clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

#18 Oklahoma Sooners Open Conference Play Against #22 Baylor Bears | Preview & Thread

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

After playing through the non-conference portion of the schedule, the question that abounds is: How much do we really know about each team? Needless to say, we're about to find out what each team across the nation is made of as conference play brings out the best. The Oklahoma Sooners draw a tough opening match-up in the Big XII against the Baylor Bears, both ranked inside the top twenty-five.

While Oklahoma has faced plenty of elite talent, the Bears head to Norman not only for their first real test but also an opportunity to make an impression. However, the task proves much easier said than done as the Sooners have won each home game this season by an average margin of 25-points. If that doesn't give OU the edge, then history might. Since the inception of the Big XII, the Sooners have dropped a mere two games to Baylor in Lloyd Noble Center.

As the two teams collide on the hardwood, the league's top two three-point defenses will be on display.

Buddy Hield continues to lead the squad into battle with his vocal leadership and energy. Setting the tone for the game on both ends of the floor, Hield averages 15.7 points per game. But, he does not shoulder the scoring responsibility alone. In an attempt to move toward a more balanced attack, TaShawn Thomas and Ryan Spangler have played key roles in making that a reality. Both average 10 points per game taking some of the focus off the guards.

On the other side of the question, Taurean Prince leads the Bears with 11.5 points per game. The real test in guarding a player like Prince remains in contesting the three-point shot. To date, the 6-7 player hits on 54.8% of his attempts from beyond the arc. Down low, Rico Gathers and Royce O'Neal look to be a dominant force. Both average over 10 points per game while O'Neal has the ability to play on the perimeter.

This game has the making of a great one. Look for tip off at 3 PM CST on ESPNU.