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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Chendall Weaver, Texas basketball
Chendall Weaver, Texas basketball / Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY Sports

Chendall Weaver, G

47.9 FG%, 23.1 3P%, 69.2 FT%

When the 2022-23 WAC Freshman of the Year, guard Chendall Weaver, transferred to Texas from the UT-Arlington Mavericks last offseason, he added high-level athleticism and floor spacing to Terry's backcourt unit. Weaver was a 40+ percent shooter from beyond the arc at UT-Arlington during his freshman campaign last season.

Weaver was also a consistent scorer with his short pull-up game within eight or 10 feet of the basket at UT-Arlington last season.

We've seen many of the special traits that Weaver displayed as a freshman at UTA last season translate in the Longhorns' backcourt rotation this year. He's brought serious defensive grit, rebounding, and explosive athleticism to Texas's backcourt unit this season.

The one part of Weaver's game that stood out last season that hasn't translated this year is the floor spacing component. Weaver is shooting just 23.1 percent from beyond the arc on just one attempt from deep per game this season.

In fact, Weaver hasn't hit a three-pointer in the last eight games and he's nailed just 1-of-9 attempts from deep in Big 12 play. This comes after Weaver shot 22-of-49 (44.9 percent) from beyond the arc in conference play at UTA last season.

I just don't think that Weaver is getting enough looks off from beyond the arc to really contribute to Texas's floor spacing efforts on the offensive end. Weaver was taking north of three attempts from beyond the arc per game late last season for the Mavericks.

In the last three weeks, Weaver has taken zero three-point attempts in the majority of the Longhorns' games.

If Texas wants to get Weaver going, there are two ways they can get him more high-percentage looks from deep. First, Weaver has proven that he's money shooting corner three-pointers. He was nearly a 48 percent shooter on corner three-point attempts last season (ranking in the 82nd percentile among D1 guards).

Instead of having him operate primarily inside the arc as a tertiary scoring option, let Weaver take advantage of the space that guards like Abmas and Hunter create so they can kick it out to him for uncontested looks from the corners.

Another way to get Weaver going is to let him take more attempts driving to the basket and creating contact down the lane. Weaver has done a tremendous job of drawing and finishing through contact on his drives in Big 12 play.

Weaver actually leads all starting Big 12 guards in conference play with a .800 free-throw attempt rate. That insane free-throw attempt rate Weaver has registered in Big 12 play this season for the Longhorns means that he's essentially getting to the stripe on four out of five possessions where he's initiating the offense without passing the ball off.

If Texas can let Weaver work through contact and get to the line more often while unlocking his three-ball from the corners, his offensive production should take off down the stretch this season and in the postseason.