Five Things to Watch: OU vs. Texas A&M

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 02, 2012

 

By Andrew Gilman | SoonerSports.com
 
NORMAN, Okla. -- Here are five things to watch for Saturday when the Oklahoma men's basketball team hosts Texas A&M at 3 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center. OU owns a 28-9 series lead against the Aggies.

1. Senior Day
Saturday's conference-closing game against Texas A&M marks the end of the home careers for three seniors -- T.J. Franklin, Barry Honoré and C.J. Washington. Washington and Honoré are wrapping up two-year careers at OU, while Franklin has been here for four seasons and is the lone remaining player from the 2008-09 Elite Eight campaign. A pre-game senior ceremony will start at 2:40 p.m. on the Lloyd Noble Center court. Watch interviews with each in the video player above.

Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M | Saturday, March 3 at 3 p.m.
Full Game Preview | OU Ticket Information | Live Stats | Gameday Central

2. Find a way to close
In what has been a recurring theme this conference season, the Sooners have been good -- for most of the game. However, OU hasn't been great late. OU led Texas on Wednesday for the first 34 minutes, and by as many as 12 points, before losing 72-64. OU also had a seven-point lead at Baylor the game before. The Sooners also lost in overtime in late January at Texas A&M after leading almost the entire game, and fell in home games vs. Baylor, Iowa State, Missouri and Texas when they had opportunities to win in the closing minutes. Oklahoma needs to find some stability in late-game situations -- something it has been missing most of the season.

3. Get familiar with Texas A&M
OU will take on the Aggies at 3 p.m. in Norman and then will see them again at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Kansas City in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The teams are tied right now in conference play and are locked into the 8-seed/9-seed game in the league tournament. OU dropped a close one in College Station earlier this season, so expect the Sooners to come out looking to get some confidence going for next week in Kansas City.

4. Win and it's a .500 regular season
While OU and A&M are destined to play again regardless of what happens Saturday in Norman, there should be extra motivation for the Sooners to win. A victory against the Aggies will mean a 15-15 regular season. That means an end to a two-year run where the Sooners have been under .500. A loss to A&M Saturday certainly guarantees OU will be out of the postseason unless it can win the Big 12 Championship.

5. Romero Osby's consistency
Forward Romero Osby has been an impressive addition to the Sooners this year after transferring from Mississippi State. Osby ranks third in the Big 12 in rebounds (7.7) and third in double-doubles. He's averaging 12.3 points per game on the season, including a run of averaging 14.2 points per game in his past 15 outings. He also makes things happen offensively, as he's gotten to the line 79 times in the past 15 games. Osby scored 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting against Texas A&M in College Station.

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