Big-12 play continues for two teams that surprisingly kicked off conference play with a loss. Texas, of a loss at home to Oklahoma, travels to Stillwater to battle Oklahoma State that is coming off of a really tough road loss to a good Kansas State team. Oklahoma State has the edge in this matchup and should move to even up their conference mark with a win. Texas is a 14.5-point underdog on the road against the #11th-ranked team in the nation.
Like just about every year, Texas is an especially tough team to figure out. The Longhorns have talent. And they have shown promise with flashes of brilliance at points this season. UT has won on the road against Temple and North Carolina but have also been smoked by Michigan State and suffered loses like their last one at home against the Sooners. Overall though, I like the roster Texas has put together and it gives me reason to believe it will compete in this game with Oklahoma State. The squad also figures to be pretty darn good next season (not to get ahead of things) with a nucleus of young talent that doesn’t include a single senior. Jonathan Holmes is Texas’ best offensive player that has kind of taken over for Mic Kabongo (when he played). Holmes is a long wing player with good natural offensive ability and superior athleticism. Javan Felix is a level-headed guard with good instincts. Felix isn’t the best scorer out there, as he scores the ball somewhat inefficiently but he is still key to the offense leading the team as the undisputed point guard. Isaiah Taylor rounds out the guard combination and Cameron Ridley is the talented center on the block. Ridley is ultimately the key to upsetting Oklahoma State – as is the opponent’s big man just about every time Oklahoma State plays.
We all know about Oklahoma State by now. A superior backcourt led by All-World collegiate player, Marcus Smart. LeBryan Nash and Markel Brown in addition to Phil Forte give the Cowboys what is widely considered the best guard corps in the country.
This matchup will be decided much more by how Texas plays as opposed to an Oklahoma State team that is rather consistent at this point in its development. Look for the ‘State guards to pressure the young Texas opponents. If Texas is able to weather an early storm in Stillwater look for the ‘Horns to hang around and make this one a lightly-contested game right around double-digits.
Free Pick: Texas +14.5