Nov 15, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Texas El Paso Miners forward Chris Washburn (32), forward/guard Julian Washburn (4) and Arizona Wildcats forward Grant Jerrett (33) battle for positioning during a free throw attempt during the second half at McKale Center. The Wildcats beat the Miners 72-51. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-US PRESSWIRE

OU Basketball: Sooners, Miners ready to battle in Old Spice Classic


Thanksgiving is a great day for family, food, and football. However, Lon Kruger’s club will be spending Turkey Day in Orlando, FL to compete in the 2012 Old Spice Classic.

While most of the country will have their eyes on Thanksgiving Day football, Oklahoma basketball will battle the Texas-El Paso Miners in the first round of the tournament.

The Sooners and Miners will tip off at 6 p.m. on ESPN 2 in what should be an interesting match-up. Oklahoma has won their first two games, but they struggled in Arlington.

Last Friday, the Sooners took a comfortable lead and let their foot off the gas. The UT-Arlington Mavericks stormed back and made this one in to a ball game.

Oklahoma prevailed, but how will they respond less than a week later over a thousand miles away from home?

They will have to continue to crash the boards, and create more opportunities for themselves. The Sooners are fourth in the country in rebounds per game, averaging nearly 48 rebounds in their first two contests compared to UTEP’s 26 in their first two.

Oklahoma has had help from several players to put up points, and a lot of it has come from a very hopeful freshmen class.

The big task for the Sooners is to stop the Washburn brothers. Chris and Julian Washburn lead the Miners in scoring, and are a freshman-sophomore duo that could create problems for the Sooners.

UTEP is coming off a 72-51 loss to the twelfth-ranked Arizona Wildcats. However, they did handedly defeat Oral Roberts in their season opener.

It will be an interesting match-up, and win or lose, either Clemson or Gonzaga will be waiting for them in the next round.

To see the entire 2012 Old Spice Classic bracket, click here.

Tags: Basketball Oklahoma Sooners Utep Miners