Texas gets back a key member of its team as it heads to a place where it has enjoyed only success of late.
The 10th-ranked Longhorns will have center Jason Klotz available when they try for their 11th straight win at College Station over Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
Texas (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) played without Klotz in a 79-60 win over Baylor on Sunday. Klotz was suspended by the team for one game for punching Memphis’ Simplice Njoya in game on Jan. 2. The 6-foot-9 Klotz averages 11.3 points per game.
The Longhorns have dominated Texas A&M (11-1, 0-1) over the years, winning 30 of the last 33 meetings. The run includes 10 straight road wins, including a 6-0 mark in Reed Arena.
Texas is not taking a win for granted after Texas A&M’s impressive performance in a 65-60 loss at No. 2 Kansas last Wednesday.
“I saw them play the other night with their game with Kansas,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “I thought they played extremely hard defensively. I thought they had an attitude where they were aggressive on both ends of the court.”
The Longhorns posted their fifth straight win Sunday as Daniel Gibson scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures. Gibson made four of Texas’ 11 3-pointers and was named Big 12 player of the week.
Freshman LaMarcus Aldridge started in place of Klotz and notched his first double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Aldridge’s effort helped power Texas to a 38-17 edge on the glass.
“I am amazed that as a freshman, LaMarcus has such a commitment to getting better,” Barnes said. “He puts so much time in. He had to become stronger and more physical.”
Texas A&M had its season-opening 11-game winning streak snapped with the surprisingly competitive loss to Kansas. Freshman Joseph Jones scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Aggies nearly recorded their first win in 10 tries against the favored Jayhawks.
The defeat, though, was the Aggies’ 18th straight against Big 12 opponents. They have been criticized because their unbeaten start was a product of a weak non-conference schedule that featured 10 home games.
“I don’t think that we would have been able to play with the confidence had we not done what we had done prior to that,” Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie responded. “I think that we had gotten used to winning and those kind of things.”
Texas A&M enjoyed a 30-25 rebounding edge against Kansas, marking the 11th time in 12 games it outrebounded its opponent.
Texas won last season’s two meetings with Texas A&M by an average of 15 points.