Thursday, November 1, 2012
Myck Kabongo probe continues
By William Wilkerson HornsNation
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo was the only player not made available to the media Thursday during the Longhorns' first press availability of the season.
Kabongo was held out as the NCAA continues to investigate his relationship with a professional agent. He didn't participate in Texas' scrimmage against Davidson this past Saturday and will not play in next Saturday's scrimmage against Gonzaga.
Texas coach Rick Barnes said the team wasn't making much of the situation as it prepares for its season opener against Fresno State on Nov. 9.
"It is what it is. We don't even discuss it," Barnes said. "We just want to go. It's no different to me than if a guy is injured and is not going to play. Myck has worked hard and done everything we've asked him to do. We all hope for the best for him because he's really worked at it."
An All-Big 12 honorable mention selection last season, Kabongo was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team by the league's coaches. He started all 34 games last season as a true freshman. A pass-first point guard, he finished fourth in the league in assists per game (5.2), second on the team in steals (38) and third on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg).
Kabongo was expected to be the face of a program whose roster features just two seniors (both walk-ons) and no juniors. He is up to 180 pounds after adding 10 pounds of muscle this summer, and said he felt much better about being able to handle the rigors of an NCAA season.
"Playing the 'what-if' game, we expect what can go wrong will go wrong," Barnes said. "We actually have that attitude and have tried to develop more than one point guard. That's why we wanted a style of basketball where if someone goes down, we don't have to make that big of an adjustment.
"We are always constantly developing guys. It is what it is. It's out of our hands, and out of his hands."
Without Kabongo, Texas turned to freshman Javan Felix against Davidson -- and the Longhorns came away pleased with what they saw.
Felix, a sturdy 5-foot-10, 190-pound guard from New Orleans, scored 24 points, according to sophomore Sheldon McClellan -- the team's leading returning scorer.
Felix, who reminds many of former Longhorn point guard D.J. Augustin, said he is ready for the challenge of playing without Kabongo if that's what it comes to.
"Definitely prepared for that," he said. "Barnes tells me every day in practice to practice like I would be the starter. He's been telling me that since Day 1 before we found out about Myck."
Felix said that he and Kabongo haven't spoken about the possibility of Kabongo being out and what he should expect.
"Me and Myck have a level of trust with each other," he said. "There is more an understanding with each other. If he is out, he is comfortable with the way I play and the way I do things."