Aggies host Oklahoma St for Acie Law Day

The No. 16-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (20-4, 6-3 Big 12) will be seeking their sixth win in a row when they host the Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-12, 3-7 Big 12) for Saturday's Acie Law Day. James Anderson (left) has scored in double figures in 6 of the last seven games. Tony Hooten provides an indepth preview of the Aggies-Cowboys clash.

The No. 16-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (20-4, 6-3 Big 12) will be seeking their sixth win in a row when they host the Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-12, 3-7 Big 12) in a regionally televised contest.

Texas A&M will celebrate “Acie Law Day” on Saturday in conjunction with the basketball game against Oklahoma State at Reed Arena. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

Texas A&M has won five games in a row and is coming off a 77-69 win at Missouri last Saturday.

Oklahoma State is coming off a 93-83 win at home over Baylor on Wednesday night, but has lost 7 of their last 9 games.

My how things change in three weeks.

When Texas A&M travelled to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State on January 26th, the Aggies had lost three Big 12 games in a row, including a 5-overtime loss to Baylor, had a 1-3 Big 12 record, and were still looking for their first road win of the season.

In that first clash with Oklahoma State, the Aggies escaped Stillwater with a hard-fought 59-56 win.

Josh Carter led a balanced Aggie attack with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Joseph Jones had 11 points and 8 rebounds. Dominique Kirk had 11 points, while Donald Sloan picked up 7 rebounds to go along with his 7 points. James Anderson scored 15 points for Oklahoma State.

Now just three weeks later, the Aggies have won 5 games in a row, including 3 road wins and a win over No. 10 Texas, and are sitting pretty with a 20-win season and a 6-3 Big 12 record.

Texas A&M won both regular season encounters with Oklahoma State last season by big margins, 67-49 in College Station and 66-46 in Stillwater, but Oklahoma State defeated the Aggies 57-56 in the Big 12 tourney.

Oklahoma State posted a 22-13 record last season. After beating A&M, the Cowboys were defeated by Texas 69-64 in the Big 12 semifinals game and then lost 67-64 in the first round of the post-season NIT tournament.

Oklahoma State lost its two leading scorer from last season, forward Mario Boggan and guard JamesOn Curry. Senior Boggan to graduation and junior Curry as a a 2nd round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls.

Oklahoma State has struggled to find the consistent production to replace Boggan and Curry.

Oklahoma State starters are expected to be:

Freshman guard James Anderson (6-6, 195) (pictured above): averaging 14.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 32 minutes a game . Anderson has scored in double figures in 6 of the last seven games. Anderson had 17 points and 6 rebounds in the Cowboys' loss to Texas, scored 17 points in Wednesday's win over Baylor, scored 16 points in the Cowboys' win over Colorado, and scored 15 in the first Aggie game.

Senior forward Marcus Dove (6-9, 215): averaging 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 34 minutes a game. Dove had 17 points and 9 rebounds in the Cowboys' loss to Iowa State, 10 points and 6 rebounds in the Cowboys' win over Texas Tech, and 13 points and 4 rebounds in Wednesday's win over Baylor..

Junior guard Byron Eaton (5-11, 213): averaging 10.4 points. 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 28 minutes a game.Eaton had 25 points and 5 rebounds in Wednesday's win over Baylor, had 14 points and 8 rebounds in the Cowboys' loss to Texas, and scored 18 points in the loss to Oklahoma.

Sophomore guard Obi Muonelo (6-5, 225): averaging 9.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 25 minutes a game. Muonelo came off the bench in the Cowboys' win over Texas Tech to score 21 points, and has started the last five games, scoring 25 points in the loss to Oklahoma and 13 in Wednesday's win over Baylor.

Freshman center Ibrahima Thomas 6-11, 238): averaging 6 points and 4 rebounds 16 minutes a game. Thomas has had great games against Texas Tech, with 16 points and 8 rebounds in the Cowboys' win and 16 points and 10 rebounds in their loss.

First of the bench for Oklahoma State should be:

Junior guard Terrel Harris (6-5, 195): averaging 10.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in 31 minutes a game. Harris had 11 points and 9 rebounds in the Cowboys' loss to Texas, scored 17 points in the Cowboys' loss to Iowa State, and had 23 points and 7 rebounds in the Cowboy's loss to Baylor. After started much of the season, Harris has come off the bench the last five games, scoring in double figures in three of those, including 16 points against Kansas State.

Freshman forward Anthony Brown (6-6, 225): averaging 4.5 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes a game.

Freshman forward Martavius Adams (6-8, 255): averaging 3 points and 2 rebounds in 12 minutes a game.

To get a better feel for just how good Oklahoma State is, the Cowboys are rated No. 98 (of 341) in Jeff Sagarin's Basketball Ratings. , rising from No. 104 when the Aggies first met the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State's most impressive games this season have been a 25-point 96-71 home win over Washington (No. 70), a 19-point 74-55 home win over Texas Tech (No. 64), a close 63-61 road loss to Texas (No. 10), and Wednesday night's 10-point win over Baylor (No. 36).

Oklahoma State's most disappointing losses have been a 30-point drubbung at home by Marquette (No. 15), an 82-73 loss at North Texas (No. 157), and a 73-66 loss to Iowa State (No. 119).

Texas A&M saw their Sagarin rating drop from No. 17 to No. 36 after the Tech, K-State, and Baylor losses, and now back to No. 17 after the Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Missouri wins.

Texas A&M's most impressive wins have been its 17-point win over Texas (Sagarin No. 10), its 23-point win over Ohio St (No. 31), last Saturday's 8-point win over Oklahoma (No. 39), and its 14-point win over Washington (No. 70). A&M's four losses have been by 11 points to Arizona (No. 22), by 15 points to Texas Tech (No. 64), by 21 points to Kansas State (No. 29), and the 5-overtime loss to Baylor (No. 36). Other than Texas Tech (No. 64), the Aggies have not lost to anyone rated worse than No. 36.

Texas A&M and Oklahoma State have now faced ten common opponents - Washington, Oral Roberts, LSU, Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas State, and Iowa State. A&M is 7-3 vs these common opponents while Oklahoma State is 5-7 against these common opponents.

Texas A&M is expected to start the same lineup as it has for its last seven games: junior forward Josh Carter (6-7, 200), senior forward Joseph Jones (6-9, 255), sophomore guard Donald Sloan (6-3, 205), senior guard Dominique Kirk (6-4, 185), and sophomore forward Bryan Davis (6-9, 250).

Josh Carter leads the Aggies in scoring with 13.3 points a game and has scored in double figures in 17 of the last 18 games. Carter has hit 57 three-pointers and ranks second in career three-point accuracy in Big 12 history at 43.2 percent. In the Aggies big win over Texas, Carter led the Aggies with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Joseph Jones is averaging 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Jones was named MVP of the NIT Season-Tip-Off in November and scored a season-high 18 points with 6 rebounds in the win over Oklahoma. Jones ranks among the school’s career top 10 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, field goal percentage, steals, free throws and free throw attempts.

Donald Sloan is averaging 9.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists a game, and has averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists in the last five games. Sloan scored 21 points in last Saturday's win over Missouri.

Dominique Kirk is averaging 8.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists a game. Kirk owns the Big 12 record for consecutive starts with 120 and was a defensive All-American last year.

Bryan Davis has been arguably A&M's MVP this season. After coming off the bench the first 17 games of the season, Davis has now started the last 7 games. Davis now averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds a game in Big 12 play. Davis posted career highs in rebounding (30) and rebounding (14) against Baylor for his first career-double-double. Davis scored 13 points with a team-high 8 rebounds in the Aggies win over Oklahoma, followed that with 16 points and 7 rebounds in the win over Iowa State, and picked up his second double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in last Saturday's win over Missouri. Davis leads the team in blocks (30) and steals (24) and is third in rebounding (5.2). He is shooting .594 from the field in Big 12 play.

First off the bench and averaging over 20 minutes a game will be freshman center DeAndre Jordan (7-0, 260) and sophomore guard Derrick Roland (6-4, 190).

Jordan started the first 17 games of the season and is now averaging 9.0 points and 6.5 rebounds a game, while Roland is averaging 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Other Aggies who have seen significant playing time are sophomore forward Chinemelu Elonu (6-10, 235), true freshman guard B.J. Holmes (6-0, 175), true freshman forward Nathan Walkup (6-6, 195), and senior guard Beau Muhlbach (6-5, 205). Holmes has made 5-of-9 (.556) from three-point range in Big 12 play.

Acie Law will be introduced at halftime and his A&M jersey will be displayed in the rafters of Reed Arena.

Law became A&M’s first consensus All-American last season and won the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard. He led the Aggies to their first NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 27 years and a 27-7 record, the most wins in school history.

Law led a remarkable resurgence in A&M’ basketball program that ranks among the greatest turnarounds in college basketball history. The Aggies were 0-16 in the Big 12 in Law’ freshman season, but then posted three straight 20-win seasons and postseason appearances. A&M went to the NCAA Tournament in 2006 and 2007, the first back-to-back appearances in school history.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Acie,”A&M Coach Mark Turgeon said. “You can argue that no four-year player has ever had a bigger impact on the basketball program and the university. Acie helped the program become respected in the state of Texas and on a national level. Most importantly, he is a great young man who always represented Texas A&M well. He left here with his degree and always did things with great class.”

Law was taken with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, becoming the highest draft pick in A&M history. He has played in 36 games for the Hawks and leads all NBA rookies in assists.

Oklahoma State has lost 19 straight road games, dating back to February 4, 2006 when they defeated Kansas State in Manhattan. They lost at North Texas earlier this year, 82-73 as well.

It's been more than two years since the Cowboys have won on the road and they haven't really come close to a road win since Sean Sutton took over at the end of 2006.

Texas A&M is 15-1 at home this season and 49 of its last 53 games at Reed Arena

The Aggies have had a week to rest and prepare for Oklahoma State.

Both our Sagarin and common opponent analysis give the Aggies a huge edge.

Combine these factors and the added motivation of Acie Law Day, and we expect a big win for the Aggies on Saturday afternoon.

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