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OU/Texas Preview - Game Thread

GAME SPECIFICS
Date: Saturday, Feb. 24
Tip: 3:01 p.m. CST
TV: ESPN Plus (KOCB 34/Cox 11 in OKC; KJRH 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa), ESPNU, ESPN Full Court
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (Flagship KOKC 1520 AM in OKC); Yahoo! Broadcast (subscription)
Series: OU leads 45-23

Burnt Orange Nation Preview

TEXAS PROJECTED STARTERS
F  5   Damion James (6-7, 227, Fr., 7.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
F  35  Kevin Durant (6-9, 225, Fr., 24.4 ppg, 11.4 rpg)
G  3   A.J. Abrams (5-10, 155, So., 15.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
G  14  D.J. Augustin (5-11, 175, Fr., 14.3 ppg, 6.7 apg)
G  24  Justin Mason (6-2, 185, Fr., 9.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS
F  24  Nate Carter (6-6, 220, Sr., 11.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
C  30  Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 11.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg)
G  2   Michael Neal (6-3, 198, Sr., 10.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
G  3   Bobby Maze (6-3, 175, Fr., 5.6 ppg, 2.2 apg)
G  15  David Godbold (6-5, 215, Jr., 7.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg)

Forget the fact that he is a Texas Longhorn. Kevin Durant is the reason you need to be at this game. Sure we'll cheer the Sooners on and pray, that's right I'm afraid we are going to need Divine intervention, for a victory but Durant it a once in a lifetime player. Players like him don't come around very often and my bet is that we won't see him in Norman again.

Sooner Scoop
The good news is that the Sooners are just struggling and not quitting. There is no questioning their heart or hustle. They just don't have the ability to make enough plays to be consistent. Longar Longar seems to have performed another disappearing act and teams have figured out Nate Carter. These guys are Oklahoma's leading scorers and when they are shut down the so are the Sooners. Despite performances like David Godbold's 20 points against A&M and Michael Neal's 18 against Missouri OU still lacks the punch needed to win without Longar and Carter being consistent.

Scouting the Longhorns
Kevin Durant, my pick for conference player of the year, scores 24.4 points per game and grabs 11.4 rebounds. A.J. Abrams averages 15.2 points per game and leads the Big 12 with his 3.5 3-pointers per game. D.J. Augustin is averaging 14.3 points and leads the conference with 6.7 assists per game. Justin Mason and Damion James average 9.1 and 7.4 points per game, respectively.  

Outlook and Prediction
When you are playing for pride and an NIT birth a win over your arch rival goes a long way. The Sooners are running out of opportunities for that gigantic home win. We thought they had it with Oklahoma State or Texas Tech but both of those teams now seem to be playing for the same things the Sooners are.

It will take a monster performance to overcome the monster known as Kevin Durant. He will create a horrible match-up issue for the Sooners and could single handedly make the game turn ugly. However, this is a Longhorns team that has struggled on the road which makes anything a possibility. Unfortunately I'm just not a believer right now. Longhorns win 72-57.