With victories over the two highest-ranked teams in the league, Kansas and Kansas State, the Oklahoma State Cowboys (21-9 9-7) are likely headed to the NCAA Tournament, though a strong run through the Big 12 Tournament could solidify and influence their seeding. Oklahoma State demonstrated an ability to play well on both ends when it went on an 18-0 run in the first half of its March 6 win against Nebraska, while also holding the Huskers to 19 first-half points. That was the lowest output in a half by a Big 12 opponent all season, though it must be noted Nebraska finished last in the conference.
Every team in the Big 12 was perplexed at some point in the season by how to stop G James Anderson (22.9). The conference's leading scorer netted at least 20 points against every league rival. He posted 21 20-point performances, the third-most in a season by a Cowboy behind 22 from Byron Houston in 1990-91 and 23 from Bryant Reeves in 1994-95. Anderson shoots about 47% overall and enjoyed his 17th 25-point game of the season when he scored that many against Nebraska. He maintained a 25-point average over the final seven games of the season. Over that stretch he shot slightly less than 50 percent.
The Cowboys love to run averaging about 75 ppg on 45% from the field. What makes them consistent and efficient is their ability to make free throws down the stretch (73%) and consistency in conference play. Obi Muonelo (13.4) is the Cowboys' primary threat from 3 point range (43%) as is Kelton Page (10.2) who converts just unde r90% from the charity stripe. Marshall Moses (9.0) leads OSU in rebounding (8.6) and is a solid low post presence on both sides of the ball. They're not super efficient ball handlers as evident by their 14 assists and 13 turnovers per contest, but Anderson also provides second shot opportunities thanks to 7 rebounds per contest.
Oklahoma (13-17 4-12) is going through a tailspin with an eight-game losing streak that leaves the Sooners as the No. 10 seed for the Big 12 Tournament. The skid virtually assures Oklahoma of its first losing season in 29 years. A season-ending ankle injury to G Willie Warren (16.3) robbed the Sooners of one of the Big 12's top scoring threats over the final seven games of the conference schedule. It was a blow the short-handed Sooners could not overcome. This marks the second straight year the in-state rivals have met in the first round of the conference tournament. Oklahoma was ousted 71-70 last season. The teams split two regular-season meetings this year, with the Sooners winning in overtime in Norman and the Cowboys rolling to a 21-point victory in Stillwater. Containing the league's top scorer will be a tough challenge for OU.
Tommy Mason-Griffin (13.9) led Oklahoma with 16 points and four assists against Texas A&M, but shot just 33 percent from the field. Mason-Griffin set the Oklahoma freshman assists record, bumping his total to 145, the most by a Sooner since Terrell Everett had 1999 in 2005-06. However, he shoots just 40% from the field. There hasn't been much to cheer about for a progrm that normally soughts high expectations come March. The Sooners average about 73 ppg, however that mark drops to about 67 in league play. Like their interstate rivals, they convert well from the foul line but two achilles heels include shooting from the floor (43%) and from beyond the arc (35%). The Sooners do establish balance in the frontcourt with Tony Crocker (11.2) but he is shooting just 41% overall and leads the team in turnovers. Tiny Gallon (10.4) is anything but leading OU in rebounding (8.0), but will need to receive more opportunities in the low post if the Sooners are to keep this game competitive.
Oklahoma State does not want to risk swaying the committe's opinion when it comes to making the field of 65. Therefore they must approach this game like every other regular season contest. Winning a few games here in the Big 12 should virtually guarantee a berth, and I think with Anderson taking charge they roll by double digits at the Spirit Center. Best of luck however you play!
That was an interesting game. I nearly bet CU before the game. But luckil opted not to. Perfect example of why watching games is so huge. Tech was backing off a little rather than pressuring and getting beat off the dribble constantly like the usually do. So it set up a nice 2nd half play. That is the way to play against CU. They cannot penetrate they don't have anything with no post up game to speak of, other than inverting and posting up a guard once in a while.