With Myck Kabongo sidelined for the first 23 games of the 2012-13 season due to a violation of NCAA rules (and his not being forthcoming when questioned about his acceptance of impermissible benefits), Texas point guard Javan Felix went through a “baptism by fire” of sorts at the point guard position. The New Orleans native took his lumps and so did his young teammates, finishing the season with averages of 6.8 points and 4.1 assists per game on a team that finished with an overall record of 16-18 (7-11 Big 12).
That experience could potentially serve as the foundation for an improved sophomore season, but unfortunately for Felix and head coach Rick Barnes the answer the point guard could miss some game time. On Wednesday the school announced that just over a week ago Felix underwent a surgical procedure on his hip, and as a result he’s out indefinitely.
“Javan had a successful procedure on his left hip performed on Tuesday, October 1st,” Texas athletic trainer Eric Fry said via the team’s Twitter account. “He has begun his rehab process and is expected to make a full recovery. Javan obviously is not practicing with the team at this time. We won’t have a specific timetable for his return, but we are looking forward to getting him back.”
With Kabongo now playing professionally and three other guards having transferred over the last two seasons, the Longhorns are once again young on the perimeter. Felix and fellow sophomore Demarcus Holland (3.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 2012-13) are the “veterans” for coach Barnes, with four freshman guards joining the program this season.
Kendal Yancy and Isaiah Taylor both played the point in high school, so those two would likely be next in line to run the show if Felix were forced to miss any game action. Texas also adds shooting guards Damarcus Croaker and Martez Walker. Despite the presence of some talented players experience could once again be an issue, with the Longhorns having just one upperclassman on the entire roster (junior forward Jonathan Holmes).
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.
For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.
The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.
2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.
3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.
4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.
5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
- No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
- No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.
Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.
But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.
It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:
After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: