive end which produced points in a variety of ways, freshman point guard Javan Felix scored a career-high 20 points on Saturday night as the Texas Basketball team topped Texas State, 75-63.
Felix connected on a 3-pointer, went 5-of-5 from the free throw line and penetrated the lane for driving lay-ups during his 35 minutes of action.
“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive and play my game. Coach (Rick Barnes) told us before the game that we would have a lot of opportunities to drive the ball, get into the lane and make plays. That’s what I tried to do tonight,” said Felix. “It’s a learning experience. You’ve just got to go into it with a mindset of getting better every day. Build on the positive. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do as a young group.”
Felix also recorded seven assists and forced three steals against the Bobcats.
“Felix was able to get to the rim too many times. We didn’t do a very good job on that high ball screen,” Texas State coach Doug Davalos said.
The Longhorns utilized the high ball screen especially well in the second half, and many of Felix’s buckets came after he used the pick to get by his defender and into the lane.
Freshman forward Connor Lammert moved UT’s offense through the paint and often found Felix at the scoring end of a pick and roll.
“We call the play ‘Up,’ and basically it’s just a screen at the top of the key,” Lammert said. “Javan really took advantage coming off it aggressively. Cam (Ridley) and Prince (Ibeh) did a great job of sealing their defenders which opened the lane for Javan, and Javan was able to use his little floater off the glass to score.”
Barnes was pleased with his point guard’s performance, but admitted there is still room for improvement especially when it comes to the defensive end. Barnes isn’t the only one challenging Felix to get better on the defensive end, though. Perennial All-NBA Defensive Team selection Bruce Bowen, who served as color analyst for Longhorn Network on Saturday night’s broadcast, spoke to Felix before the game and gave him some pointers.
“Before shootaround today, Bruce Bowen went up and talked to Javan,” Barnes said. “He told Javan that for a guy his size, he needs to get into the ball more and be more pesky. He has heard that from day one, but coming from someone like Bruce Bowen I guess carries some more weight.”
Felix and the Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 19 against North Carolina. Tip is set for 8 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.