Texas Basketball: 3 key players struggling mightily for UT

Kadin Shedrick, Texas basketball
Kadin Shedrick, Texas basketball / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Ithiel Horton, Texas basketball
Ithiel Horton, Texas basketball / Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Ithiel Horton, Wing

Among the Longhorns players on this list, the one that is probably struggling the most in the last few games is super senior wing Ithiel Horton.

The veteran sixth-year wing has gone cold shooting from the field and from deep in the last month. As a result, Horton hasn't been the consistent off-ball scoring guard Texas needed him to be when they got him out of the transfer portal from UCF last offseason.

Horton's shooting struggles were very pronounced in the first three games of Big 12 play. He's missed all five field goal attempts he's put up, which has led to zero points in over 30 minutes played over three contests to start conference play.

Texas can't have the empty possessions we've seen from Horton, especially in the loss to West Virginia. He went 0-of-3 from the field with no assists and one turnover in 17 minutes played in Morgantown last weekend.

It's noteworthy that this three-game pointless streak is the longest scoring drought of Horton's career to start conference play.

Horton has been a streaky shooter and scorer for most of his collegiate career. He's never shot better than 40 percent from the field in conference play. And while he is an efficient three-point (37.5 percent) and free-throw (80 percent) shooter in his career, Horton has usually been more of a volume scorer than he's asked to be with the Longhorns this season.

The streakiness is still there for Horton this season. He's just not getting enough shots each game to have a legit opportunity to break out of the scoring slump.

Texas has a couple of options to address the scoring droughts in the backcourt moving forward in Big 12 play. First, Terry and the Longhorns staff can trust freshman combo guard Chris Johnson with more minutes off the bench. The 6-foot-4 Johnson has the length and scoring ability to get some baskets while playing at the two or the three for the Longhorns.

The second option would be to ride out this cold stretch for Horton shooting from the field and continue to feed him more off-ball catch-and-shoot looks from deep. You then hope he can find his shooting stroke for the rest of the season for good to give this backcourt/wing rotation another valuable floor spacer and outside scoring threat.

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