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Bedlam Preview - Game Thread

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GAME SPECIFICS
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 7
Tip: 8:05 p.m. CST
TV: ESPN Plus (KOCB 34/Cox 11 in OKC; KJRH 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court)
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (Flagship KOKC 1520 AM in OKC); Yahoo! Broadcast (subscription)
Series: OU leads 121-88

OKLAHOMA STATE PROJECTED STARTERS
F  4   Mario Boggan (6-7, 240, Sr., 20.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
F  5   Marcus Dove (6-9, 215, Jr., 5.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
C  40  Kenny Cooper (6-10, 260, So., 5.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
G  00  Byron Eaton (5-11, 215, So., 7.4 ppg, 3.4 apg)
G  24  JamesOn Curry (6-3, 190, Jr., 18.6 ppg, 4.1 apg)

OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS
F  24  Nate Carter (6-6, 220, Sr., 10.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg)
C  30  Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 11.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
G  2   Michael Neal (6-3, 198, Sr., 10.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
G  5   Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 9.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 8.2 ppg, 3.4 apg)

Tonight brings us round two of Bedlam basketball in a game that has suddenly become a must win for both schools. If the Sooners win then they could move substantially higher in the conference standings and will find themselves on the NCAA tournament bubble for the first time this season. This will be the last time seniors Nate Carter and Michael Neal get a shot at the Cowboys in Norman.

After their shocking loss to the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday OSU has been thrown into a must win situation if they want to maintain any hope of not dropping out of the race for a first round conference tournament bye. The Cowboys are also losing NCAA Tournament seeding position with each loss.

Sooner Scoop
Saturday's 14 point win over Texas Tech was fueled by OU's Big 3. Just when we thought Nate Carter couldn't be any better he scored a personal high, at OU, 24 points and added 9 boards. In Longar Longar's revenge game that wasn't really a revenge game that should have been his revenge game he went off for 19 points and 14 rebounds. Finally, Michael Neal continues to heat up adding 18 points to the Sooner score board.

Two other players to keep an eye on tonight are Tony Crocker and Taylor Griffin. Crocker is a half-a-point away from averaging double figures in scoring and he also contributes 4.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Griffin tied a career high in round one of Bedlam at Stillwater and has 16 swats over the last 12 games. It's not a matter of if he gets a block it's a question of how many blocks will he get. Griffin also averages 7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

Scouting the Pokes
It definitely can't be said that the Cowboys are playing their best basketball of the season. In fact OSU is only 3-3 over their last six games highlighted by that shocking upset loss to Colorado.

Mario Boggan and JamesOn Curry rank second and fourth in the Big 12 in scoring with their 20.6 and 18.6 respective scoring averages.  Terrell Harris averages 11.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting .478 from beyond the arc (33-for-69).  He is also tops in the Big 12 with a .870 free throw percentage. Byron Eaton averages 7.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals a game and David Monds adds 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds a game.

 
Final Thoughts and Prediction
Saturday proved that anything is possible in the Big 12! OU you was in the game until the very end two weeks ago in Stillwater and the Sooners are playing better basketball now then they were at that time. In my opinion this is OU's game to lose. The Sooners have only one home court loss this season and a team effort tonight like what we saw Saturday against Texas Tech will keep that mark exactly where it is.

You can just count on the Sooners playing their style of intense defense and as crucial as the Big 3 are on the offensive boards & scoring production from Austin Johnson and David Godbold will be a must as well. The key stat from the last Bedlam meeting was 16 OU turnovers. That is an area of the box score that the Sooners have devoted themselves to fixing. If they protect the ball Tyler Hatch won't be able to save the Cowboys tonight. Sooners win 71 - 63! BOOMER SOONER!!!