Texas shorthanded for game against OSU

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Junior shooting guard Javan Felix was knocked down hard on a screen Saturday against Baylor and will miss Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma State.
Photo Credit: Ellyn Snider | Daily Texan Staff

After suffering perhaps its most surprising loss of conference play, falling to an unranked Oklahoma State team in Stillwater, Oklahoma, No. 25 Texas will get the opportunity to avenge the loss when they host the Cowboys at the Frank Erwin Center Wednesday. They’ll have to do it without one of their top weapons off the bench: junior guard Javan Felix.

Felix, who averages 10.2 points per game and leads the Longhorns with 36 3-pointers this season, was ruled out for the game with a concussion. A Texas press release issued Tuesday afternoon did not specify when Felix suffered the concussion, but he was visibly shaken up after running into a hard screen from Baylor forward Taurean Prince on Saturday that left him on the floor for the entirety of Baylor’s possession.

Without Felix, who has made at least one 3-pointer in 19 of his 20 games this season, the Longhorns’ already-thin backcourt depth will be tested. Sophomore guard Kendal Yancy, who has only seen more than 12 minutes in a game one time since the start of conference play, will likely see an uptick in minutes behind starting guards sophomore Isaiah Taylor and junior Demarcus Holland.

The injury comes at a difficult time for Texas, when the team is in desperate need of a victory after dropping each of its past three games and five of its past seven to fall to 3–5 in conference play. The Longhorns have struggled to find much rhythm offensively throughout the three-game losing skid, and senior forward Jonathan Holmes said he believes they need to start playing stronger defense to make up for their
offensive inefficiency.

“Offensively, if you’re not making shots, the urgency on defense should be even higher,” Holmes said. “It starts on defense, and we have to go
from there.”

The Longhorns struggled on defense in the second half against Oklahoma State last month, surrendering 41 points after halftime to the Cowboys. Oklahoma State’s senior forward Le’Bryan Nash and junior guard Phil Forte each scored 20 points in the game to give Texas its fourth consecutive loss in Stillwater.

Historically, Texas usually tells a different story when the Cowboys travel to Austin. The Longhorns boast a 26–12 all-time record at home against Oklahoma State, and they’ve won nine of their past 10 matchups against the Cowboys at the Erwin Center.

Still, it will be up to Texas to overcome its recent shooting woes–and the loss of Felix–to continue its success against Oklahoma State and get the season back on track.

“We have to get better,” Holmes said. “That’s the main thing right now. When we’re not shooting the ball well, we have to find a way to win games.”

The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.