Shaka Smart says No. 8 UT will be without "a guy or two" vs. No. 3 Kansas
During this morning's Zoom conference with the media, Shaka Smart revealed the No. 8 Longhorns will not travel a full roster to Saturday's matchup versus No. 3 Kansas.
"From the standpoint of COVID testing, we have another one today. I'm really not allowed to give any type of particulars on who's tested negative or any of those sorts of things. But we will have a guy or two that certainly cannot go with us on the trip. I can't really tell you much beyond that," responded Smart when asked if he'll have his full personnel this weekend.
Some more notes from Shaka Smart, including some positive news about Jase Febres and his recovery from his knee surgery:
--- The Longhorns are one of the nation’s best three-point percentage defenses and only five defenses nationally have allowed a lower three-point attempt rate. Perimeter defense will be put to the test by Kansas. The Jayhawks don’t shoot a ton of threes, but when they do, they make them at a very high rate thanks mostly to Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun.
“Yeah, they do a great job of catching teams in situations where you're not set whether it’s transition off of offensive rebounds,” responded Shaka Smart about Kansas’s shooting particularly when it pushes the ball up the floor quickly and catches a defense that isn’t set. “I believe that 19 offensive rebounds against West Virginia in their last game, certainly made some three-point shots off of those. Just plays where you're not necessarily perfectly matched up.
“So, it's our job to fly around and continue to help each other. If we have a teammate that rotates to take someone else's man, we need to rotate to take his man, and so on throughout the possession. It's a game where multiple efforts is huge for our team. I don't think there's any game where it isn't big but particularly when you're playing against Kansas because they do a really good job of being prepared and just ready to make you pay, if they're open.”
Defensively, Smart noted David McCormack does a good job of being aggressive and setting the tone for his team on defense, and obviously, Marcus Garrett is a standout defender wherever he is on the floor. Smart also noted Kansas doesn’t play many smaller guards and that size and length helps them around the perimeter.
Unlike past Kansas teams years ago under Self, Smart said this current version will play small with Jalen Wilson sometimes as a five even though he’s more of a three or four, which puts shooters and playmakers all over the floor. McCormack is the highest used player on offense, and Self has always liked to run things through a true big. But as Smart said, Self has adapted to the roster and will put a small lineup on the floor with success.---
Some positive news for Jase Febres: Smart said the senior guard has been practicing in five-on-five, which is a change from the last time the Texas head coach provided an injury update.
“He’s certainly not all the back to 100%, but he looks like he’s moving much, much better and most importantly, he feels better… I’m hopeful we can get him out there soon because we’re certainly going to need him.”
According to Smart, because of the microfracture procedure it’s really about how the player feels, what he’s comfortable with, and the pain, confidence and comfort in the knee.