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Oklahoma MBB Opponent Watch: Texas Longhorns

In a must win game, the Oklahoma Sooners host bitter rival, the Texas Longhorns. There is a lot to lose with the game as Oklahoma is looking to get back on track. Across the Red River, Texas is looking for any sort of traction in Big 12 play.

Cooper Neill

After saturday's loss to the Kansas St. Wildcats, the Oklahoma Sooners are hoping to get back on track as they host a bitter rival in the Texas Longhorns. This is a game being labeled as a must win for both squads as the Longhorns have struggled in league play. On the flip side, the Sooners are looking to make a run for a tournament bid. A loss to this Texas team would send them 3 steps back after making strides from last season to this one.

You will never catch an Oklahoma fan who does not relish in the notion that the Longhorns are struggling. To kick of conference play UT found themselves in two overtime games. The first against an up-and-down Baylor team and the second against another struggling team in West Virginia. In both cases, the Longhorns fell to their opponent. Texas is on a 4-game losing streak all in conference as they stand 0-4 and 8-9 on the season with a loss to Chaminade.

While some of trouble may be due to the loss of vocal leader and scorer Myck Kabongo for breaking NCAA regulations, there is no excuse for the rest of the talent on the roster not to perform.

Leading the way in Kabongo's absence has been Sheldon McClellan who has averaged 14.5 points per contest. McClellan will be looking to duplicate his performance against Kansas as he finished with a game high 18 points. He shoots 80.6% from the charity stripe and knows how to get there in a hurry. On the season, McClellan has shot 98 free throws.

Behind him is Julien Lewis who is adding in 11.8 points of his own. No other players are averaging double digits in scoring.

Where the Longhorns really excel is on the glass. Ranking 26th in the nation, Texas is pulling down 39.8 boards per game. They are led by Jonathan Holmes in the effort as he grabs 7.4 rebounds a game. While the Longhorns have less than impressed on the offensive side of things, there are tops in the nation defensively.

Texas is allowing their opponents to shoot a mere 34.5% from the field on the season. On top of that, they are holding opponents to 24.8% shooting from 3-point land. Oklahoma will have their work cut out for them offensively. Look for the game to tip off around 8:30 PM CST on ESPN for Big Monday!