Buddy Hield led five players in double figures with 13 points as No. 16 Oklahoma made a definitive statement on Monday night, going into the Frank Erwin Center and embarrassing No. 9 Texas, 70-49.
The lead, at one point in the second half, was as large as 60-32. Texas dug themselves a massive first half hole, finishing the game shooting just 30.0 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from three, and those numbers look a lot prettier thanks to the points they scored in garbage time.
In short, the Longhorns were awful offensively, and they no longer have the excuse of playing without Isaiah Taylor to fall back on. Taylor started. He was 4-for-13 from the floor, with four assists and two turnovers, the majority of which came after the game was all-but decided. Myles Turner against struggled against real competition, shooting 2-for-9 from the floor, and Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes were a combined 3-for-13 from the field.
The thinking was that the Texas struggles offensively were the result of missing Taylor, a point guard that could get them into their offense and that would be able to break down a defense and create easy shots when they couldn’t run their sets. But that wasn’t the case Monday, as Texas struggled to run their offense and settled for a lot of bad shots early in the clock.
But enough about Texas.
This was a statement performance by the Sooners. The road is never an easy place to play in conference, and Oklahoma went into Austin and mollywhopped the team that is supposed to be the Big 12 favorite. We’ve written a number of times on this site that the addition of TaShawn Thomas and the improved attention to the defensive side of the ball makes Oklahoma a sleeper to make a run to the Final Four, but even the biggest believer in this Oklahoma team couldn’t have seen this coming.
The Big 12 is as deep and as talented as any conference in the country, and there are going to be dogfights every night in league play. It’s also the only power conference with a double round robin in conference. In other words, whoever wins this league is going to earn it.
And right now, the favorite has to be Oklahoma.