Brown’s clutch shooting merits nickname from fellow players

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Whether he wants it or not, J’Covan Brown has earned a nickname in the locker room.

“All my teammates call me Big Shot, I don’t know why,” Brown said. “It’s from my teammates, so I’ll
take it.”

When Texas Tech got within six points on Saturday, Brown hit two three-pointers within 1:30 of each other to get Texas out of a scoring funk and put the Red Raiders away.

“When we need that big shot, they know who to come to,” Brown said. “My teammates have that confidence in me.”

The sophomore guard has developed the reputation of a big-game player. He scored a season-high 23 points in a crucial win at Kansas last month and routinely provides a spark off the bench with a clutch jumper or driving layup.

“What’s key to anybody who comes off the bench is that you gotta be ready every night, because you don’t know when you’re going to be called on,” said Texas head coach Rick Barnes. “You have to have a mindset.”

Still, Brown was quick to deflect the praise.

“Jordan [Hamilton] takes all the big shots,” he said. “I like how he doesn’t care how much time there is or if it’s the last shot, he’s going to take it.”

With at least eight points and three assists in the last two games, Brown will remain one of Texas’ most important reserves and one of the Longhorns capable of taking a game-winning shot.

<strong>Sooners up next</strong>

After taking Sunday off, the team returned to practice on Monday and started deconstructing film of the weekend’s win.

“We’ll go in today and we’ll sit down and we’ll talk about what we didn’t like from the Tech game, and then we’ll talk about what we’ve got to do to get ready to play Wednesday,” Barnes said.

They’ll also watch the tape from the their win over Oklahoma on Jan. 15. Since the last time the two teams met, Texas has been on a 6-0 winning streak while Oklahoma is 4-1 with wins against Baylor and Colorado. The Sooners have also increased their field-goal shooting to an average of 46.5 percent per game.

“They’ve definitely gotten better, and they’re capable of winning,” Barnes said. “Oklahoma’s improved. All you have to do is look at
the numbers.”

<strong>Smooth sailing</strong>

Texas does not face any ranked opponents in the second half of its Big 12 regular season schedule, which begins Wednesday at Oklahoma.

The Longhorns’ final eight games looked much scarier in November. The slate includes preseason No. 17 Baylor and No. 3 Kansas State. Both are now out of The Associated Press Top 25, with the Bears receiving four votes in the most recent poll.

“Any team in college can beat anybody, so every game you gotta look at it like you’re playing against a top team,” Brown said. “It’s not like high school where you can relax for a game.”

Barnes wasn’t worried because he still sees the Big 12 tournament as a chance to impress the selection committee.

“That will take care of itself,” Barnes said. “You’ve got your own postseason tournament.”

The Longhorns’ final eight opponents have a combined conference record of 25-37.