The BYU Cougars Men’s Basketball Team will face off against the University of Texas Longhorns at the Marriot Center on Saturday at noon.

Ahead of Saturday’s showdown, which can be watched on ESPN 2, here are three key storylines.

Tale of the tape

BYU will march into Saturday with a 14-5 record, 2-4 in conference. They will be looking to rebound from an emotional 75-68 loss against the University of Houston Cougars.

“I mean, everybody knows that Houston is the number one defense in the country,” said Cougars forward Noah Waterman. “So, playing them was really hard. Tough loss. But I think we played really well against them. And that kind of prepares us for Texas.”

Texas strolls into the game with an identical 14-5 record, but they are 3-3 inside the conference. Head coach Rodney Terry and the Longhorns are coming off a pair of ranked victories over Baylor University and Oklahoma University.

“Yeah, two huge wins, Baylor and Oklahoma,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “… I think they probably feel like they’re just where they were supposed to be the whole season. But because of injury and newness, it’s taken them a minute to get there.”

Historically, this will be the seventh matchup between the schools. BYU leads the series 4-2, after taking the previous tilt in 2013.

Stopping the Longhorns

The Longhorns are powered by their duo of Max Abmas and Dylan Disu.

Abmas leads their team, averaging 17.9 points per game.

Disu is coming off back-to-back 19-point performances and is averaging 15.1 points per game this season.

“Their starting five (Disu) is the returning MVP of the Big 12 tournament,” Pope said. “He’s semi-unique. I mean, I think he shoots 50% from the three-point line, shooting four a game at the five.”

Defensively, the challenge for Pope will be finding a way to slow down these workhorses for Texas.

Last week, Pope spoke proudly about the defensive efforts of Richie Saunders and Dallin Hall, so one could expect to see a mix of the two of them matched up on Abmas.

As for Disu, Fousseyni Traore was a bright spot for the Cougars in the second half. He chipped in seven points during his nine minutes of play. He would figure to be matched up with the 6’9” Texas center. Waterman figures to be a second defender against Disu.

Noon tip

Around the college basketball community, the Marriot Center is considered to be one of the most underrated road environments.

“I personally love playing at the Marriot Center and all the fans,” Waterman said. “I feel like that helps us as a team. You got 20,000 people on your side instead of going into the away game with 20,000 people of their fans against you, and it’s just 15 of your guys. So really, the energy in the Marriot Center is super good.”

The tip-off for this game is scheduled for noon.

With the early tip, it is possible that the crowd could be a little less energetic than it would be for an evening game.

However, with a large brand like Texas coming to Provo, the ROC should still be rocking. The ROC tickets for Tuesday’s game were all claimed within hours of their availability, it is fair to expect that Saturday will be no different.