A Quick Note on Tonight's Game - OSU
Hey guys - do not forget that the Aggies take on OSU in Stillwater tonight on ESPN2 (HD) at 8:00.
I am not going to put together another full preview, but if you would like a refresher, take a look at the preview we put together before these two got together in January.
The personnel for each group has not changed, but the two teams are certainly heading in different directions.
Last time these two hooked up the Cowboys were ranked #12 in the nation and one of hottest teams in all of college basketball. Including that game (a 67-49 Aggie win), the Cowboys have lost 5 of their last 8 games including 4 of their last 5 and are no longer ranked. Conversely the Aggies have won 6 of their last 7 and are still in the top 10.
All of that being said, going into Gallagher-Iba arena is always tough and at 5-6 in the league, the Cowboys know they are fighting for their post-season hopes.
OSU's Mario Boggan was quoted as saying "We're trying to fight to get in (to the NCAA tournament). We need some wins."
Not that you can always put a lot of stock in many of Gillispie's sandbagging quotes, but he also had this to say, "They're almost impossible to beat at home. They're in desperation mode, and sometimes that helps teams sometimes that hurts them. We'll have to play our best."
I think the point remains that the Aggies will have to be at or near their very best tonight in order to come out of Stillwater with a win. The last time a group from A&M did win in Stillwater was in 1923 when A&M won 24-17 (must have been some good defense that night).
If we are going to look at only one thing, I think the key to tonight's game is going to be whether or not Dominique Kirk can stay on the floor. Kirk has become a favorite target of officials as of late. Here are his minutes and fouls over the last four games.
Texas - 5 fouls 16 minutes
Nebraska - 0 fouls 37 minutes
Tech - 5 fouls 26 minutes
OU - 3 fouls 27 minutes
If Kirk can manage to stay on the floor he will be able to help limit JamesOn Curry's looks which will certainly help to slow down the Cowboys.
If you get an officiating crew that is going to call it tight (Texas) I think it will be an advantage for OSU. Conversely, if you get a crew that is going to let them play (Nebraska) then the Aggies can afford to be overly aggressive on defense.
Finally - there was a great piece on Acie & the Aggies in this morning's issue of USA Today. Take 5 minutes and give it a read.
Lets go with a 72-63 Aggies win tonight.