Youth Provides Optimism For Longhorns This Season
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
          Release: 11/01/2013
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By Wendell Barnhouse | wendell@big12sports.com
Big12Sports.com Correspondent


Story line
Going into his 16th season in Austin, UT coach Rick Barnes is basically starting over. For the first time in his tenure with the Longhorns, the team failed to make the NCAA Tournament. The team's top four scorers left the team – two turned professional and two transferred to other programs. This year's roster has no seniors and only one junior. Texas hopes to mix a freshmen class of perimeter players with returning front court performers in hopes of returning to a winning record. Barnes says that since the end of last season, the team has focused on its work ethic and a team-first attitude.

Coach: Rick Barnes, 358-155 in 15 seasons at Texas; 560-289 overall in 26 seasons.
Last season: 16-18 overall, 7-11 in Big 12, 7th.
NCAA Tournament: Did not participate; lost in first round of College Basketball Invitational..

Top players
Sophomore guard Javan Felix; junior forward Jonathan Holmes; sophomore forward Connor Lammert; sophomore center Prince Ibeh; sophomore center Cameron Ridley; freshman guard Demarcus Croaker; freshman guard Kendal Yancy.

Coach Barnes says
"I think the players that have returned have all improved a great deal. We're expecting a lot from Cameron Ridley, Jonathan Holmes, and Javan (Felix) proved a year ago he's capable of putting up numbers. That's been a big thing with our improvement and our older guys coming back, and we're really excited about our younger guys because of the way they really embrace the work ethic that's been laid there for them from the older guys."

Notable
Texas limited opponents to 38.4 percent shooting which ranked No. 10 nationally. Opponents also made just 29.1 percent from 3-point range; that ranked No. 11 nationally. … Rick Barnes is the all-time winningest coach in Big 12 history with 167 conference regular season victories. … Barnes had a personal streak of 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances end last season. … The Longhorns had a streak of 13 consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins end last season. … Texas has won its first Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Championship tournament game played in each of the last eight seasons. …

Season opener
Nov. 8 vs. Mercer

Top nonconference games
Nov. 25 vs. BYU
Dec. 2 vs. Vanderbilt Big 12-SEC Challenge
Dec. 7 at Temple
Dec. 18 at North Carolina
Dec. 21 vs. Michigan State

Conference opener
Jan. 4 Oklahoma

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