It wasn’t his fault two weeks ago when Texas was dominated by Oklahoma State and lost for the eighth time in 10 games.
Ioannis Papapetrou scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out four assists, recorded four steals and blocked two shots — all team highs — in the 72-59 loss to the Cowboys on Feb. 9. But he was the one expressing remorse for his team’s effort in the defeat.
“I want to apologize for the effort we showed today. … We are embarrassed,” Papapetrou said after the game. “Guys aren’t buying in to what we want to do — offensively and defensively. I don’t think we know how to play as a team.”
Papapetrou promised a better performance in Texas’ next game against Iowa State and the Longhorns delivered. Myck Kabongo made his season debut and Jonathan Holmes returned to the lineup, but it was Papapetrou who stole the show when he drained a deep three-pointer to tie the game against the Cyclones and send it to overtime. Behind Sheldon McClellan’s 10 points in the second overtime period, Texas took down Iowa State, 89-86.
“I felt it,” Papapetrou said. “It was just another shot. I was open and I shot it.”
His shot helped propel the Longhorns to a thrilling win over a solid Iowa State team, a piece of silver lining in what has been an overall dismal season. Texas is 12-14 with just four wins in Big 12 play and only five regular season contests left, all of which the Longhorns could lose.
The first of those five comes against Kansas State, a team that handed Texas an 83-56 shellacking in Manhattan on Jan. 30, the program’s worst road loss against a Big 12 squad. Papapetrou struggled in that game, scoring nine points and committing a game-high five turnovers while battling foul trouble all night.
“Good teams will make you get the ball,” head coach Rick Barnes said after the loss last month. “You look at the turnovers, Papapetrou had five. When we drive the ball in with two people close we do not deliver the ball where it needs to be delivered.”
Papapetrou has come a long way since that crushing loss to Kansas State. The 6-foot-8 swingman from Greece is averaging 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in six games this month.
It only took them three months, but when the Longhorns finally picked up their first road win in a 68-59 win in Fort Worth over TCU, Papapetrou once again led the way. He scored a team-high 15 points while hitting four of eight attempts from beyond the arc and helping Texas sweep its season series with the Horned Frogs.
The Longhorns will need another strong performance from Papapetrou to have any chance of taking down a 21-5 Kansas State team that has won six of its last seven games.
“Every time I shoot the ball, it’s going to be a good shot,” Papapetrou said. “Every time you shoot it, you have to think it’s going to go in. That’s what I did.”
Published on February 22, 2013 as "Papapetrou sorry for struggles, ready for KSU after solid month".