Something has to turn the tide for Oklahoma's basketball season or we'll be sitting around in March wondering how in the world the Sooners missed the NIT again. A three game slide and guards who suddenly can't hit the broadside of a barn has everyone scratching their heads wondering how this team beat West Virginia and Gonzaga? Longar Longar's defensive presence has been sorely missed but for the Sooners to be a post season team they have to beat teams like Colorado and Iowa State even without Longar.
Clone Chronicles hopped on board the Machine to answer our questions about the Cyclones this season and share opinions tonight's game.
Both Oklahoma and Iowa State are coming into tonighht's game riding three game losing streaks. How confident are you in the ISU's ability to win in Norman tonight?
C.C. As an Iowa State fan, you have to remain optimistic. Otherwise, the membership is just too depressing. I'm doubtful but optimistic. Our really good teams have had tough times in Norman. Our problem is that we really aren't a very talented team. We have times when we play really well (We beat a Purdue team that apparently has recently decided to kick butt and take names in the process) and other games when we play really bad (any MVC opponent). I don't imagine we'll be intimidated. More than likely just short on talent.
I'm of the impression that Oklahoma may have their hands full trying to defend the post. Am I right or wrong?
C.C. Without Longar squared, Jiri Hubalek should have an easier time in the post. He's looked good the last few games, but he's really been our only post threat as of late. He has to have a big game. Freshman Craig Brackins has dropped off the radar the last few games (and honestly, I'm tempted to bench him), but he can go off as easy as anyone. He'll drift out to the arc more than the average post, but if shots are falling easy for him, OU will be at a marked disadvantage in the post.
Offensively, Iowa State's strength and weaknesses are what?
C.C. Our offense is our weakness. There's very little production out of the point position. Wesley Johnson is coming off another injury and has been seeing a lot of his shots miss. Jiri's been dependable as of late, but Craig Brackins and Alex Thompson have been allergic to the short jumper. We have a shot to win if our shots fall, but they haven't in a while.
C.C. We apparently refuse to run a zone, so it will be man, more than likely, the entire game. Rahshon Clark will usually defend the best player. We'll also use Sean Haluska and Cameron Lee against the top offensive threat. Alex Thompson is probably our best post defender, while Craig Brackins is bad, bad, bad.
As Oklahoma fans we really had our sights set on an NCAA tournament bid this year. While that is still a possibility it is beginning to look less and less likely. What was the measuring stick of success for the Cyclones coming into this season?
C.C. An NIT berth. Some Cyclone fans will disagree with you, but if we are sitting at home again in March, missing all three postseason tournaments, some will start to get restless.