The No. 23 Oklahoma Sooners have lost four consecutive games and will look to turn things around on Saturday as the Texas Longhorns roll into the LNC. Texas won the first matchup in Austin two weeks ago by a score of 79-74.
Oklahoma (16-9, 6-7) vs. Texas (15-11, 5-8): 11 a.m. CT, Lloyd Noble Center (11,562)
Commentary: Bob Wischusen and Dick Vitale
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa)
Line: Oklahoma -6.5 (as of 8 a.m. CT)
My favorite OU-Texas basketball moment
Oklahoma has historically been quite successful at home against Texas (28-11 in Norman), but one of the greatest moments in the basketball rivalry came two years ago with the score tied in the waning moments. If any player from OU’s history could have the ball in that situation, who would you choose?
- Oklahoma had a golden opportunity to pick up a coveted Big 12 road win two weeks ago in Austin, but poor shooting, mediocre defense and generally sloppy play ultimately doomed the Sooners down the stretch. Since then, the teams have combined to go 0-6.
- In their most recent outing, the Longhorns dropped a double-OT thriller to Baylor in Austin. Texas shot only 36 percent , and the usually-efficient Mo Bamba went 7-17 from the floor.
- Speaking of Bamba, the projected lottery pick is now the team’s leading scorer at 13.7 PPG. The long and athletic Bamba also leads the Big 12 in rebounds at 10.8 per contest and also ranks 12th nationally in that category. On top of that Bamba ranks 2nd nationally in blocks (4.1 BPG).
- The block record - After having a rough outing against Texas Tech on Tuesday, Khadeem Lattin is still one block shy of Al Beal’s program record of 230 blocked shots for a career. Lattin ranks 2nd in the conference in blocks with 2.2 per game.
- The solid play of Christian James - There hasn’t been much for Oklahoma fans to cheer about lately, but we can all appreciate the way in which Christian James has played. His assertiveness on offense have led to career scoring highs in back-to-back games. His most recent performance at Texas Tech was probably the best of his career, as he finished 8-14 from the floor and 4-8 from deep. James has also been Oklahoma’s most energetic player during its rough stretch, and his teammates need to try to match that energy and intensity if they intend to turn things around.
- Trae Young’s struggles - Trae Young, who is one of the most skilled shooters at any level of basketball, is 1-17 from three-point range in Oklahoma’s last two games. Much of it has to do with the nature of the attempts, as Young has pulled up from well beyond the arc on a large number of these attempts. He often does that when the offense struggles to find a rhythm, but it can sort of become the cause of that lack of rhythm when these types of attempts are too frequent.
Oklahoma is now 6-7 in conference play, and a trip to Lawrence awaits this team after Saturday’s game. Needless to say, OU can’t really afford to lose this one of they have hopes of finishing with a respectable conference record. This team surely recognizes how crucial this one is, so I expect them to come out with a good amount of intensity in front of the home crowd. I think Trae Young will play a cleaner game and actually get a decent amount of help from his supporting cast.
Oklahoma 89, Texas 79