It’s a non-conference battle between a pair of teams that are former conference foes in the Lone Star State. The Oklahoma State Cowboys are on the road as they make the trip to face the Texas A&M Aggies in the Big 12/SEC Challenge Saturday afternoon. Oklahoma State was dropped 89-82 on the road by Iowa State Tuesday night in their last contest. Texas A&M slipped past Missouri 66-64 on the road Tuesday night in their last game. The Cowboys lead the all-time series between the teams 27-13 but it was the Aggies taking a 72-55 win in the last meeting, which came at the Barclays Center on November 20, 2017.
Oklahoma State Cowboys Looking to Get Back on TrackOklahoma State has seen their season take an abrupt downward turn and it’s up to coach Mike Boynton to turn things around. The Cowboys enter this game 9-9 overall and stand 0-6 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State opened the season 7-0 with a home win over Yale and a neutral floor triumph over Syracuse highlighting their early-season run. Since then, the wheels have fallen off the bus. The Cowboys have gone just 2-9 since that point and have lost all six games since the calendar flipped to 2020. While all of the losses have come to teams ranked #70 or better, only three of those nine defeats have come by single digits.
The Cowboys enter this game just 288th in the nation in scoring offense with an average of 67.2 points per game. Oklahoma State snags 36.7 rebounds per game and dish out an average of 11.4 assists per game. The Cowboys are above average defensively, ranking 83rd in scoring defense by allowing 65.2 points per contest. Lindy Waters III leads the team with 12.1 points plus 4.8 rebounds a night on the season. Isaac Likekele (11.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists) is one of two other players averaging in double figures for the Cowboys. The team needs more production from Cameron McGriff (10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds), Yor Anei, Thomas Dziagawa, Avery Anderson III, Chris Harris Jr., Keylan Boone and Kalib Boone for the team to have success. Oklahoma State shot 40.6 percent from the field on the season. The Cowboys knock down 6.6 triples a game while sinking 30.5 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Oklahoma State is an average team at the free throw line as they hit 71.7 percent of their attempts this season.
According to KenPom, Oklahoma State is very good on the defensive end of the floor but has work to do on the offensive end. The Cowboys are 41st in the nation in defensive efficiency, 67th in effective field goal percentage defense (46.3 percent), 58th in turnover percentage (21.8 percent), 56th in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.4 percent), 50th in block percentage (12 percent) and 63rd in steal percentage (10.9 percent) this season. Oklahoma State has work to do offensively as they are 300th in effective field goal percentage defense (46.3 percent) this season. The Cowboys play at a solid pace this season, ranking 132nd in tempo with 69.2 possessions a game.
Texas A&M Aggies Look to Earn Back to Back WinsTexas A&M has been up and down in Buzz Williams’ first year at the helm in College Station. The Aggies come into this game 9-8 overall and 3-3 in SEC action on the year. Texas A&M started the year 3-1 before dropping four straight games. The Aggies bounced back to win two straight and five of six, including a home win over Oregon State, to get to 8-6 on the year. Back to back home losses to LSU (in overtime) and South Carolina dropped the team to .500 before they escaped with a two-point road win over Missouri to get back in the win column.
The Aggies score an average of only 61.1 points per game this season coming into this contest, putting them just 343rd in the nation in scoring offense. Texas A&M pulls down 34.5 rebounds per game on the year and dishes out 10.8 assists a night. The Aggies are 43rd in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 62.9 points a night. Josh Nebo leads the team with 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks a night. Savion Flagg is the only other player averaging in double figures with 11.2 points a night. Jay Jay Chandler, Wendell Mitchell, Quenton Jackson, Andre Gordon and Emanuel Miller are critical pieces for coach Buzz Williams. Texas A&M is shooting 40.2 percent from the floor as a team. The Aggies splash 5.3 three-pointers a night but are connecting on just 26.9 percent from beyond the arc. Texas A&M is converting just 67.2 percent of their chances at the charity stripe on the year.
Texas A&M is solid defensively but a mediocre offensive team according to what KenPom has to say. The Aggies are 268th in offensive efficiency and 79th in defensive efficiency on the year. Texas A&M is 59th in effective field goal percentage defense (46.1 percent), 61st in turnover percentage (21.7 percent) and 49th in three-point field goal percentage defense (30 percent) this season. On the flip side, opposing teams bomb away from the perimeter against the Aggies thanks to the presence of Nebo as 50.1 percent of opponent’s field goal attempts come from beyond the arc. That is the second-highest percentage in the nation. As a result, 40.7 percent of the points that Texas A&M gives up comes from beyond the arc, which is the third-highest percentage in the country. The Aggies will grind the game as they are 334th in tempo with an average of 64.2 possessions per game.
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