Expectations still remain high for Texas basketball as they enter a key battle on Jan. 15 against the struggling Oklahoma State Cowboys.
A chance to get a winning streak going for the Texas basketball program exists heading into a key Jan. 15 showdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Texas needs this win to move to a .500 record in conference play four games in.
Oklahoma State looked to have a solid foundation built heading into their Big 12 slate. But that foundation quickly crumbled as they started out their Big 12 slate with a 0-3 record. Head coach Mike Boynton is seeing his NCAA Tournament hopes dwindling rather fast and the Texas Longhorns basketball program can further their struggles on Wednesday night.
Head coach Shaka Smart and his Longhorns are coming off a solid 64-50 home win at the Frank Erwin over the stingy Kansas State Wildcats, on Jan. 11. They have a short turnaround before traveling to Stillwater, OK, to take on Oklahoma State on Jan. 15 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Despite the poor start to their Big 12 slate, Oklahoma State is almost guaranteed to try and play as tough as they can in front of their home crowd. Oklahoma State never really makes it easy for Texas to grab a win on the hardwood or gridiron in Stillwater.
But the way that each team is playing heading into this game should favor the men in burnt orange. Texas quickly grabbed a big win over Kansas State last weekend to salvage a bad 0-2 start in Big 12 play. But the two losses for the Longhorns came at the hands of the Baylor Bears (who could soon be the nation’s No. 1 team) and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Those two losses aren’t the worst that a Big 12 team could start off their conference slate with. It isn’t near as bad as the offensive woes Oklahoma State has coming into this game. Oklahoma State has yet to score more than 50 points in any of their three losses in Big 12 play. In fact, their losses to the TCU Horned Frogs and West Virginia Mountaineers in their last two games saw them mount 40 and 41 points respectively.
All signs point to the Longhorns rolling over Oklahoma State on Jan. 15. Oklahoma State doesn’t have the answers on offense right now beyond senior guard/wing Lindy Waters III. Even standout point guard Isaac Likekele isn’t doing much on the offensive end for the Pokes right now.
Meanwhile, Texas is still getting big efforts from junior guard Matt Coleman (team-leading 14 points vs. Kansas State) in the scoring department and junior center Jericho Sims in rebounding (team-leading eight boards vs. Kansas State). Texas should be able to roll to pick up their 12th win of the season against Oklahoma State and their second win in a row in Big 12 play.
This is a good chance for Smart to finally get off and running toward an NCAA Tournament berth during his tenure on the Forty Acres.