Friday, February 15, 2008

Big XII Weekend Capsule: Week 6, Part 2

Oklahoma (16-8) (4-5) at Texas Tech (13-10) (4-5)

- Both teams are fighting for their postseason life as Oklahoma desperately needs a win to keep their tournament hopes alive and Texas Tech needs the win to keep their NIT hopes a live. Oklahoma looked like they were in good position to be the sixth team to represent the Big XII, but after losing Blake Griffin to an injury, and then Longar-Longar, Oklahoma has played wildly inconsistent, losing their third straight in a devisating loss at Colorado. It was thought that Longar-Longar was out for the year, but apparently used an herbal remedy that had him back for the mid-week win over Iowa State. Oklahoma finally had their full lineup and got contributions from Tony Crocker and Austin Johnson and it showed in a good win against Iowa State. If Oklahoma doesn't have to rely on Blake Griffin on the offense end, this becomes a very dynamic basketball team. Texas Tech proved that even under new coach Pat Knight, they will be extremely tough to beat at home. The win over Kansas State was impressive as they got 30 points from Alan Voskuil? Really? The Oklahoma game will tell if it was just a one game outburst or if the Red Raiders have figured out how to get a full team contribution on the offensive end.

Prediction: Texas Tech 71, Oklahoma 65

#11 Texas (20-4) (7-2) at Baylor (17-6) (5-4)

- The Longhorns work is hardly over as they must recover quickly from their Big Monday win over #3 Kansas. They learned a lot about themselves in the Kansas game, and the biggest lesson is that this Texas team is going to win with their defense. If Texas plays hard on the defensive end, they can play with any team in the country. But Texas still has a few issues they need to resolve. DJ Augustin is still struggling to adjust to the way teams are defending him, and he is still stuck in a bad shooting slump. Texas will need DJ to get back to normal if they hope to win conference games on the road. Texas could also used more improved play out of the post. Connor Atchley and Damion James played great, but Texas still needs contributions out of Dexter Pittman, Clint Chapman, and Alexis Wangmene. While Texas is winning games off their defense, Baylor is losing them from no defense. They are letting opponents score at will. If they defend even just a little bit, their offense is good enough that they will be able to get back to winning games. Offensively Baylor will continue to use their guards to attack. They have one of the deepest and most talented back courts in the country and they will get their points. However, Baylor needs to not forget about Kevin Rogers. Getting Rogers involved makes him more active on the boards as well and gives Baylor some more balanced scoring.

Prediction: #11 Texas 89, Baylor 86

Missouri (14-11) (4-6) at #18 Kansas State (17-6) (7-2)

- Missouri has done a remarkable job staying in the conference race and keeping their team together after all the suspensions. Keon Lawerence has stepped up and provided scoring in the absence of Stefon Hannah. But Missouri needs to keep getting contributions from every man on their roster to have any chance of competing. Kansas State has struggled with consistency since their win over Kansas. They have lost both games on the road to Missouri and Texas Tech. Kansas State is a young team and they need to realize that everyone will be coming out and playing their best games against them. Also, Michael Beasley and Bill Walker can't afford to have off nights. They need to carry their team night in and night out if they want to continue to be at the top of the Big XII.

Prediction: #18 Kansas State 85, Missouri 76

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