Texas A&M (20-5, 7-4) at Oklahoma State (16-9, 4-7) – Saturday 8 p.m. ESPNU
OKLAHOMA STATE: The Cowboys are in the midst of a very difficult stretch of games, and Saturday’s is winnable. Their offense has been lacking of late. They have scored fewer than 60 points in five of their seven conference losses. What’s the problem?
They have been dreadful shooting the three. To their credit, at least they don’t try a ton of them, but shooting under 30% means the shot is killing you. They also don’t rebound particularly well.
JP Olukemi had nice games in back-to-back wins against Missouri and Oklahoma, but he’s not offered much in the last two games. His big games early in conference play showed how much better the Cowboys can be when he plays well and takes attention off Marshall Moses and Keiton Page.
(Darrell Williams was suspended because he faces felony rape and assault charges. He had been playing quite well, but he obviously will not be around for the immediate future.)
Oklahoma State, at 16-9, needs several more wins to get serious consideration from the NCAA Tournament committee. This would be a great one, as A&M is very likely to make the tournament.TEXAS A&M: The Aggies have played their recent games close, as the last four were all within five points. (They have won three straight, holding off Iowa State earlier in the week.)
A&M doesn’t need this win as desperately as Ok. State does, but it would still be nice to keep pace with Baylor and Missouri. A bye in the conference tournament is probably not that big of a deal, but winning in Kansas City will definitely improve a team’s seed, and a bye makes that a bit easier.
Balance is an asset to help separate good teams from average ones, and Texas A&M exemplifies this. I could see the Aggies getting a big game from Nathan Walkup, BJ Holmes or Khris Middleton.
On the road, this game isn’t going to be comfortable for Texas A&M. The Cowboys probably have to win this game to make the tournament as an at-large, despite the number of mediocre teams on the bubble. I like Texas A&M because Oklahoma State doesn’t have Darrell Williams any longer as an offensive option, and Texas A&M has shown they can win close games.
Texas A&M 67, Oklahoma State 61