Tuesday, February 03, 2009

OSU Part II Recap / OU Part II Preview

We'll take a quick look back at the Aggies' much needed win vs. OSU last Saturday and their upcoming game against the #2 ranked OU Sooners on Wednesday night (8:00 Big 12 Network).

OSU Part II Recap
The Aggies were able to exact some revenge on Saturday afternoon and took down the OSU Cowboys by a final score of 76-64. One of the biggest things you have to do in league play is to protect your home court, and the Aggies have now done so in "up" games against both Baylor and Oklahoma State, as well as the to-be-expected win over Tech.

On Saturday afternoon the Aggies were much better on both ends of the floor, playing some aggressive switching man-to-man defense as well as establishing Davis, Loubeau and Elonu on the offensive interior. Davis led all scorers for the Aggies with 18 points while Carter (17), Sloan (15) and Loubeau (10) rounded out 4 Aggies that scored in double digits. The biggest two guys for the Aggies in this go-round with the Pokes were Carter and Davis who combined for 35 points on Saturday after scoring a combined 3 points in Stillwater almost 3 weeks ago.

OSU shot a season low 38% from the field including 6-for-27 from the three point line (22.2%). The Cowboys came into the game leading the league in 3 point FG% at 41.7%

I think there were a couple of things in play, one of which was A&M's switching man-defense seemed to really confuse the OSU shooters. OSU missed a handful of shots they usually make, but I thought the Aggies had great pressure on their shooters for the better part of the entire game. Cowboy coach Travis Ford had this to say, "The way they were switching on defense, it gave our guys less time to set up our plays. So we had to tell our guys to keep running the play." OSU guard Terrell Harris added, "They did a lot of switching on defense, and that really threw us off. Their big guys were moving to the ball, and as small of a team as we are, we should have been able to take advantage of that, and we didn't."

One other thing I thought was very interesting was that Coach Ford kept OSU in a 3/4 court trapping zone defense for the entire first half and most of the 2nd half. What that zone did was grind the pace of the game to a near standstill. What was crazy is the thing that can make OSU so tough to beat is when they get out and run and keep the game at a near-frantic pace. It was almost as if OSU was their own worst enemy on Saturday afternoon. Uh, thanks coach!!!

OK - It was a good win and a much-needed win for the Aggies as they finally put together back-to-back league wins for the first time this year.

One final thought - Freshman David Loubeau was outstanding again off the bench for Turgeon. Loubeau finished the game with 10 points and 4 rebounds (all offensive) and has now posted back-to-back games scoring in double digits (11 points vs. Tech). Loubeau is playing some darn good ball right now and is finally starting to show Aggie fans why he was rated the 63rd best player in the country coming out of high school.

OU Part II Preview
Call me crazy, call me nuts, call me what you will, but I actually think the Aggies stand a fighting chance in Norman tomorrow night.

Yes, OU is #2 in the country.
Yes, they have only 1 loss on the season.
Yes, they are undefeated at home.

That being said, I loved what assistant coach Bill Walker said after the game on Saturday afternoon, "You know what, someone is going to beat them in their building, it might as well be us....."

I'm not going to say that I think A&M will win this game, I'm just saying that I think they are going to keep it pretty darn close. If they get a break or two down the stretch and somehow pull the shocking upset, I won't be all that surprised.

Where am I coming from on this one? I just really liked the way they matched up with the Sooners in their first go-round at Reed Arena 18 days ago. The only wildcard I am not sure of at this point in time is the addition of JUCO transfer Juan Pattillo who recently had his redshirt taken off by Coach Jeff Capel. Pattillo has burst onto the scene in Norman and added a much-needed role player off the bench for the Sooners. Pattillo is a big body who can get inside and mix it up with the Brothers-Griffin. The 6'6" junior was a key element to their past two wins over OSU and Iowa State.

I wonder how many head-shaking three pointers Austin Johnson will make from the parking lot tomorrow night.

I still stand by my thought from the first matchup with OU. I think you let Blake Griffin get his and fight like heck to shut down Johnson, Willie Warren and Pattillo. Of those three, I think the key guy is Johnson. The Sooners are a different team when he is not in a rhythm.

Alright, TV may be tricky depending on where you live (sorry Dallas readers, ESPN360.com or nothing for you). You can check this thread on TexAgs if you want to know where the game can be seen in your area:

Tomorrow is national signing day for football - will anyone in the state of Oklahoma even know there is a basketball game tomorrow? Let's hope not.

Aggie Hoops Report Score Prediction:
Texas A&M 67

Oklahoma 72

Carry on.


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