The Longhorns hold off the Cowboys to begin conference play

Big 12 Report: Texas takes step in right direction

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Results that matter

Texas 36 Oklahoma State 30

The Longhorns held off the Oklahoma State Cowboys for their first Big 12 win of the season. The Cowboys held a slight lead for a while but Sam Ehlinger and company were way too much for the Cowboys defense. This is a really solid win for the Longhorns as Oklahoma State has one of the best offenses they will face outside of Oklahoma. It was really important for Ehlinger after the disappointing performances against the Cowboys in the past.

SMU 41 TCU 38

Not the best showing for TCU as they drop a pseudo-rivalry game. They got smoked in the first half and had to play catch up but it wasn't enough. Nobody is sure if TCU is going to figure it out on offense and their defense isn't near as good as it has been on occasion. This is a bad loss for Gary Patterson's bunch.

Studs of the week

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger

Ehlinger balled out against the Cowboys. He was amazing after failing more than a few times against the Cowboys in the past. He looked every bit the leader and playmaker the Horns need him to be.

Iowa State QB Brock Purdy

Finally some offensive excellence from Purdy, even if it was against ULM. He finished with 435 through the air and four touchdowns. The Cyclones have had a disappointing start but what they want to accomplish in the Big 12 is still in front of them. If they get this Brock Purdy they will be a tough out for a lot of teams.

Must-watch game: Baylor hosts Brock

Iowa State at Baylor

This wouldn't have been the matchup if Texas Tech had a healthy QB. They don't so a refreshed Brock Purdy takes on fellow gunslinger Charlie Brewer in Waco. This has shootout potential and the winner could have the inside track on a top four finish in the conference. We could see Brock and Brewer combine for a ton of yards and touchdowns.

Who better ball?

Texas Tech's Quarterback

Alan Bowman is down and whoever starts for Texas Tech has a tall task. Head coach Matt Wells better have them ready to play or the Red Raiders will get embarrassed in Norman. The Sooners can score at will, even with Tech playing slightly better on defense than recent memory. If the Texas Tech chosen starter doesn't play well it will be a long trip back home.

Big 12 Rankings

1. Oklahoma

2. Texas

3. Oklahoma State

4. Baylor

5. Kansas State

6. Iowa State

7. West Virginia

8. TCU

9. Kansas

10. Texas Tech

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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