Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle (21) talks with teammate guard De'Vion Harmon (11) before Harmon shoots a pair of foul shots in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

BEVO BEAT Men's Basketball

Men’s preview: Texas vs. Oklahoma

Coach Shaka Smart still trying different lineups to find 6-8 consistent performers

Posted January 7th, 2020

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Texas at Oklahoma

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Erwin Center (capacity 16,540)

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TV/radio: ESPN2/104.9 The Horn

About the series: Oklahoma leads the all-time series 55-40. The Longhorns hold a 5-3 edge over their rival in coach Shaka Smart’s four previous seasons. That includes four straight wins at home.

TEXAS (10-3 overall, 0-1 Big 12)
No.Pos.PlayerClassHt.PPGRPG
2GMatt Coleman IIIJr.6-212.34.5*
1GAndrew JonesSoph.6-411.31.9
13GJase FebresJr.6-510.22.3
33FKamaka HepaSoph.6-91.00.9
20FJericho SimsJr.6-99.28.0
Coach: Shaka Smart (81-69, 5th year at Texas; 244-125, 11th year overall)
*-indicates assists per game.

About the Longhorns: As he promised, coach Shaka Smart spent an hour on rebounding drills during Monday’s practice after Saturday’s frustrating loss at Baylor. “It’s something that’s going to continue to be a huge emphasis,” Smart said. Typically at this point in the season, the coaches are done experimenting with the lineup. But Smart said the Horns don’t have 6-8 players that have shown consistency. So Kamaka Hepa may get another chance in the starting lineup, but Smart admitted the sophomore must take open shots. Smart may try freshmen Donovan Williams or Kai Jones in the lineup against OU to see what they bring. “With that being our present reality, there has to be times where you take a look at other guys.”

OKLAHOMA (10-3 overall, 1-0 Big 12)
No.Pos.PlayerClassHt.PPGRPG
21FKristian DoolittleSr.6-716.99.2
24GJamal BieniemySoph.6-44.54.0
35FBrady ManekJr.6-914.96.5
12GAustin ReavesJr.6-516.62.5*
15GAlondes WilliamsJr.6-56.42.2
Coach: Lon Kruger (170-108, 9th year at Oklahoma; 649-412, 34th year overall)
*-indicates assists per game.

About the Sooners: Smart was reminiscing about Kristian Doolittle’s first game in Austin on Jan. 23, 2017. The wide-eyed freshman just went wild on the Horns, getting a season-high 29 points and 10 rebounds. That scoring total has stood as Doolittle’s career high. Now a senior, Doolittle is averaging career highs in scoring and rebounding while hitting 46.7% of his shots. Wichita State transfer Austin Reaves is the one to watch, though. He scored 18 of his final 21 points in the last 11 minutes of OU’s Big 12-opening win over Kansas State. Doolittle kept OU in it, and Reaves carried the Sooners to the finish line. The key stat hidden in the box score was that outside of Reaves’ 3-point shooting, OU was 1-for-15 from long range.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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