The first Bedlam clash takes place later this evening. As for the Oklahoma Sooners, they look to end a two game losing streak as the team returns to Norman once again to defend home court. On the other side of the equation, the Oklahoma St. Cowboys hope to make a statement earning their first big road win of the season. Only one can prevail. Who will it be? Kyle Porter of Pistols Firing took some time out of his day to sit down and answer a few questions concerning the match-up.
CCM - Losing Marcus Smart, Oklahoma St. was picked to finish 8th in the Big XII this season. Currently standing at 11-4, what has been the biggest key to success for OSU so far this season?
Kyle Porter - Biggest key is that this team plays well together and plays good defense. It has the 12th-best adjusted D in the country according to KenPom and is led by PG Anthony Hickey and the return of Michael Cobbins. It won't win 25 games (it might not even win 20) but it's a team that will be competitive in almost all of them.
CCM - As soon as he steps off the bus, it's been rumored that Phil Forte connects on a 3-pointer instantly giving the Cowboys a lead wherever they play. Is Forte the best pure shooter in the nation and will it take for the Sooners to shut him down?
KP - I'm not sure if he's the best pure shooter in the country but he's become a pretty dang good basketball player. His shooting range actually takes away from folks noticing the other parts of his game (because it's so absurd). The problem for OSU is other folks stepping up to score if teams like OU that have long guards drape him with a player and a half just to take away his 18 a game. You can do that, probably, and I'm not sure anyone on OSU can make opposing teams pay.
CCM - Everyone recognizes the names Phil Forte and Le'Bryan Nash (who has had a stellar start to league play) across the conference. If these two have an off night on Saturday, can Anthony Hickey Jr. pick up the slack?
KP - He can but OSU will need more than that. They'll need 25-30 out of a combination of Jeff Newberry, Jeffrey Carroll, Leyton Hammonds and Tavarius Shine. Those guys are inconsistent (at best) so it's sort of up in the air as to what you get game in and game out on offense.
CCM - Through sixteen games, neither bench provides much output on the scoreboard. It is possible that the play of the bench decides the outcome of Bedlam 1.0 or is there are more telling stat to watch?
KP - No I think that's correct. If Carroll (for example) comes off the bench and hits three 3s that makes it abundantly easier for OSU to win this game.
CCM - Road wins are going to be tough to come by in the Big XII. With that said, give us your score prediction.
KP - I think OU takes this version 68-63. OSU hasn't let many games get away from them thus far but it's hard for me to see OU losing three in a row (including two at home).