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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball: Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech Preview and Game Thread

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The Sooners have lost four straight games. Will Texas Tech make it five?

One thing that we can agree on about this Sooners team this season is that they are consistent. Consistently inconsistent. With a current losing streak of four games, Oklahoma is threatening to be Kruger's worst team since arriving in Norman. Being last in the Big 12, Oklahoma does not appear to have any dignity worth trying to save. The only hope is to snag a commitment from highly-sought recruit Trae Young. Although that is out of Oklahoma's hands, something that is not is beating Texas Tech twice this season.

How to watch

The Sooners head to Lubbock to take on the Red Raiders, game tipping at 6:00 PM CT. It will be televised on ESPNU, and we invite you to join in on the game thread in the comment section below.

Consistently Inconsistent

As stated above, Oklahoma's most damaging attribute is their lack of ability to play a complete game. The only time that has occurred against a quality opponent this season was against West Virginia. Out of Oklahoma's 13 losses, eight of them have cocluded with Oklahoma losing by six points or less. In nine of these losses, OU has held a lead at one point in the second half. Against the indestructible Kansas Jayhawks, the Oklahoma Sooners led by nine points at the half. This does not happen to bad teams. Bad teams do not compete in every game. Bad teams do not continue to fight despite losing continuously. It is evident that inconsistency is a much more appropriate way to label this team currently.

The opponent

Texas Tech is sitting at an average 15-7 record, with a seventh-place position in the Big 12 conference. Some of the notable wins for the Red Raiders come against two ranked opponents: no. 7 West Virginia and no. 25 Kansas State. They stuck with no. 5 Baylor Bears, only losing by four points. Both TTU and OU have played Auburn this season, with both teams losing to the Tigers. How have the Red Raiders gotten the job done this season? Defense.

Although the Texas Tech offense is no joke — with four guys averaging double figures in points — the defense is what has kept the engine pumping. They currently are 4th in the country for opponent total rebounds per game, 14th in opponent assists per game and 17th in opponent assists to turnover ratio. Although they are 29th in total rebounds per game, they are limiting their opponents to minimal rebounds. This category may be crucial for the Sooners today. If they can somehow control the boards on both ends, they may be able to crash the Red Raiders’ party.

Leaders

For Texas Tech, Keenan Evans and Zach Smith are the ones that Oklahoma needs to worry about. Evans is averaging 14.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Smith is contributing with 13.1 points and 7.6 rebounds. Maintaining these two will be a challenge, but also important to stopping the Red Raiders from producing.

For Oklahoma, it is a little difficult to say who is leading. If you looked at strictly statistics, you would say Jordan Woodard. However, Woodard has been out of synch recently. The man that everyone should pay attention to is Kameron McGusty. Although he had some crucial mistakes last game, he is on a roll right now. He is only averaging 10 points on the season, but his production since Big 12 play began has skyrocketed. Rashard Odomes and Kristian Doolittle are other players that could have very bright futures. You would not get that from a stat line however, as Doolittle is the fifth-leading scorer on the team with 8.8 points per game. Odomes is tied with McGusty with 10 points per game on the season.

Prediction

The train for the Sooners has derailed once again. With a win over West Virginia, it appeared that Kruger had conducted his team into a more positive direction. With a four game losing streak, it is apparent that OU is struggling immensely. I think that will continue today. Texas Tech will come in prepared, looking for revenge, and will have the home court advantage as well.

Texas Tech 75, Oklahoma 65