OSU-A&M: Preview

Oklahoma State goes on the road for one of its final three regular season away games when the Cowboys make the trip to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday night. OSU is coming off a big 79-67 victory over 16th-ranked Oklahoma in an ESPN Big Monday game at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. Texas A&M improved its record to 15-5 with an impressive 91-63 victory over Missouri last Saturday.

Oklahoma State enters Saturday's road game at Texas A&M at 18-3 overall and 8-2 in the Big 12. Texas A&M is 15-5 overall and 4-5 in Big 12 action. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net Southwest by announcers Greg Lucas (play-by-play) and Jim Haller (color). Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. (CST)

The Cowboys are ranked 10th in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 rankings that were released this past Monday. Texas A&M is not ranked but received eight points in the Associated Press poll, and would thus be ranked 38th in the nation. In the latest RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) that is used to help determine seedings for the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys are ranked fifth and the Aggies are ranked 84th as of last Sunday.

Oklahoma State leads the all-time series with A&M, 23-8, although the Aggies own a 9-6 advantage in College Station. The Cowboys, however, have won the last nine meetings. OSU is 15-1 since the Big 12 was formed in 1996-97. The only OSU loss was on Jan. 22, 2000, when the Aggies handed the Cowboys a 64-59 loss in College Station. The Cowboys have won the last nine games of the series by an average of nearly 31 points per game. However, the games in College Station have been much closer with OSU winning seven by an average of 14 points since the Big 12 was formed.

Oklahoma State has won four in a row since head coach Eddie Sutton inserted freshman guard JamesOn Curry into the starting lineup. Curry, who tied a career high with 22 points in the Cowboys' victory over the OU Sooners on Monday night, is averaging 16.5 since joining the starting lineup. In those four games (victories over OU, Baylor, Kansas State and Colorado), the Cowboys have averaged 85. 2 points per game with a plus-17 scoring margin. They are shooting 53.6 percent, including 44-of-76 (57.9 percent) from beyond the three-point line. Forward Joey Graham (18.6 points) continues to lead the Big 12 in scoring, with point guard John Lucas (17.6) close behind in third. Lucas also leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio (3.00) and three-pointers made per game (3.00), is third in three-point percentage (41.7 percent) and fifth in assists per game (4.57). Senior forward Ivan McFarlin continues to move up the school history charts. He is currently 12th on the the school's all-time scoring chart with 1,375 points and will pass Bob Mattick for 11th place if he scores four points against the Aggies. Odus Holder is 10th on the list, just 53 points ahead of McFarlin entering Saturday's game. McFarlin is also fifth on the career rebounding chart with 888, and will surpass Holder for fourth with 15 more boards. All of OSU's 18 victories this season have come by double figures.

Texas A&M, led by first-year coach Billy Gillispie, has already won eight more games than it did last season (7-21), making it one of the most improved teams in the country. Gillispie's 15-5 start is the best by a first-year coach in A&M history, and he is chasing the record of 18 for most wins by a first-year coach (Shelby Metcalf in 1963-64). The Aggies are led by the trio of forward Antoine Wright, guard Acie Law and center Joseph Jones, who have combined to average 43.1 points and 18.0 rebounds peer game. That's 56.9 percent of the Aggies' scoring and 51.1 percent of the rebounding. The Aggies are 9-1 when all three score in double figures, with the only loss coming by a narrow 65-60 margin at Kansas. Wright, a 6-7 junior, leads the team in scoring with a 17.2 average, which ranks seventh in the Big 12. He is one of the conference's most versatile players and ranks among the Big 12's top 15 in scoring, rebounding (13th, 6.4), field goal percentage (10th, .484), three-point percentage (2nd, .429) and three-point field goals (10th, 1.95). The 6-9 Jones is a candidate for Big 12 Freshman of the Year as he leads the Aggies in rebounding (7.4) and is third in scoring (12.5). A&M is 14-1 at Reed Arena this season, the most home victories in school history.

F: 14 Joey Graham (6-7, 225, Sr., 18.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
F: 23 Ivan McFarlin (6-8, 240, Sr., 12.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
G: 15 John Lucas (5-11, 165, Sr., 17.6 ppg, 4.6 apg)
G: 20 Daniel Bobik (6-5, 210, Sr., 6.6 ppg, 3.6 apg)
G: 24 JamesOn Curry (6-3, 190, Fr., 7.9 ppg, 2.2 apg)

G: 21 Stephen Graham (6-6, 215, Sr., 7.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
F: 32 David Monds (6-8, 232, So., 1.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg)
F: 42 Terrence Crawford (6-6, 230, Sr., 4.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg)

C: 30 Joseph Jones (6-9, 260, Fr., 12.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg)
F: 10 Chris Walker (6-5, 215, Jr., 4.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
F: 21 Antoine Wright (6-7, 200, Jr., 17.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
G: 22 Dominique Kirk (6-3, 170, Fr., 7.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.5 apg)
G: 1 Acie Law (6-3, 180, So., 13.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.4 apg)

G: 15 Bobby Leach (6-0, 185, Sr., 7.3 ppg, 3.2 apg)
F: 4 Edjuan Green (6-7, 230, Jr., 4.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
F: 42 Marlon Pompey (6-8, 225, So., 4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

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