*****No. 1 – PG, Isaiah Taylor
Why? - Taylor has been Texas’ best player to date in large part because of his tenacity on the offensive side of the ball. He’s averaging a team-high 15 points many of which are coming in customary drive-to-the-basket Taylor form. But he’s also improved his outside shooting, which the coaches stressed he must do. Taylor is 4-of-6 from threes and has hit all four free throws. He’s also grabbing 5 rebounds per game and 3.5 assists per game in a team-high 24.5 minutes per game.
*****No. 2 – C/F Myles Turner
Why? - The freshman has been every bit as impressive as I thought he would be. He’s showed off an offensive game that stretches from the perimeter to the paint while averaging 12.5 ppg (second on team). He’s also grabbed 6.5 rebounds (second for UT) and blocked a team-high eight shots. Barnes said he needs to improve on defense, especially in zone, and needs to take care of the ball better (four turnovers are tied for team high). But, all in all, he’s been very impressive so far.
*****No. 3 – F Jonathan Holmes
Why? - You’d be hard-pressed to find a player that Rick Barnes has enjoyed coaching more than Holmes. He just always produces and goes about it the right way. The senior is averaging 12 points (third on team), 7.5 rebounds (tops for UT), has hit 8-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-5 threes.
*****No. 4 – G Demarcus Holland
Why? - Everyone knows what Holland brings on the defensive side of the ball. He’s one of the top on-ball defenders in the country. His offensive game has always been what’s come into question, but so far this season that hasn’t been a problem. Holland, who averaged 7.1 ppg last season, is up to 9 ppg early on to go along with 2.5 rpg and 2.5 apg. He worked on his jump shot a ton in the off-season, and you can tell so far.
*****No. 5 – F Connor Lammert
Why? - Mr. Consistency continues to fill up a stat sheet night in and night out. Through two games he’s averaging 5.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 4.5 apg, has a steal, a block and is shooting 50 percent from deep (3-of-6). Barnes calls him the most improved player from a season ago. He’s proving it so far with his all-around quality play.
*****No. 6 – C Cameron Ridley
Why? - Ridley is averaging a respectable 7.5 ppg and 5 rpg, but he’s not attacking the rim hard enough when he gets the ball in position down low and is tied for a team-high with four turnovers. He has hit all three FTs, which is positive news for UT.
*****No. 7 – SG Javan Felix
Why? - Felix’s scoring is down early from 11.6 ppg as a sophomore to 8 ppg so far. But he seems to be shooting with more confidence after some lulls a season ago kept him from shooting with that snipers mentality that he wasn’t going to miss. Felix is shooting 46 percent from the floor (3-of-8 from deep). His consistency from outside is going to be key in how far this team goes in March.
*****No. 8 –C/F Prince Ibeh
Why? - There was chatter that Ibeh might redshirt but the athletic post is proving his value early on when minutes can be hard to come by in a loaded front court. Ibeh is averaging 5 ppg and 4.5 rebounds per game. He also has a pair of steals and blocks. Ibeh is going to have to improve at the charity strip (2-of-7 so far) or risk getting the pre-Doc Rivers DeAndre Jordan treatment late in games and not see the court.
*****No. 9 – G Kendal Yancy
Why? - Yancy, who averaged 3.4 ppg in 12.1 minutes last season, is averaging 3.5 ppg in 16 minutes so far. But he’s also contributing 3.5 assists, which is tied for second on the team - & even with Taylor. Yancy dealt with a hand injury most of last season and is feeling much better now. His two steals are tied for second on the team too.
*****No. 10 – F Jordan Barnett
Why? - The true freshman is playing the second fewest minutes of any player in the rotation (12.5) but has drawn high praise from Rick Barnes already for his hustle. He’s averaging 4.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game early on, and has one steal. Once this high-flyer gets up to speed at the college game, watch out. *****
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*****Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights
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