Hoops Preview: OU
Date: Tuesday, February 14
Time: 8:00 pm Central
Location: Norman, OK (Lloyd Noble Arena)
Big 12 Rematch Game: Texas won the first matchup in Austin, 84-83. You can find the full OU preview here.
Welp…here we go. If Texas is to win a game away from Austin this season, this appears to be the most likely as the Sooners (losers of seven in a row and 14 of their last 16) host the Longhorns tonight in Norman in their first game without recently injured point guard Jordan Woodard.
Texas Keys: Offense
Those friggin’ lulls. At 9:05 of the first half in Stillwater, Texas was leading 23-15. At 3:17 of the first half, OSU was leading 35-25. In other words, it was a 20-2 run in favor of the Cowboys. Texas lost that game by 13 points. With 14:14 remaining in the second half at TCU, Texas trailed 52-49. With 3:14 remaining, it was 74-60. Now, whether you’re talking about 2 points in six minutes or 11 points in 10 minutes, Texas simply can’t go through those dry spells and hope to win games. Especially on the road…against a rival…when you’re desperately trying to pick up wins to claw your way to the six seed (which is still in play). Two or three possessions without points? Not great, but okay. Five to seven? Uh oh.
Jones and Davis from deep. Jones’ three point shooting in Texas’ last three wins: 6/12. Last three losses: 3/18. Davis’ three point shooting in Texas’ last three wins: 9/20. Last three losses: 3/13. Simple stuff. Davis, in particular needs to be ready to go as a spot up shooter.
Texas Keys: Defense
Figure out OU post Woodard. Preparing for the Sooners with the senior point guard is one thing. Preparing for the Sooners without him? Theoretically, it should be easier as so much of the Sooners’ offense flowed through him, but that doesn’t change the fact that Texas will now have far less footage to work on their gameplan from (though Woodard did miss a few games midseason). As of now, you can probably expect more action going through McGusty, Odomes and James and a focus being on ball movement. Expect Texas to unleash Kerwin on Moore or Odomes when they are the ball carrier to go along with a decent amount of zone.
Texas is better, but it’s on the road. OU should be reeling without Woodard, but it’s on the road. Texas’ young players have to figure it out sometime, but…well, you know.
I’m gonna predict it, mostly just because I’ll be super depressed if it doesn’t come true.
Prediction: Texas 72 – OU 64
Projected Starting Lineup