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Unsung Hero: Baylor and Texas

We’re tabbing another freshman with the honor this week.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Cowboys went 1-1 this week, I still consider it very successful. The Pokes took the No. 6 Baylor Bears to the wire only to come up three points short. A 12-0 run in the final minute put the Cowboys one shot away from blowing the roof off of Gallagher-Iba Arena.

On Saturday, the Cowboys bounced back well, convincingly beating a Texas team that they lost to in Austin a few weeks back. Jeffrey Carroll continues to do Jeffrey Carroll things, with scoring performances of 20 and 18 this week. Phil Forte was burning down the nets this week from long range, going 7-12 on 3 point attempts this week. Davon Dillard had a career high 15 points off the bench against Texas.

All of those guys aside, our unsung hero for the week is a freshman that has played significant minutes for Brad Underwood’s team all season long; Brandon Averette.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Averette played 14 minutes on Wednesday and Saturday, backing up the point guard duties from Jawun Evans. Combined in the games this week, he had 6 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. Among all his time on the floor, he only had two turnovers. His ability to keep the ball out of the defenders’ hands in crucial, especially if Evans is not on the floor with him.

Averette has had a great freshman season as a backup point guard. It can’t hurt that he is playing alongside one of the best point guards in the nation, it has certainly made a different in Averette’s play. It is easy to tell that the game is slowing down for him. At the beginning of the season, he always played a frenetic pace and would turn the ball over too easily. This was much like Jawun Evans at the beginning of his freshman season, but he too found his groove and had a fantastic freshman year. While Averette may not have the scoring prowess of Evans, he certainly can score like Evans. They both have this innate ability to cut through defenses and get to the bucket for an easy layup in the blink of a eye. If Averette can continue playing at a high level, Coach Underwood does not have to worry about leaving Evans on the floor for long periods of time, and can trust Averette to run the offense if Evans is in foul trouble or needs a rest.