November 29, 2014

Injuries to Texas' backcourt have made things interesting for coach Rick Barnes, but Myles Turner is determined to make its frontcourt even more imposing heading into a tough stretch.

The freshman looks to build on his best effort of the season as the seventh-ranked Longhorns visit No. 24 Connecticut on Sunday.

Starting point guard Isaiah Taylor is out indefinitely with a broken left wrist, and backup Javan Felix was forced to sit out Tuesday's 78-46 rout of St. Francis (Pa.) with a sore left foot.

Barnes still wants Texas (5-0) to push the tempo despite the injuries, and Kendal Yancy might have that responsibility again if Felix can't go in this contest.

Yancy had season highs of 12 points and six assists in his first start of the season, and fellow guard Demarcus Holland had four points, four rebounds and four assists while adding a solid effort on the defensive end.

"We have really high expectations, and we need to develop depth (at guard)," Barnes said. "With Isaiah going down and Javan having to deal with his injury - those type of things can happen.

"(Yancy) is a guy we think can score. I thought Demarcus Holland was unbelievable. We expect those guys can carry it."

The Longhorns aren't having any trouble establishing an inside presence, and Turner seems prepared for a bigger role with tough matchups ahead. After facing UConn (3-1), Texas hosts UT-Arlington on Tuesday before Friday's showdown with No. 1 Kentucky in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Turner has come off the bench in each game, and he scored 25 points and grabbed 10 boards against St. Francis after scoring 10 points combined in his previous two as Texas won the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden.

The 6-foot-11 forward hit 11 of 12 from the field and made each of his three attempts from behind the arc.

''It felt great to gain some confidence going into tougher competition," Turner said. "More than anything I was frustrated with my effort (in the last two games). I think (Tuesday) was a great bounce-back game for me.

"We all have things we need to work on and need to execute a little better."

Leading scorer Jonathan Holmes (13.4 points per game) finished with only three points and had four turnovers, but he's still been a big part of the Longhorns' success down low.

Texas ranks among the nation's leaders in blocks (7.4 per game) and rebounding differential (plus-14.2), and it has held each opponent to under 32 percent from the field.

It has forced double-digit turnovers three times, and that may not bode well for a Huskies team that committed a season-worst 19 in last Sunday's 78-68 loss to West Virginia in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

The Huskies had 21 turnovers combined over their previous two. Freshman Daniel Hamilton scored 15 points and had nine rebounds, but he finished with eight giveaways.

Ryan Boatright had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists for UConn, which never led.

''They did a real good job pressuring us,'' coach Kevin Ollie said. ''We had some bad turnovers, some live turnovers that we were trying not to have. All of our guys are going to learn from this.''

The Huskies won the most recent meeting Jan. 8, 2011, as Kemba Walker's jumper with 5 seconds remaining in overtime gave them an 82-81 win at Texas.

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