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Open Thread: #11 Texas at #5/6 Oklahoma on Big Monday

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#11 Texas (12-3, 1-0) at #5/6 Oklahoma (15-1, 1-0)

Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)

Hell, OK

Tip Time 8 pm

TV: ESPN Big Monday Preview shows the Longhorns have won the last six straight in this series and 11 of the last 14.

Austin American Statesman's Mark Rosner notes that Rick Barnes believes the Texas bigs don't work hard enough on defense. Tonight they get Blake Griffin and won't have a tougher assignment all year.

Ken Pomeroy Texas Scouting Report

Ken Pomeroy Oklahoma Scouting Report

Blake Griffin Scouting Report

Keys to the Game:
1. Make a freaking jump shot. If Texas doesn't show the ability to knock down perimeter, and by perimeter I mean 10-15 feet, jump shots, the Longhorns will be defended with four Sooners in the paint and one face guarding AJ Abrams. Rick Barnes must get solid performances from Justin Mason at the point and Damion James from the wing.

2. Get Blake Griffin in foul trouble. It is hard to report but B. Griffin is the best player in the country. He is going to get his 25 points and 15 boards and there isn't much Texas can do to stop him when he's on the floor. I definitely expect Texas to double team Blake Griffin on just about every catch, but the single best way to defend him is to force him to the bench with foul trouble. Look for Texas to feed Dexter PIttman and Gary Johnson early and often.

3. Make Free Throws. Before the Arkansas game, I told you this was going to be a key to every road game from then on. Well, here it is again. Texas shot 16-of-28 from the line against an average Iowa State team and won at home by eight. To have a shot at pulling off the upset, and it would be an upset, Texas must take advantage of easy points from the line.

4. Control the Defensive Glass. Despite the desire not to play three guards, foul trouble, disappointing play from Clint Chapman and Matt Hill, and the season-ending injury to Alexis Wangmene have all forced Barnes to play a lot of three guard lineups. When Texas goes small, they are at a severe disadvantage on the glass on both ends. Oklahoma is an above average offensive rebounding club, so limiting the Sooners to just one shot is a big key to stealing a road victory.

Hook 'em!