The second round of Bedlam Basketball will be coming to Norman this evening. Some hold the value that this is a winnable game and possibly the only one remaining on the schedule. The Oklahoma Sooners have a few issues that need to be worked out sooner rather than later. Will they learn from their mistakes and put together a small win streak to end the season? It all starts tonight as the Sooners take on the Oklahoma St. Cowboys.
Pistols Firing Blog was kind enough to sit down and exchange a quick Q&A.
CCM - The Oklahoma Sooners have not had a great season. Many think this is possibly the only winnable game remaining on the schedule. What are some of the weaknesses of the Oklahoma St. Cowboys that the Sooners could take advantage of?
PF - Depth and an inside presence. OSU's guards have actually played really well of late, unfortunately they're playing about a 6.5 man rotation and have one guy who's even remotely a threat to score on the inside. K-State just pounded them on the boards and inside the paint and basically provided a blueprint for the rest of the Big 12 on how to beat the Pokes.
CCM - Oklahoma St. shoots roughly 31% from beyond the arc while shooting an average of 18.5 three pointers a game. With the way that the Sooners have struggled in perimeter defense, will the number of attempts go up?
PF - Keiton's going to shoot any time he has more than 4 inches of separation so yeah I could see OSU taking 20+ threes in the OU game. They've hit that mark in three of the last six games and I think a lot of that has to do with the fatigue they're experiencing coming down the stretch run. I'll say at least 21 threes in this game.
CCM - Le'Bryan Nash has really been coming into his own this season. He has shown the signs of being a star in the making as a freshman. Keiton Page is always going to be a perimeter threat with the way he shoots the ball. What is the key to stopping these two players?
PF - With Keiton, you just have to stay in his dish all night. He's not going to blow by you and kill you like some other guys so as long as you're on him tight you can take a lot what he does away. Easier said than done when Ford is running 8x screens for him on one play (exaggeration...but only kind of). Nash is the opposite, you want to give him room at the three point line (25% on the year) and then body him up when he gets within 15 feet because his midrange J is pretty pure. Also, if you can get him into foul trouble early, he'll get inside his own head the rest of the way and be pretty ineffective.
CCM - Outside of Nash and Page, who are some other names who could have a major impact on this game?
PF - Markel Brown is averaging 15 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, and a steal in his last 11 conference games. He's the motor on offense and also probably OSU's best defensive player.
CCM - The Sooners currently sit at 13-13 while the Cowboys are 13-14. However, Oklahoma St. has had much more success in conference play along with a win over Oklahoma already. How do you see this game playing out in Norman?
PF - I think OU wins a really tight one. OSU has been playing really well of late so I wouldn't be surprised if they won but it's so difficult to go on the road in conference play, especially in a rivalry game...as noted by the fact that OSU hasn't won in LNC since 2004.