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Insider

Kabongo finding his way with Texas

12/8/2011

AUSTIN, Texas -- Myck Kabongo drew the immediate ire of Texas coach Rick Barnes and subsequent praise from the coach on the other bench, Scott Cross.

Barnes’ issues were the two immediate turnovers his freshman point guard committed to start the game against UT-Arlington.

“It’s kind of an adventure with him,” Barnes said.

Cross’ awe was inspired by what happened over Kabongo’s next 28 minutes of playing time.

“It all starts with him,” Cross said. “He is getting into the paint at will. He gets in the paint and creates for all those guys. And they are a difficult team to press because he’s so good with the ball.”

After those first two quick turnovers, Kabongo only turned it over once more and dished out seven assists. The latter stretch was one of his more effective performances on the young season. It also displayed what Texas can become with Kabongo playing in control and handling pressure.

The freshman is quick with the ball and goes from free throw line to free throw line as well as anyone in college basketball. Where his game has faltered at the college level is when he gets ahead of himself and his teammates.

That leads to decisions that are made too quickly and turn out poorly, which is why he leads the team with 26 turnovers. But he also leads in assists with 48, which is why Barnes knows there is tremendous promise in his new point guard.

"He is learning the game in a way he has never had to learn the game … to be a complete point guard,” Barnes said.