This Saturday inside the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City, the 6-1 Oklahoma Sooners will take on their former Big 12 rivals, the 7-1 Texas A&M Aggies. It will be the lone game of the 77th All College Classic, which has had many different formats over the years.
It recently has been a two game doubleheader with OU and Oklahoma State highlighting each game. And this year’s event probably will not be quite as anticipated as the OU/A&M Cotton Bowl match-up scheduled for Jan. 4th, but this game is a big one for both teams.
The Sooners haven’t played since their December 4th loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Oklahoma trailed for much of that game, and the Sooners couldn’t overcome the Hogs when they had a chance to steal a win late in the game.
Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger and his team have had plenty of time to work out some of their kinks and prepare for the Aggies.
The Sooners should have the rebounding edge against A&M, and they will need to crash the boards and eliminate second chance opportunities from Texas A&M.
Amath M’Baye, Andrew Fitzgerald, and Romero Osby will all need to have big games and take advantage of A&M’s weaker front line. The Sooners have relied on a very balanced scoring attack all year and look for them to continue doing so in this game.
Texas A&M is making its debut in the SEC this season after leaving the Big 12. The Aggies are 7-1, but have played a very easy schedule thus far. Much like the Sooners, the Aggies have not played in nearly two weeks.
The Aggies last outing was a home game against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 5. A&M escaped with an eight point victory.
Texas A&M is led by senior guard Elston Turner and senior forward Ray Turner. Elston Turner is a “do it all” guard that has great size and shoots 43 percent behind three point line. He averages over 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, and three assists. Ray Turner is Texas A&M’s lone productive big man and will try and negate OU’s front court advantage.
This should be an interesting style matchup between the Aggies and Sooners. The Sooners have two very good post players in M’baye and Osby as well as a solid veteran in Fitzgerald. The Aggies are more perimiter oriented and currently lead the SEC in three point shooting at 38 percent.
A&M hasn’t played anyone on the Sooners level yet, and expect the Sooners to come out on top Saturday if they can stay focused. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and will be nationally televised on ESPN U.