Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
One more Texas-Kansas stat

By Eamonn Brennan

After this, we can officially move on. I promise.

There's one stat you have to see, though, and it's this: Last night, Texas' assist leader was center Dexter Pittman. He had two assists. The rest of his team had four.

If you want to know why Texas is struggling, there it is. The Longhorns committed 17 turnovers last night, but that would be forgivable if they were finding open men on offense and getting easy baskets with ball movement. Of course, they're not doing that, and last night's result was a byproduct -- for all of Texas' supposed depth, they have no one who can run the show, who can make Pittman and Damion James' lives easier, who can guide Avery Bradley and Jordan Hamilton into high-percentage shots. Texas just doesn't have that player.

One potential option is freshman J'Covan Brown, who scored 28 points in 32 minutes Monday night. Brown is more of a scorer than a game manager, but he showed flashes of point guard-esque brilliance last night, including wraparound left-handed pass on a screen and roll late in the contest. The Longhorns' primary point guard option throughout the season has been Dogus Balbay, but Barnes seems concerned that Balbay can't give the Longhorns any offense, and so doesn't seem all that interested in keeping him on the floor. (This is where I'd assert that with Pittman and Bradley and James in your lineup you don't need your point guard to give you offense, but whatever.)

The bottom line is that the Longhorns have to figure out the point guard position. And fast. Whether it's a scorer like Brown or a "true" point like Balbay -- or whether it's a matter of following Ohio State, Purdue and West Virginia's leads and having your best offensive guard (say, Avery Bradley) bring the ball up -- something needs to change. If it doesn't, and the Longhorns keep posting microscopic assist-to-turnover ratios, this team isn't going anywhere.