Texas Basketball: Dynamic Duo Leading Longhorn Charge
With Jericho Sims out indefinitely with a back injury, Matt Coleman nursing a sore foot and both Gerald Lidell and Jase Febres out for the foreseeable future, Texas was in need of someone to step up.
Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones were up for the challenge.
Jones scored 22 and Ramey 21 in Texas' most recent 67-57 home win over No. 20 West Virginia. Ramey had 26 in the victory over Kansas State and 16 in the win over TCU. Jones had 12 and 26 in those wins, respectively.
"Over the last couple of games, me and Courtney have just felt a chemistry. It's beginning to click," Jones said. "With guys out, it's forcing me to step up. When two players are in sync, you can do great things and lead a team to victory."
"Since Matt hurt his heel, the last three games, Courtney and Andrew have been much, much more aggressive," Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. "Those guys have taken it upon himself, just to be our lead guards. You know, Matt's still done a nice job in the last couple games when he can, but he's obviously not 100%. But Courtney and Andrew, their aggressiveness and their just ability to make plays is huge."
Ramey shot 64 % from the field and 60% from three-point land. Jones was 53% from the field and 55% from beyond the arch in the Longhorns latest win.
For Ramey and Jones, knowing they must produce has led to more confident shooting out of necessity.
I think our guys' mindset terms of shooting the ball and attacking is aggressive, confident and loose, which is what we asked them to be," Smart said. "Again, it helps that they know that they're not coming out (of the game). That that definitely helps guys. Andrew Jones just attacking and he's not really playing to think about is this a good shot or a bad shot? He's just trusting himself. Courtney the same thing."
The question still remains if Texas can continue this recent run, especially with a pair of tough road tests looming on the horizon.
One thing seems to be certain, however.
If Texas is going down, it is going down shooting.