Oklahoma (13-5, 2-4) at Oklahoma State (8-10, 2-4): 8 p.m. CT at Gallagher-Iba Arena (Stillwater, Okla.)
Commentary: Mark Neely and Fran Fraschilla
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa), Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Oklahoma -2.5 (as of 5 p.m. CT)
About Oklahoma State
- The Cowboys picked up a pair of decent wins earlier this month against Texas and at West Virginia (which is a tough place to win even when the ‘Eers are down). However, the depth has since taken a hit with the dismissals of redshirt sophomore guard Michael Weathers and freshmen forwards Maurice Calloo and Kentrevious Jones for a violation of team rules last week, which forced Mike Boynton to hold walk-on tryouts. Weathers scored 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists in the Jan. 5 loss to OU.
- In the last meeting, Oklahoma State played a tough game and gave the Sooners all they could handle. OU came out on top, 74-64, but this OSU team is capable of pulling the upset, shorthanded or not, if OU isn’t sharp.
- Junior forward Cameron McGriff leads Oklahoma State with 13.5 PPG and 8.3 RPG. Guards Lindey Waters and Thomas Dziagwa are each averaging over 10 PPG, as well, but one other guy to keep an eye on is Indiana transfer guard Curtis Jones. He struggled against OU but has proven capable of carrying a large chunk of the scoring load, recording 15 and 18 points against West Virginia and Baylor, respectively.
- Bieniemy Steps Up - Jamal Bieniemy earned his first career start against Texas on Saturday, and he came up big with three late threes that kept OU in the thick of things to the very end. It’ll be interesting to see if Kruger sticks with the starting lineup of Bieniemy, Odomes, James, Doolittle and Manek moving forward, but the freshman certainly showed enough poise on the road to make a decent case for his inclusion.
- Miles Reynolds - After providing a real force of energy against quality non-conference competition, Reynolds hasn’t reached double-figures in any of OU’s six Big 12 contests. He’s connecting on merely 28 percent of his field goal attempts during the stretch, and his minutes have been reduced as a result. Fortunately, he’s still getting to the free throw line (one of his strong suits), but OU sorely needs him to find his footing if it wants to get back on track.
- James Finding a Groove? - The sample size is small, but Christian James looked a bit more like his early-season self down the stretch against Texas (other than that rough turnover). He’s going to be the key to OU digging itself out of this mini-rut.
- The Road - OU hasn’t won a conference road game since Dec. 30, 2017 against TCU. OU was somehow invited to the 2018 NCAA Tournament in spite of its 1-8 Big 12 road record, but that simply won’t fly this time around. Winning at GIA (albeit against a struggling/shorthanded OSU team) would be a decent sign of some progress and would perhaps do something positive for the team’s confidence in future road contests. One can only hope.
- Don’t Let It Slip Away - At 2-4 in Big 12 play, OU can still right the ship with wins over Oklahoma State and Baylor (with a Vanderbilt game mixed in there, as well). However, OU simply can’t afford to drop one tonight if it wants to be dancing in March. Falling to 2-5 would leave an awfully steep hill to climb in order to put forth a good enough Big 12 record to impress the committee. 9-9 or perhaps even 8-10 might get it done, and they’ll still be in a decent position to reach that mark if they’re 3-4 after tonight.