Hawaii was unkind to the Texas basketball team (3-2) as Rick Barnes’ men went 1-2 in the Maui invitational. One of the defeats came at the hands of the Division II program Chaminade Silverswords. Chaminade’s 86-73 upset over Texas was only their seventh win in 83 tries in the Maui Invitational. “I don’t even think the score is indicative of how much better they played than we played,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said.
Falling to a Division II squad served as an eye-opener to this inexperienced Texas squad that features seven freshmen. “I think that the young guys have been a bit overwhelmed with being thrusted into a situation,” Rick Barnes said. “The hardest things that freshmen have to learn is going from one play to the next and finishing possessions.”
Talented freshmen duo Javan Felix and Ioannis Papapetrou have actually fared well in heavy minutes for the Horns, averaging eight points a piece. Felix contributed seven points and seven assist in the Horns’ lone victory in Maui against Mississippi State. “We lost the first two games in Maui because we did not play hard like we are supposed to but later we saw that playing hard can get us a win. And we will focus on playing hard in each game,” Felix said.
Sophomore Sheldon McClellan has anchored this young Horns team through the early part of the season, leading the team in scoring with almost 18 points per contest. “I learned not to take anything for granted during the Maui trip. We may have taken the fact that we were playing a DII school for granted, and not played our hardest,” McClellan said. “We have to play everyone like they are ranked.”
The Horns will have to carry that mentality into this week’s matchups against a couple of unranked opponents. They host Sam Houston State tonight at 7:00 and the UT-Arlington Mavericks will visit the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday.