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Rick Barnes to J'Covan Brown: We Can Win Without You

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On Monday J'Covan Brown told reporters that Rick Barnes' decision to play him just 5 minutes against Texas Tech was meant to deliver a message to the freshman guard: We can win without you.

"Coach sent a message to me that we can win games without me," Brown said when asked about playing only five minutes.

"Every freshman goes through something like this," [senior forward Damion] James said. "I went through it freshman and sophomore year. It's just a learning [process]. He's just gotta grab life by the horns and just go with it. Coach will tell anybody that we don't need him to win, not just J'Covan. Coach lets you know that he don't need you to win. He feels that we have enough players on this team to win a basketball game, so he's not going to just rely on one person."

Maybe the more accurate statement would be: 'We can beat Texas Tech without you', but hey, if Barnes felt he needed to deliver one last strong message before the stretch run, I suppose last Saturday was the time to do it; it's virtually impossible to imagine Texas successfully navigating its final four-game stretch versus Oklahoma State, at Texas A&M, versus Oklahoma, and at Baylor, without J'Covan Brown being productive and playing the bulk of the minutes at point.