Oklahoma basketball: Sooners back home for Red River revenge rematch

AUSTIN, TX - FEBRUARY 3: Trae Young /
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LUBBOCK, TX – FEBRUARY 13: Trae Young /

The case for Oklahoma to win the game

The key for OU, as it has been the entire season, is Trey Young’s productivity and proficiency with the ball. It is not just his scoring ability, which is off the charts when he really gets going, but also his ability to get the ball into the hands of teammates who are in position to make open shots. Of course, it goes without saying that when the Sooner superman dishes the ball to a teammate, they have to be able to complete the play. That isn’t happening as consistently as it should.

The long college season appears to be wearing some on the freshman Young. He has been held under 20 points in two of his last four games. But he did post 14 assists in one of those games, and was credited with seven dimes in the other. Nevertheless, the Sooners lost both games.

Young remains the nation’s scoring and assist leader, averaging 29.1 points and 9.3 assists through 25 games. His scoring numbers are down because of the quality of the competition in the Big 12 and also due to the defensive pressure Big 12 teams are using against the Oklahoma star.

Teams have figured out that if they stop Young, his supporting cast is not able to beat them.

The Oklahoma defense was as good against Texas Tech, the Big 12 leader, as it has been all season. The Sooners were in that game until Young and Christian James picked up their fourth foul late in the contest and had to play less aggressively on the defensive end.

The Sooners can’t afford to give up 82.0 points a game and win in this league – or any league, for that matter.

Playing at home is a big plus – Oklahoma has only lost one game all season at the LNC, but that was in the last game they played there (vs. West Virginia) – but the Sooners are going to have to get more scoring output from players not named Young or James.