Red River Rivalry Part II Hoops Preview

AUSTIN, Texas — Sooners Illustrated breaks down OU's contest against the Texas Longhorns Wednesday evening at the Erwin Center.

Overview:

The Sooners (14-14, 4-12 Big 12) once again look to bounce back from a loss as they play in their final road game of the season against the Longhorns (18-11, 8-8 Big 12). OU is coming off a 70-60 defeat at Baylor where it led most of the first half and competed until late, while Texas recently won at Texas Tech 71-67 in overtime. The Sooners have just one victory all conference season on the road, while the Longhorns are 5-3 at their home arena.

Sooner Notes:

--OU holds a 47-33 all-time advantage in the series, but has lost six straight games at the Erwin Center despite being 16-17 overall there.

--A win for the Sooners would be their 15th, surpassing last year's total of 14.

--The Sooners have actually made more field goals than their opponents in five of their losses, including two of their last three setbacks (24-20 vs. Texas, 23-21 at Baylor).

--Guard Steven Pledger and forwards Andrew Fitzgerald and Romero Osby account for 64 percent of OU's scoring in conference play (664 of 1,035).

--Big 12 leading-assist man Sam Grooms has led the Sooners in each of their last 13 times out and 22 of 28 games this year.

Looking at the Longhorns:

--They are tied for fifth place in the lead with Kansas State, winners of five of their last seven.

--Texas ranks fifth in scoring (69.8 points per game), seventh in field goal percentage (42.1 percent), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (33.6 percent) and fourth in free throw percentage (74.2 percent).

--Guard J'Covan Brown leads the Big 12 in scoring with 19.2 points per game.

--Guard Sheldon McClellan ranks second on the team with 11.2 points per contest.

--Head coach Rick Barnes is in his 14th year as Texas head coach and owns a 340-134 record.

Projected Starters:

OU:

F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 247, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

F Romero Osby (6-8, 232, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg)

G Sam Grooms (6-1, 203, Jr., 6.5 ppg, 6.1 apg)

G Steven Pledger (6-2, 205, Jr., 17.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 198, So., 8.5 ppg, 4.2 apg)

Texas:

F Alexis Wangmene (6-7, 241, Sr., 4.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

C Clint Chapman (6-10, 245, Sr., 7.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

G Julien Lewis (6-3, 190, Fr., 7.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

G Myck Kabongo (6-1, 169, Fr., 10.4 ppg, 5.1 apg)

G J'Covan Brown (6-1, 197, Jr., 19.5 ppg, 3.8 apg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

The Sooners have been less than impressive on the road this year, much like the previous couple seasons, and there's no reason to believe that will change against the Longhorns. They were competitive in the last meeting and possibly should have won, letting that five-point halftime lead slip away. But Texas should win this one without much of a problem. The margin will be about 10 or so. (Big 12 Prediction Record: 9-7)

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