The Oklahoma Sooners currently stand one game behind Kansas in sole possession of second place in the conference. Hoping to climb the ladder and claim at least a share of the Big XII crown, a ver good Iowa St. Cyclones program stands in the way. As the two are set to clash on Big Monday, here are a few questions that must be answered.
Can Iowa St. Consistently Stop The Sooners?
We all know the Cyclones can score with a nation leading six players, headlined by Georges Niang, averaging double digits. Making the most of transfers from other Division I programs, Fred Hoiberg has this squad playing at a high level...on the offensive end of the court behind a league leading 79.1 points per game. However, defense is another story as Naz Long and the rest of the crew find themselves in the basement as far as the conference is concerned. On average opponents have scored 69.4 points against this squad. The last time these two teams met, ISU allowed their opponent to put up 94 points. Will they be able to stop the Sooners in Ames?
Can Oklahoma Secure A Win In Ames?
Road wins are difficult to come by. On the season, Oklahoma boasts a 5-5 record in true road but has not had great success in Ames since the inception of the Big XII. Sure, the Sooners own a 15-10 record over the Cyclones in that span. Yet, only 4 wins have come in Iowa. On the other hand, ISU dropped their first home game to Baylor this past week and now sports a 14-1 record in front of their home crowd. Riding a two game losing streak, this group looks for redemption with a win on Big Monday. Will Oklahoma be able to hand them a third consecutive loss?
Will The Sooners Move The Ball Efficiently?
Undoubtedly, Oklahoma has not been the most efficient team in moving the ball. Trailing Iowa St. in Norman, TaShawn Thomas kicked things into high gear consistently finding the open man from wherever he was on the floor. The senior forward recorded five assists while the team finished with 17, a number above their average 13 per game. Ball movement helped overcome a deficit, wore out a talent Cyclone squad, and eventually secured a win. The Sooners likely need a similar performance in Ames to continue holding sole possession of second place in the Big XII.