Oklahoma hasn’t had to play following a loss many times this season, but the Sooners will have to do just that when they host No. 24 Texas on Monday night at 8 p.m. Top-ranked OU went to Manhattan and came back with an extra blemish in the loss column, and Buddy Hield and company will need to find a way to bounce back from defeat by beating an improved Texas team.
Here are a few things to know about the matchup:
Isaiah Taylor can play
The junior guard is one of the more electrifying players in the conference, and OU’s Isaiah (Cousins) will most likely have the daunting task of slowing Taylor down. Taylor is averaging 15.3 points per contest, while dishing out 5.1 assists and grabbing just under three rebounds per game.
While he’s been performing on a high level all season, Taylor is ready for his team to showcase their talent on a big stage Monday night against OU.
“We’re confident as a team right now. This team is hungry,” Taylor said after Saturday’s win over Texas Tech. “They’re a good team. We’re a good team too. It’s going to be a dogfight.”
Taylor scored 13 points while totaling eight assists in the win over the Red Raiders.
Longhorns are streaking
Texas holds a 16-7 record on the season, but Shaka Smart’s squad are winners of four straight and seven of their last eight games, with the only loss coming in Lawrence against KU. Most notably the Longhorns beat No. 21 Baylor in Waco last week, so OU will need to be ready to face a team that just made a leap into the top 25 due to their hot play.
Red River Rivalry
Regardless of whatever record either of these two teams has, when OU and Texas play each other in any sport, you can guarantee the rivalry is in full throttle. A lot of these kids have squared off a lot over the last three years and there’s no doubt each program is itching for a win.
Look for Buddy Hield and Jordan Woodard to grind it out with Taylor and Javan Felix on the perimeter while Ryan Spangler and Khadeem Lattin will need to find an answer for Cameron Ridley in the post. This promises to be a solid Big 12 battle.