In another home matchup, Texas looks to bounce back against a struggling Oklahoma State team. With both teams in the bottom half of the conference, this is a fight for relevance in the Big 12. Oklahoma State is stone cold, losing each of their last four games, while Texas is continuing their roller coaster of a season.
In this Big 12 matchup, here are the four things to look for:
- Consistency. – Texas has struggled with consistency. Just as they were beginning a new win streak, they could not transfer their strong first half performance into the second half, suffering a loss to the conference-leading Kansas State Wildcats. After going 3-2 in their last five, Texas is presented with another opportunity to get themselves on the right track against a struggling Oklahoma State team. But can the Longhorns flush their 61-58 loss to the Cowboys from early January? This is an important game for the psyche of the Longhorns, especially coming off a tough loss at home.
- Three-Point Shots. – Oklahoma State leads the conference in 3-point field goal percentage at 38.1%, while Texas only converts 33.0% of their three-point field goals. Although Oklahoma State has lost 7 out of their last 8 games, they could get hot from behind the arc and make life difficult for the Longhorns. It will be important for Texas to defend the three-point shot, as they allow the second highest three-point FG percentage in the conference (35.1%).
- Feeding Jaxson Hayes. – The UT freshman has only scored 9 points in each of Texas’ last two matchups. He averages 10.5 points per game and is not getting the ball as often as he could. While Texas did utilize him against Kansas State, it seemed that his usage was spread out inconsistently without much thought. Even with the opportunities he had, the team was not varying the looks for Hayes. The ideas Texas had for Hayes were predictable for Kansas State, making it tough for him to convert (3-5 from the field). Hayes has also averaged less rebounds per game than usual in his last three games, following up the 9 rebounds against Kansas and the 8 rebounds against Iowa State with only 4, 3 and 4 rebounds against Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas State, respectively. It will be important for Texas to create more open looks for Hayes, as he has some of the best potential on the Texas team. This matchup against Oklahoma State will create a great opportunity for his success.
- Impact of Courtney Ramey. – With Courtney Ramey receiving the Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week award, he is the hot hand Texas wants to continue to feed the ball to. Although Ramey had his lowest FG percentage since the Iowa State game, he still made an impact against Kansas State, scoring 10 points (all in the first half). He still managed to gather 6 rebounds, and therefore is displaying his ability to make an impact in many aspects of the game. Against Oklahoma State, look for Ramey to have a strong, well-rounded game.
Texas tips off at 12 PM CST today at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Tune into the game on CBS.
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