For the third time this season, the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma St. Cowboys will clash on the hardwood. Owning a 3-0 tournament record against their in-state rival, the Cowboys look to keep the slate unblemished. On the other side of the equation, Lon Kruger looks for a first post season win with the Sooners. Only one can prevail. Kyle Porter (@pistolsguy) of Pistols Firing sat down for a few minutes to entertain a few questions of mine.
CCM - Throughout the season, there have been some extreme highs including sweeps of Texas and Baylor to go alongside a win over Kansas. However, there have also been some low points. How would you describe this team heading into the post season?
Kyle Porter - Oh, I'd describe it as being pretty average. It can beat anybody in the Big 12 when its defense is on lockdown and it is hitting 3s. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened very much of late.
CCM - We all know the shooter the Cowboys possess in Phil Forte III. Opponents have keyed into the junior's ability draping defenders all over him. Forte has fared well against the Sooners this season averaging 13 points in the two contests, a number just shy of his seasonal average. What's it going to take to free him up?
KP - Forte's issue actually hasn't been getting free, but rather just not taking ill-advised shots in the lane when he drives. He's gone away from what he does best (namely, shoot) and tried to become a slashing scorer. It hasn't gone well.
CCM - What's the biggest weakness facing this Oklahoma St. team after 30 games?
KP - Getting stops. That's so cliche, but I don't know who it turns to when it really needs one late in a game.
CCM - Turning towards the NCAA Tournament, OSU appears to be on course for No. 9 seed. How high is their ceiling?
KP - I would be floored if they made it to the Sweet 16. Floored.
CCM - Oklahoma St. currently stands 0-2 against the Sooners this year. However, the folks from Stillwater have never lost to Oklahoma in the Big XII Tournament (3-0). On a neutral court, can the Cowboys secure yet another post season win over their in-state rival?
KP - They can. I think it's so difficult to beat a team three times in a season. I think that actually matters more than the historic record. If OSU can get some early stops and hold Buddy Hield to, say, 8-10 points, they can win. That's a big if, though.
The game tips off at 8:00 PM CST on March 12th in Kansas City as part of the Big XII Tournament on ESPNU