Kevin Durant is spending so much time around his former college hoops team these days, that it has almost stopped being special for everyone around the program. From the Star-Ledger: “A former stud with the Longhorns during his one year in college, he joined them Tuesday for their game against Rhode Island and hung around. Saturday night he, along with former Longhorns Royal Ivey and Chris Mihm, sat a row behind the Texas bench. But Durant wasn’t just there to watch. During timeouts he would stand in the huddle and coming out of them he would pull a player aside to give a few quick words. ‘Just encourage them and come tell them what I see from the sideline,’ Durant said. ‘I think that just me being here with these guys, me going through the system and playing for coach (Rick) Barnes, I think that I know a little bit more, now that I played in the league and also for coach Barnes, about the game of basketball. Just try to help them out as much as possible but also try to learn a few things from the coaches as well.’ While Texas is talented, they are also young. In their loss to Oregon State, six of their nine rotational players were freshmen. With youth comes inconsistency and mistakes. Having a voice aside from Barnes is welcome. ‘It’s great,’ added J’Covan Brown, who finished with 25 points [Saturday] night. Not to mention that hearing something from the NBA’s leading scorer may have a different ring. ‘Yeah I think they relate to it a little bit more because I’m still a player myself,’ Durant said. ‘Coming from a teammate you kind of hear it more, analyze it more. Any chance I get to pull them to the side that’s what I try to do.’ … He has spent so much time around the Texas facility and the team that he is barely looked at as Kevin Durant, the NBA star, anymore. ‘We don’t think of him being an NBA player, he’s around all the time,’ Brown said. ‘We wish he’d get away and get back to work. But he’s here to help us and whatever he tells us, we listen.'”
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