After being put through a gauntlet of games in a short span of time, the Oklahoma Sooners have had some time off to say the least. As Lon Kruger and Co. travel north to Oklahoma City to take on the Texas A&M Aggies, it will be their first game in 11 days.
However, this isn't Kruger's first team to be playing in the All-College Classic. In 1995, the Florida Gators traveled to Oklahoma City with Kruger as their head coach. Back then, it was a tournament format and the Gators came away with the crown. Kruger has one win against the Houston Cougars at the Classic in the now, double-header format. How will his Sooners fair in their 60th consecutive appearance?
There is a bit of history between these two teams who resided in the same conference just a year ago. Last season, the Sooners and Aggies split their regular season match-ups. The two were pitted against one another for a third time, a game Texas A&M subsequently won, in the first round of the Big XII Tournament days after they met in the regular season. The loss dashed Oklahoma's hope at landing a post season berth.
Currently, Oklahoma boasts a 29-10 all-time record against Texas A&M with the Aggies winning 9 of the last 13 meetings.
Now calling the SEC home, Texas A&M has been picked to finish 9th out of 14 teams in the conference. They are currently 7-1 with the only loss coming to Saint Louis, a team Oklahoma lost to last season. While the Aggies are putting up tremendous numbers offensively, they are doing enough to get wins at 68.6 points per game on 47.1% shooting. Where they could give the Sooners fits is in three point land.
Oklahoma has often been seen with suspect perimeter defense. While the defense has improved, it is still an area of concern. The Aggies are connecting on 38% of their attempts from beyond the arc. If the Sooners close out game continues to give opponents wide open looks, Texas A&M could have a field day behind Elston Turner.
E. Turner is a senior guard who has led this team in scoring five out of the eight times they have played. He is averaging 16.3 points per game and is a serious shooting threat. This season alone, E. Turner is blazing the nets from range while making 43.1% of his three-point attempts.
To compliment what E. Turner is putting up offensively is Ray Turner who is averaging 12.8 points per game. However, R. Turner has excelled not only in rebounding but also in getting to the free throw line. It is the physicality of the senior that is noteworthy. This is a kid who has made 46 appearances at the charity stripe in eight games and for big man is shooting a high percentage at 73.9%.
On the defensive side of things, Texas A&M is limiting opponents to 39.8% shooting and 60.5 points per game. If the Sooners want to be victorious they will need to come out ahead of these numbers. The game will be at 1 PM (CST) on Saturday, December 15th and can be caught on ESPNU.