The Old Spice Classic in Orlando plays host to an eight team field, four of which made the NCAA Tournament last season. This is a tournament that will pit teams against each other in three games over four days, providing a tough stretch for many. In the first round of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, FL, the Oklahoma Sooners will face off against the UTEP Miners a team that went sub .500 last year.
This season appears to be no different in the fact that the Miners are struggling in the statistical department while pulling down 25.5 rebounds per game. That is nearly half of what the Sooners are grabbing at a clip of 48.5 per game.
However, this is a young UTEP Miners team lead by freshman Chris Washburn (12.5 ppg) in scoring followed by sophomore Julian Washburn (11 ppg).
The other player Oklahoma will need to keep an eye on in the post is John Bohannon who lead the team with 11.5 points per game last season to go along with 7.3 boards. Again, Bohannon will be a player that presents a size challenge as he stands 6-10. Yet, in their previous game, Bohannon was shut down but the Arizona Wildcat defense as he laid a goose egg on the scoreboard in terms of points. The Sooners will have athleticism in Romero Osby as well as Amath M'Baye, but do not expect them to hold this guy scoreless again.
In the backcourt, the Miners are protecting the ball fairly well behind the likes of ssenior Jacques Streeter and his backup C.J. Cooper. Together this duo has combined for a 7 assist/turnover ratio on the season.
The scary part of this team is their Head Coach, Tim Floyd who is a you-never-know-what-you're-gonna-get type coach. He is not set in his was or a specific style and likes to keep opponents guessing as to what he will throw at them. The one thing he does teach is to go 100% all of the time as well as the fundamental of sharing the ball. Will this be enough to surprise Oklahoma and seal a victory?
To sum it all up, the Sooners should come into this game as the favorite but not by much if you're asking me. There are a few matchups that each side can exploit and it will be Oklahoma's guards that push the Sooners into the winners' bracket. Looking for Steven Pledger to have a major contribution to this team and come out as the player of the game while Oklahoma wins 73-64.