Hoops preview: OSU rematch

Kendall Yancy. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Kendall Yancy. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Date: Saturday, February 11
Time: 3:00 pm Central
Television: ESPN2
Location: Stillwater, OK (Gallagher-Iba Arena)

Big 12 Rematch Game:
Texas won the first matchup in Austin, 82-79. You can find the full OSU preview here.

Texas once again will search for their first win away from the Erwin Center when the take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater Saturday afternoon.

Texas Keys: Offense

Second chance points. The Longhorns are 9-2 this season when scoring more second chance points than their opponents. And Texas has only won 10 games this season, so… The problem is that OSU leads the Big 12 in defensive rebounding percentage. That being said, Allen’s playing like the best big man in the league, Cleare’s playing the best basketball of his career and even Yancy has started to pick up his level. Can Texas generate enough second chance opportunities to keep up with an OSU team that ranks eighth, nationally, in points per game?

Empty possessions. Nothing much to this one other than they can’t afford them. Not against a team with the firepower of OSU. Not on the road. Empty possessions have doomed the Longhorns in every road loss they’ve played this season. Texas’ road point per game average is 61. At home, 76. If OSU scores as much as they have most of the season, Texas is going to have to limit their empty possessions.

Texas Keys: Defense

Roach/Jones on Evans. While Evan’s point total in Austin was right on track for him, the Longhorns forced OSU’s sophomore playmaker into five turnovers compared to four assists. It was his high total for TOs on the season and significant reason why Texas got out to the big lead they did against the Cowboys before holding them off at the end. While those numbers may be unsustainable, Texas’ athletic point guard duo’s ability to limit Evan’s effectiveness would be huge as he’s OSU’s best option to create offense as a facilitator as Forte and Carroll are best when they can be shooters off the catch.

The Endgame

The Texas Tale of Two Teams (sorry) is a frustrating one.

Home wins over West Virginia and Iowa State. Road losses at Georgia and TCU.

What to do? What to do?

I don’t believe the Longhorns are going to go winless on the road this season and this game is as good of a chance as any for Texas to breakthrough.

I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

Prediction: OSU 80 – Texas 71

Projected Starting Lineup
Roach
Jones
Davis
Allen
Cleare