Protect The Ball
In the previous meeting, the Oklahoma Sooners turned the ball over 20 times, an unusually high number for a team with this much experience. Capitalizing on the opportunity, the Kansas State Wildcats collected an additional 21 points off turnovers. Now, the Sooners take to the road against a program that seemingly always gives them trouble. Lack of ball protection may not prove detrimental but it will certainly allow the Wildcats to hang around potentially giving K-State an opportunity to score an upset.
OU ranks 31st in the nation pulling down 41.1 rebounds per game. With the physicality of Ryan Spangler and athleticism of Khadeem Lattin, this number comes at not surprise. However, it's the guards that deserve the credit. Crashing the boards each time a shot goes up allows Oklahoma to out-rebound any opponent on any given day. Why then am I including defensive rebounding in a "keys to the game" post?
Simple, KSU pulled down 15 offensive rebounds in Norman leading to 17 points off second chance opportunities. In the end Oklahoma may have won the battle of the boards but only secured a 10-point margin of victory. They'll need to keep the Wildcats off the offensive glass if the players hope for a repeat.
Get Out In Transition
It's no secret that the Sooners excel in the transition game. Whether that is getting to the rim, drawing a foul, or knocking down a three pointer while running the floor, it's a strength Oklahoma must play to at all times. In the first meeting between these two teams, OU scored 24 points in transition and will once again look to push the tempo. Hopefully the effort produces yet another win.