Javan Felix Confident in his Craft

Longhorns guard Javan Felix doesn’t strike you as somebody who’d ever second-guess himself when it comes to shooting the basketball.

His 178 three-point attempts a season ago were 94 more than anyone else on Texas’ roster. His 388 field goal attempts were 20 more than Isaiah Taylor even though Taylor played 164 more minutes than Felix, the equivalent of over four full games.

But Felix will tell you there were times last season when he felt like he was doing more harm than good with his jump shot.

“Definitely, especially at the beginning if I missed a couple,” he said.

Doubt would start to cloud his mind.

“‘Oh I’m shooting too much,’” Felix would tell himself. “If I was missing, ‘OK I have to try something else.’”

Contrary to his beliefs, not shooting was the last thing his teammates or coaches wanted him to do.

“My teammates would ask me why I wasn’t shooting when I was open,” Felix recalled. “It’s a mental thing for me. I know I have my teammates on my side. But sometimes you feel selfish if you shoot too much. As long as they feel comfortable with me shooting, and my coaches are comfortable with me shooting, then I’m going to keep shooting.”

So far this season Felix has lived up to his promise. His 31 attempts are one behind Jonathan Holmes for the team-lead. But he’s only shooting 38 percent (12 makes), which is second lowest on the team for those in the regular rotation (Kendal Yancy is shooting 37 percent on just 16 shots).

He also leads the team with nine turnovers.

Felix knows his accuracy must improve as he tries to balance his shot with directing Texas’ offense as its starting point guard with Taylor out indefinitely with a broken left wrist. He’ll start his second game at point guard tonight when the No. 7 Longhorns (4-0) host Saint Francis (2-2) at 7 p.m.

As for improving his accuracy, Felix said he spent a lot of time this off-season working on trying to get his shot of quicker. He wants to remove as little second-guessing in himself as possible.

“I have to stay true to my roll,” he said. “My roll is to shoot the ball. Whenever I’m open I just have to shoot it, let it go.”

Felix, who came into the season with 44 starts, was second on the team in assists (2.8) and third in scoring (11.6) last year.

“I know I am going to be looked at as a pretty good shooter this year,” Felix said. “It’s going to be on the scouting report for every game for whoever we are playing.” With Taylor out, Felix will have to play the roll of facilitator even more. He proved he could handle that roll as a freshman when he started 23 games and led the team (ranked sixth in the Big 12) with 4.1 assists per game.

He averaged 4.4 assists per game in 34.4 minutes per contest that season when starting point guard Myck Kabongo sat out due to an NCAA suspension.

With two years under his belt, Felix, one of the seasoned veterans on this team, hopes to use that experience to his advantage.

“I think us paying more attention to the details, the little things and just being more focused,” Felix said when asked what the main difference in this team from years past was. “When we were freshmen we didn’t know what it took to compete at a high level and it showed. Last year we took it to another level and we are trying to improve that. It’s still a work in progress.”

Game Notes via

DEFENSE WINS: Texas limited Cal to 31.3% FG shooting (20-of-64) in Friday’s win. The Horns have held their first four opponents to an average of 53.8 ppg on a combined 29.5% FG shooting (72-of-295). UT has held each of its first four opponents to below 60 points AND 32% FG shooting.

HOLMES OFF TO SOLID START: Senior Jonathan Holmes claimed 2K Classic MVP honors, averaging 20.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg in UT’s two wins in New York City. Holmes leads the team in scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg) while converting 21-of-32 (.656) FG, including 8-of-13 (.615) from three-point range, and 14-of-18 (.778) FT.

BLOCK PARTY: Through the first four games, Texas has recorded 29 blocked shots (7.3 bpg). The Horns had 10 rejections in Friday’s win against Cal.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Texas sports a +12.3 rebound margin (46.0-33.8) through the first four games this year and has outrebounded its opponent in all four contests. UT has posted double-digit rebound margins in three of its first four games this season. The Horns posted a +19 (51-32) rebound margin against NDSU (Nov. 14), a +19 (47-28) margin against Alcorn State (Nov. 16) and a +10 (46-36) margin against Cal (Nov. 21).



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