AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has won seven in a row and had five different leading scorers during the streak.
But while the younger players might be stepping up their games, Texas is still a team that can only go as far as junior J'Covan Brown can take it. The guard's minutes have jumped from 21.5 last season to 33.6. Not surprisingly, Brown is averaging nearly nine more points a game, and taking twice as many shots. He leads the team in scoring with 19.3 points per game.
But where his impact is clearly felt most is in shot selection. When Brown is in the game, he takes 31.6 percent of the team's shots. That's the third-highest total in the Big 12.
What this means for Texas is that Brown still has some room to improve when it comes to getting his teammates the ball. It also means his teammates must get themselves in position to receive the ball and shoot.
With Sheldon McClellan becoming more confident, particularly from the corner, it shouldn't be too long before Brown doesn't have to shoulder so much of the offense.
And really it is not a terrible thing when Brown is the focal point of the offense. If Brown has to expend so much energy on the offensive end to get his shot, he will not be as effective on the defensive end. And Texas coach Rick Barnes is much more concerned with the defensive side of the court right now. That concern is well warranted as Texas' next opponent, North Carolina, scores 86.4 points per game. That's third nationally.
Defensive rebounding is also going to be the key against North Carolina. The Tar Heels had 69 rebounds against Nicholls State. They are averaging more than any team in the country with 44.9 per game. With the emergence of Clint Chapman and Jaylen Bond, Texas is getting better at hitting the boards.
But the Longhorns do not possess the size and length North Carolina does. Of course, few teams do.