Texas Basketball: 3 slumping UT shooters who must step up

Multiple gifted and effective shooters must rise to the occasion down the stretch for Texas basketball with the postseason just a month away.

Brock Cunningham, Texas basketball
Brock Cunningham, Texas basketball / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas basketball and head coach Rodney Terry needs to finish the 2023-24 regular season strong to ensure a single-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament this postseason. It would be pretty disastrous for Texas to get one of the play-in seeds for the Big Dance or, in the worst-case scenario, to miss the NCAA Tournament entirely.

But the Longhorns are more than likely going to lock up at least a 10-seed for the NCAA Tournament if they can at least win a few more games from the five contests remaining during the regular season and then the Big 12 Tournament.

Which slumping shooters must step up for Texas basketball down the stretch?

With a more optimistic outlook, the Longhorns can still get a middle single-digit seed if they win all the games they should down the stretch while pulling off an upset or two.

Texas has a handful of opportunities for big upset wins on the road in their remaining Big 12 games this season. All three of the Longhorns' remaining true road games this season come against ranked opponents, starting on Feb. 24 against the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence.

If Texas wants to get a good placement for the Big Dance on Selection Sunday and make a deep postseason run, the offensive performances must get more consistent than they've been for the last couple of months.

Texas's shooting and rebounding performances in the last few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster ride.

There aren't many excuses for this team to be so inconsistent with their shooting efficiency game in and game out. Too many gifted and proven shooters exist in this rotation for Texas to be struggling from the field and from deep this season.

Here are three struggling Longhorns players who must start hitting their shots down the stretch this season.

Tyrese Hunter, G

45.9 FG%, 34.2 3P%, 67.2 FT%

In many respects, junior guard Tyrese Hunter has never played better basketball on both ends of the floor than he has for most of this season for the Longhorns. Hunter is averaging a career-high 11.0 points per game while shooting career-highs from the field, two-point range, and three-point range.

So, you might be asking why Hunter is on this list if he is shooting career-best numbers while scoring at a career-high pace.

Inconsistencies have really plagued Hunter throughout Big 12 play. He's about as up and down as it gets for the Longhorns among their regular starting five players. In the last five games, Hunter has scored over 15 points once and in single digits in the other four.

Outside of a forgettable performance where he went 0-of-8 shooting from the field and 0-of-3 from deep in a single-digit loss to Iowa State on Feb. 6, Hunter has either shot around 33 percent from the field or 67 percent in the last five contests.

Hunter has struggled shooting the basketball for most of February. He's shooting a season-low 35.4 percent from the field, 26.7 percent from deep, and 60.0 percent from the free-throw line in February.

The inconsistent shooting performances has caused Hunter's scoring to take a significant dip in the last few weeks. He's scoring in single digits in February for the first this season.

Hunter's struggles finding his shooting rhythm from the field in the last few weeks in effect has dialed up the pressure that opposing defenses have put on senior Texas guard Max Abmas. Abmas is getting more shut-offs and double teams when the ball is in his hands on the offensive end.