Big 12 Basketball Handicapping: Oklahoma State Cowboys at #19 Texas Longhorns

Oklahoma State Cowboys at #19 Texas Longhorns
Frank Erwin Special Events Center – Austin, Texas

Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Texas -3 1/2
Current Line: Texas -4 1/2
Opening Total: 147
Current Total; 146
Opening Money Line: Texas -175 / Oklahoma State +150
Current Money Line: Texas -180 / Oklahoma State +150

Texas is a 4.5 point favorite at home against Oklahoma State Tuesday.
Texas is a 4.5 point favorite at home against Oklahoma State Tuesday.

Less than a month ago, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were 15-2 and in the top 10 in the AP poll. However, since then Cowboys have lost 5 of their last 6 games including a current four game tailspin. A bad situation got worse on Saturday night when the Cowboys were upset at Texas Tech 65-61. Late in that game, Oklahoma State star guard Marcus Smart, a projected NBA lottery pick got into a physical confrontation with a Texas Tech fan after the fan allegedly directed a racial slur towards Smart. Smart was suspended by the university and the Big 12 for 3 games beginning with Tuesday’s game at Texas.

The Cowboys are 16-7 overall and in seventh place in the Big 12 at 4-6. Texas is 18-5 overall and alone in second place at 7-3, a game and a half behind 9-2 Kansas. A Texas loss would tie them with Oklahoma and Kansas State for second.

Texas leads the series 45-39 against Oklahoma State including 26-12 in Austin. Oklahoma State has won four straight games against Texas, including 87-74 in Stillwater January 8. The Cowboys swept last year’s series winning in Austin for the first time since 2004.

Oklahoma State is coached by Travis Ford. The Cowboys have losses to Memphis in a tournament in Orlando, at Kansas State, at Kansas, at Oklahoma, Baylor, Iowa State and at Texas Tech .  OSU has key wins over Memphis at home, at South Florida, over Purdue and Butler in the tournament in Orlando, South Carolina in Stillwater, Louisiana Tech in Oklahoma City, Colorado in Las Vegas, Texas, West Virginia twice, and TCU.  The Cowboys are 8-11 ATS and the total is 12-7 this season.

OSU is outscoring teams 83-69 this season. The Cowboys are #14 in scoring nationally. Oklahoma State shoots 47.7% from the field and 36.7% from 3 point range. The Cowboys are #30 in field goal percentage. OSU makes 72.1% of their free throws. Cowboy opponents are shooting 39.9% from the field and 31.6% from 3 point range. OSU is #38 in field goal defense nationally. The Cowboys are averaging 36.7 rebounds a game and allowing 33.4. OSU is #288 nationally out of 351 teams in rebounds allowed. Oklahoma State averages 14 assists, 7.9 steals, 5.5 blocks, and 10.6 turnovers per game, and opponents average 10.4 assists, 6.4 steals, 3.5 blocks, and 14.5 turnovers per game.

Smart averages 17.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.3 steals a game. Guard Markel Brown averages 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. Forward Le’Bryan Nash averages 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Guard Phil Forte III averages 12.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Guard-forward Brian Williams averages 7.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Stevie Clark average5 6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. He was kicked off the team after his second arrest in a month.  Forward-center Kamari Murphy averages 5.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Forward-Center Michael Cobbins is out for the season with a broken foot. He averages 4.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

Texas is coached by Rick Barnes. The Longhorns have losses to BYU in Kansas City, at home to Michigan State and Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State, and at Kansas State Saturday 74-57. The Kansas State loss snapped a 7 game winning streak for the Longhorns. Texas has key wins over DePaul in Kansas City, at home against Vanderbilt, at North Carolina, at home against Rice, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, and Kansas plus road wins at West Virginia, Baylor and TCU. Texas is 10-10 ATS and the total is 10-10 this season.

Texas is outscoring teams 76-70 this season. The Longhorns are shooting 43.5% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. Texas makes 66.2% of their free throws. The Longhorns are #288 out of 351 teams in free throw shooting. Texas opponents are shooting 40% from the field and 34.4% from 3 point range. Texas is #41 in opponents’ field goal percentage.  The Longhorns average 42.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.9 per game. Texas is #5 nationally in rebounding. The Longhorns average 11.9 points, 12.9 turnovers, 6.4 steals, and 6.3 blocks per game. Texas opponents average 13 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 6.6 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.

Texas forward Jonathan Holmes averages 13.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He is questionable with a knee injury after playing only 9 minutes against Kansas State Saturday. Guard Isaiah Taylor averages 12.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Javan Felix averages 11.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1 steal per game.  Center Cameron Ridley averages 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. Guard Demarcus Holland averages 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Demarcus Croaker, Connor Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Kendal Yancy will also get significant time in the rotation.

Oklahoma State is 8-0-1 ATS in Tuesday games, 9-23 against teams with winning records, 1-8 in road games and against teams with winning home records, 0-5 overall and in Big 12 games, 0-4 after a loss and failing to cover. The last 4 game sin this series have gone over the total. The Cowboys are 4-0-1 ATS in the last 5 against the Longhorns.

Texas is 10-4 ATS after a straight-up loss. The under is 10-2 in the last 12 games in Austin in this series. The favorite is 8-2-2 in the last 12 games in this series. The Longhorns are 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 games in Austin against the Cowboys.

The Big 12 is wide open this year. Apart from last place TCU, any of the other 9 teams can beat any of the other schools on any given night, especially at home. The loss of Smart for OSU will obviously hurt, but Texas could be without their leading scorer Holmes as well. Both teams still have tons of talent with Brown, Nash, Forte, Taylor and Felix. I think Texas wins but OSU keeps it close.

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