The Texas Longhorns face Mississippi State today in Maui. This is the final game of the Maui Invitational for Texas, before Rick Barnes and his team fly home for Thanksgiving. The game starts at 1:30 PM central time, and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Mississippi State is struggling. First year head coach Rick Ray has a depleted roster; yesterday against Marquette he only played seven players. The Bulldogs are led by 6-7 sophomore Roquez Johnson, who is active on the glass, and plays a significant roll in coach Ray's offense. Nearly three quarters of his shot attempts come at the rim, so the Texas big men will need to keep a body on him. Freshman guard Fred Thomas is another scoring threat for the Bulldogs. A majority of his shots so far this year have come from beyond the three point line, and he went 4-8 from long distance in yesterday's loss to Marquette.
Ray's squad is nearly as inexperienced as Rick Barnes' team. Five of the seven players who played for Mississippi State against Marquette are either freshman or sophomores. So far this season, the Bulldogs have struggled to hold down the defensive glass. Getting more action off of offensive rebounds could be a nice pick-me-up for the struggling Texas offense.