The Oklahoma Sooners did well to hang tough in Lawrence when things weren’t going their way against the Kansas Jayhawks, but it’ll be important to come out with some hunger on Saturday in order to avoid a letdown against a young team. Considering the amount of experience and quality of leadership on this OU team (along with the fact that it’s Bedlam), that shouldn’t be a problem against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
No. 23 Oklahoma (11-2, 0-1) vs. Oklahoma State (6-7, 0-1): 1 p.m. CT at the Lloyd Noble Center (Norman, Okla.)
TV: Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports OK+ (Spanish)
Commentary: Chad McKee, Bryndon Manzer and Jessica Coody (FSSW), Eleno Ornelas and Eduardo Najera (FSOK+)
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 -10 (10 a.m. CT)
About Oklahoma State
- The young Cowboys were 6-6 before entering Big 12 play and opened the conference slate with a 69-63 loss to Iowa State at Gallagher-Iba Arena. OSU has the No. 29 strength of schedule (KenPom) entering Saturday’s contest.
- OSU ranks 126th in adjusted offensive efficiency while sitting at No. 68 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
- The Cowboys are led by junior forward Cameron McGriff, who is averaging 13.5 PPG and 8.0 RPG. Wings Lindy Waters (11.5 PPG) and Thomas Dziagwa (10.3) are also averaging double-figures scoring, with the latter connecting on over 45 percent of his three-point attempts through 13 games.
- Indiana transfer Curtis Jones is also averaging 10 PPG, albeit with a small sample size. The 6’4” guard became eligible at the conclusion of the fall semester and scored 23 points in 24 minutes last month against Central Arkansas.
- Oklahoma leads the all-time series with a record of 137-99 and holds a 85-27 advantage in Norman. OU has won 16 of its past 18 home Bedlam contests.
- The Health of Jamuni - Starting with Oklahoma’s win over Notre Dame, OU center Jamuni McNeace has either missed or played limited minutes in six consecutive games. Fortunately, McNeace appears to be coming along nicely and could potentially make an impact on Saturday.
Lon Kruger says on Coaches Show that Jamuni McNeace practiced more today than he has in quite awhile. Potentially good news. @OU_MBBall— Toby Rowland (@TRowOU) January 4, 2019
- Experience vs. Youth - The Sooners have five scholarship seniors in their rotation. When factoring in junior Kristian Doolittle and redshirt junior Matt Freeman, that gives the Sooners the most experienced roster around. On the other side, Oklahoma State has nine newcomers on its roster, which is good for the seventh-highest total in DI basketball. In short, it’s easy to see why each program’s season is playing out this way.
- Christian James’ shot - Christian James has struggled from the field as of late, going 5-21 (2-10 from 3) and 4-15 (1-7) against Northwestern and Kansas, respectively. To his credit, he tends to find other ways to impact the game, but this one could potentially be too close for comfort if he doesn’t find his groove. Today’s game also provides him with a great opportunity to get back into the swing of things before OU enters the heart of conference play.
Prediction: Oklahoma 81, Oklahoma State 65