AUSTIN (KXAN) — No. 5 Texas will be without head coach Shaka Smart and two starters when it tips off against No. 24 Oklahoma Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Courtney Ramey, Jericho Sims and Brock Cunningham are unavailable for the Longhorns’ game against the Sooners, according to UT Athletics. Ramey and Sims have started every game this season, accounting for more than 25% of the team’s points.
Cunningham missed the Kansas State game along with forwards Greg Brown and Kai Jones. Brown and Jones are expected to be available for Tuesday’s game.
Smart announced in a statement Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19. Smart is isolating away from the team and his family, according to the statement. Associate head coach K.T. Turner will be acting head coach during Smart’s absence.
The Longhorns (11-2, 5-1 Big 12) will be playing for the first time in 10 days after COVID-19 issues at Iowa State and TCU caused those games to be postponed. The Big 12 plans to makeup all conference games postponed due to COVID-19.
Against the Wildcats, the Longhorns stepped on the gas from the opening tip, building a 20-point halftime lead on the way to a 82-67 win.
No. 24 Oklahoma (9-4, 5-3 Big 12) returned to the top 25 polls after a home win over No. 15 Kansas on Saturday. The Sooners are on a three-game winning streak with victories over TCU, Kansas State and the Jayhawks.
OU runs off its outside shooting. Umoja Gibson and Brady Manek shoot over 40% from 3-point range. Austin Reaves leads the team in scoring, averaging 15 points a game.
Texas and Oklahoma split the season series last year with each team winning on their rivals’ home floor. Matt Coleman hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds in Norman for a 52-51 win to keep Texas’ NCAA Tournament hopes alive. The NCAA canceled the 2020 tournament nine days later due to the COVID-19 pandemic.