Listen to Austin 360 Radio

No. 23 Texas must stay off the Big 12’s .500 treadmill to make headway in league race

Kenpom’s analytics project Longhorns will finish league play 9-9. Horns still have time to chart new course

Texas has three players averaging double-figure scoring, but more Longhorns need to step up in the clutch. The Longhorns will host Oklahoma State on Saturday, two weeks after a humbling 64-51 loss to the Cowboys in Stillwater.

Saturday’s game

1 p.m., Erwin Center (capacity 16,540)

TV/radio: ESPN2/104.9 The Horn

About the series: Texas leads 54-47. The Longhorns had a miserable afternoon in Stillwater, Okla., two weeks ago and lost 64-51. The Cowboys led the entire game despite a lengthy stretch in the second half in which it was just a two-possession game. 

About the Longhorns: KenPom’s analytical examination of the Longhorns is mixed. The well-read college basketball site projects Texas to finish league play with a 9-9 record. That includes going 1-5 against Texas Tech, Kansas and Baylor. Fortunately for Texas, the games are played in real life. ... The Horns have three players averaging double figures in scoring, but Carr is the only one who has asserted himself in the second half of the past two games. Mitchell and Allen need to help with the scoring load while gobbling up rebounds. ... The Horns also need more from Ramey, who had just five points Tuesday against Kansas State. In six league games, Ramey is shooting 34.5% overall. ... Jase Febres, who has battled knee problems, is 1-for-6 from 3-point range in Big 12 play. Will Beard continue giving Febres’ minutes to Tristan Licon?

About the Cowboys: Boynton said he “didn’t ask questions” when the Big 12 rescheduled Oklahoma State’s game against Texas Tech for a Thursday night in January. The Cowboys suddenly had to play three league games in a span of five days. OSU lost at West Virginia by 10, lost at Texas Tech by 21 but then turned around and won at No. 1 Baylor 61-54. “They’ve been playing basketball here for a hundred years,” Boynton told his team in the locker room after the Baylor win. “This is the first team that ever beat the No. 1 team in the country.” ... That momentum carried on to a win over TCU on Wednesday. Now the Cowboys are 3-3 in league play with the third-best defensive efficiency in the Big 12, according to KenPom’s analytics. ... Anderson averages 2.1 steals, and Williams is a close second with 1.9. ... Boone, who buried UT in Stillwater with two 3-pointers, is shooting 33.8% from beyond the arc.

ContactBrian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.