But unlike a year ago, when Felix was asked to play 35 minutes per game during Myck Kabongo's suspension, the Longhorns should have plenty of options. First, Texas returns both players who ran the point in Kabongo's absence, with Felix and DeMarcus Holland. Holland spent most of his time in 2012-2013 on the wing as a second ball-handler and defender, but if he could polish a few things up, he could factor in positively next year.
Of course, the main reasons for optimism come from the Longhorns' recruiting class. Kendal Yancy-Harris is a scoring point guard who can get into the lane and create with his smooth game. Isaiah Taylor is more of a classic pass-first, pass-second point guard. He has more speed than Yancy-Harris, though both players can run a team well. Taylor is also probably better defensively, something that is sure to appeal to Texas coach Rick Barnes.
Perhaps the most interesting factor is that both are bigger point guards. Taylor is taller than 6-foot-2, while Yancy-Harris is between 6-3 and 6-4. That allows for rotations where Barnes can pair Felix, a natural scorer, with either player (or even the lanky Holland) to give Texas more ball-handling ability out of its guards.
The Yancy-Harris and Felix pairing is especially intriguing. According to Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Brian Snow, that's a pairing that could work well. Yancy-Harris is at his best with the ball in his hands, while Felix is a bit better as a natural shooter. So Texas could play the two together, with Yancy-Harris handling the point guard duties on offense, but with Felix guarding the opposing team's point on defense. Or keep things with Felix with the ball and Yancy-Harris at the two — both players have the ability to score the ball, and the Longhorns cam improve their ball-handling without sacrificing scoring punch on the offensive end.
Taylor is a bit more of an interesting fit. He needs to work on his jump shot, but his speed and the job he does at changing speeds makes him a nightmare in transition. And his ability to run the offense and get into the paint also makes him somewhat of a natural pairing with Felix, if Texas wanted to go with more of a defensive look on that end while relieving Felix's ball-handling responsibilities.
So while Texas would have been better in 2013-2014 had Kabongo returned, the Longhorns have a much better selection at the point position heading into this year, with three natural points in Felix, Yancy-Harris and Taylor, another who has some of those abilities in Holland and even an absolute emergency point in Ioannis Papapetrou.
But the benefit of having all of those point guards is that Texas shouldn't have to go with an emergency point at any time next year.