Thursday, February 7, 2008

Big XII Weekend Capsule: Week 5, Part 1

The Big XII experienced a return to normalcy this week as the conference began to sort itself out. Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Baylor, and Texas A&M all won and created some seperation from the rest of the conference. Kansas is still the favorite to win the title, but spots two through five will be a complete dog fight. This weekend's games are rather tame as Baylor's trip to Kansas is the only one worth noting.

#18 Texas A&M (19-4)(5-3) at Missouri (13-10)(3-5)

-The Aggies officially have momentum back on their side as they have found their identity over the last few games. They have gotten back to dominating in the paint, playing hard defense, and using kick outs to their shooters on the perimeter. This is Texas A&M basketball and they have the weapons needed to play it. Byron Davis maybe the biggest surprise of this team as he has completely outplayed DeAndre Jordan to this point and has provided scoring and rebounding when Joseph Jones inevitably gets in foul trouble. The trip to Columbia shouldn't cause too many problems as long as the A&M backcourt can keep from turning over the basketball. The Tigers pulled off a heart-warming win against a sleeping Kansas State team, but were overmatched by the Jayhawks. This one should be another contest that Missouri will need lady luck on their side, if they hope to get a win.

Prediction: #18 Texas A&M 74, Missouri 63

#12 Texas (18-4)(5-2) at Iowa State (13-10)(3-5)

- Another team that poses a dangerous threat to the Longhorns because of their front court play. If Texas can defend the interior this game won't be close, but the Longhorns have yet to prove that they are capable of doing so. If that is the case, then the Longhorns will once again need to shoot well. It would also be nice to see Damion James return to form offensively and become the double double mis-match that he's capable of being. After a good start, Iowa State has struggled. They need to slow the game down and attack the Longhorns in the paint if they have any hope of winning this game. They also need to take advantage of a Longhorns team that seems to start slow in every game. If they can dictate the pace and attack inside, it will be very difficult to come back from any early holes. The biggest question that the Cyclones have to answer, is whether they can do anything to slow down AJ Abrams and DJ Augustin.

Prediction: #12 Texas 74, Iowa State 67

Oklahoma (15-7)(3-4) at Colorado (9-13)(1-7)

- It is always nice to see Colorado on the schedule when you need to bounce back from two straight losses. The injury to Longar Longar definitely hurts this team and will but more pressure on the guards of Oklahoma to step up and accept some sort of the scoring burden that is now facing the Griffin brothers. They also need to have more than four players score in their games. Austin Johnson needs to give this team some kind of contribution from the point guard spot. He was a non-factor against the Longhorns and has been uninspiring for most of the season. As for Richard Roby, he knows how Dwayne Wade feels. An NBA prospect on a terrible team, Roby continues to help his team, all by his lonesome. Colorado needs anyone else to step up and play well to take the defensive focus off of Roby even a little bit. They also are going to have their hands full covering the Griffins in the post. Hopefully three Colorado players at once will be enough to stop Blake Griffin. It should be a low scoring affair that even the coaches, players, and families wish they weren't a part of.

Prediction: Oklahoma 52, Colorado 44

Last Week: 4-2
Overall: 18-6

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