Just wanted to get up a couple quick thoughts on the keys to the game tonight in addition to the excellent piece Matt posted earlier today.
Post up Keiton Page. To me this is the most obvious thing maybe in the history of this planet and yet for the past three years OU has never, ever tried to exploit this vertically challenged
mongoloidquality young man. I have no idea why. I'll make it as simple as I possibly can with a step-by-step breakdown. (1) Get the ball to whoever Page is guarding. (2) Have this person back him down into the post. (3) Turn around. (4) Shoot uncontested gimmie basket. (5) Head back down court to play defense after scoring easy two points. (6) Repeat every offensive possession until Page fouls out (of which the chances are 10000000%). Pretty simple right?
- Insult Romero Osby's mother. Or whatever it takes to get this guy pissed off. Seriously, I don't get how this guy can be a freaking monster on the defensive end/boards and the exact opposite on the offensive end. Maybe run some plays to get him to the rim early or something like the alley-oop plays the run for Cam Clark all the time. Whatever they have to do to get him to play angry on offense, DO IT!
- Get Steven Pledger involved early. In the last couple games, Pledger has gotten off to a slow start and I think this can easily be solved by running some specific plays to get him involved in the offense early. He's borderline unstoppable when he catches fire, so I'd love to see Kruger get him some easy shots early in the game and hopefully get him into a rhythm.
- Pound the ball inside on offense. As thin as OU is in the front court, OSU is even worse off. If you can get their big 7-foot (ish) goof in foul trouble early, Osby and Fitz could have a field day down low.
- Win the rebound battle. This was something the Sooners were excelling at throughout basically the entire non-con, but as of late have fallen off a bit. Limiting the Pukes to one and done possessions will be key. No cheap, easy second chance points.
- Stay in front of your man on defense. It sounds really simple and in theory it should be. However, OU's inability to do so has absolutely killed them in their last two losses. OSU, at all times, will have five guys on the court who think they are playing one-on-one so at least at the start I'd suggest playing a step or two off how tight you'd normally play and hope they're not hot from three. If they are, adjust as needed.