Texas forward LaMarcus Aldridge has had problems staying out of foul trouble recently.
Aldridge seeks to avoid the foul issues that have plagued him over the last two games when No. 7 Texas takes on Texas A&M at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday.
Aldridge has turned in a superb sophomore season, averaging 16.1 points and 9.2 rebounds after missing most of the second half of his freshman campaign with a hip injury.
However, Texas (18-3, 6-1 Big 12) has been hampered by Aldridge’s foul problems in the last two games. He picked up his fourth foul at the 9-minute mark and left the game—he didn’t score again—as then-No. 24 Oklahoma took advantage for an 82-72 win last Saturday.
Aldridge logged only 20 minutes due to fouls in Monday’s 66-53 win at Missouri, managing just five points and three rebounds.
“People didn’t get to see how good he is,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “He’s going to have to learn when he gets a couple of fouls how to play.”
P.J. Tucker picked up the slack with 18 of his 20 points after halftime to key Monday’s win. Tucker’s production helped Texas overcome a rough start, missing 10 of its first 13 shots and having only nine points after the first 11 minutes.
“We weren’t playing like we usually play,” Tucker said. “So we needed a spark. I tried to take it into my hands to try to get the guys going, try to make it happen.”
Texas has won 31 of the last 35 meetings against Texas A&M (13-6, 3-5), but the teams split two meetings last season. The Longhorns routed the Aggies 75-40 in the matchup at the Erwin Center.
Texas A&M fell to 1-4 on the road with a 71-63 loss at Oklahoma on Wednesday. The Aggies were held below 40 percent from the field for the fourth time in six games and were outrebounded for the third consecutive game, this time by a 40-27 margin.
“We couldn’t make any baskets (and) couldn’t get any defensive rebounds,” Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie said. “They took advantage of it. They made a lot of offensive rebound baskets on us. We couldn’t get over the hump.”
Aggies forward Joseph Jones has two double-doubles in his last four games and is averaging 18.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in that stretch.
Jones was one of the catalysts to last season’s 74-63 home win over Texas that ended the Aggies’ 10-game home skid in the series. Jones had 13 points and 10 rebounds.