After suffering a blowout loss in round one, the Oklahoma Sooners look to settle a vendetta against the West Virginia Mountaineers in Norman. In order secure their third consecutive win, Lon Kruger and the gang must answer these three questions.
Who Will Handle The Pressure?
Deploying a havoc style of defense complete with full court press, the Mountaineers lead the nation in steals per game at 12.4 each outing. To combat the pressure, Oklahoma attempted something not many others have done...letting a post player bring the ball up the floor. While TaShawn Thomas proved capable, it clearly wasn't the answer. The defensive scheme forced the Sooners to turn the ball over staggering 22 times leading to 27 points for WVU. Undoubtedly, all eyes turn toward Jordan Woodard and Dinjiyl Walker to carry the responsibility. Can they deal with the pressure? Hopefully in front of a home crowd, the outcome is different this go around.
Can The Bench Provide Scoring Options?
Against a Bob Huggins team, bench scoring is a must as West Virginia has the ability to rotate ten different players into the game for significant minutes. Not only that but the bench can carry the scoring load if need be. The last time these two teams met, the Mountaineers pouring in 55 points off the bench. If Oklahoma hopes to pull off what would be considered an upset, they'll need more than eight points from their bench players. Frank Booker along with Walker are two options...
Is It Possible To Limit The Shots Of WVU?
One strength of this West Virginia squad has been the ability to put up a large number of shots. The Mountaineers shot 18 more shots than the Sooners did in early January netting 20 second chance points. Needless to say, rebounding plays a major factor here as WVU recorded 17 offensive rebounds in the previous meeting. Ryan Spangler can rebound with the best of them but he can't do it alone. With Devin Williams on the floor, OU must employ a team effort crashing the boards regularly and securing the ball.