Analyst: Felix "Belonged" at U-19 Trials

Analyst: Felix "Belonged" at U-19 Trials

FOXSports.com National College Hoops writer Reid Forgrave had a chance to see Texas point guard Javan Felix compete for a spot on the USA U-19 team in Colorado Springs, Colo. While Felix didn't make the team, Forgrave came away impressed with his development. Read his thoughts inside.

"When I first saw him up close, my impression was 'man, that kid is short, but he gets it done,'" Forgrave said. "When I spoke with him, he was a guy that definitely had a chip on his shoulder. Clearly, he spent a lot of his life being a short guy, and really learned to compensate for that."

The game that Felix developed from overcoming his lack of height was on full display in Colorado Springs, Forgrave said.

"He's a guy that has great court vision," Forgrave said. "He can create and get he or his teammates shots, and make them smart shots. That was what impressed me the most … his court vision. He had his eyes darting everywhere and really had very good awareness.

"I think, if you put him around a really talented group of players, he's going to make everyone a lot better," Forgrave said. "Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's the case this year [at Texas]. He makes everyone around him better. He's really selfless."

Of course, Texas fans have seen another side of Felix, when he's asked to be a major factor in the Longhorns' scoring. Felix took 23 shots against Baylor, scoring 26 points, and he had multiple other games where he showed the ability to put points on the board.

"I think he went into [the trials] thinking that that wasn't his role out there," Forgrave said. "I think he said that when he's supported by so many huge talents, my chance to make this team is as a facilitator. He wasn't going to make the team by being a 25 points per game kind of guy."

Forgrave said Felix showed "flashes" of his scoring ability, getting into the paint at times and knocking down a few three-pointers. Of course, any point guard in attendance was overshadowed by Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, who Forgrave called "the star" and "the leader" of the U-19 squad. But he said Felix acquitted himself well.

"I don't know if this makes any sense: I think it would have been a huge surprise for him to make the team because of the talent there," Forgrave said. "But at the same time, there were a couple players there who looked a bit over their heads. And he was not one of those guys, either. You could really see his confidence bringing the ball up the court.

"He looked like he belonged," Forgrave said, "even though he was a pretty big dark horse to make the team."

Now Felix will try to take what he learned back to Austin and help push the Longhorns back into the NCAA Tournament after a one year absence.

"I really don't have as many worries about him as I do about the people around him," Forgrave said. "With Myck Kabongo going to the NBA and three guys transferring, it's hard to tell. [Felix] is kind of like a team's quarterback. If the guys that he's getting the all to aren't going to score, the burden falls more to him and that could be difficult.

"But I don't doubt that kid's talent at all," Forgrave said. "I have doubts about the talent around him. In Colorado Springs, he had a pretty good understanding about what his role was. He needs to be the facilitator. If somebody needs him to be a Pierre Jackson type where he could get 10 assists or he could take 20-25 shots, depending on the night, that's just asking a different thing from him than what I saw him do so well."

HornsDigest.com Recommended Stories