Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Battle in Boulder

The Sooners are in sole possession of third place in the Big 12 basketball standings but that could change tonight in Boulder, Co. That is why it is important for Oklahoma to bring their A-game and it is what makes this a huge game for OU. Colorado is 11-1 at home this season but the Sooners have beaten the Buffalos in 16 of their last 18 match-ups.

For the Sooners to nab a victory in the Coors Events Center the must continue to have huge performances from guards Michael Neal and Terrell Everett. Neal is 27 for his last 49 (.551) from 3-point range ... Terrell Everett averages 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists in Big 12 play. The Sooners will also have to win the battle of the boards something that they usually do. Oklahoma leads the nation in rebounding margin at +11.6rpg.

Scouting Colorado
F 4 Andy Osburn (6-9, 225, Sr.. 8.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F 15 Chris Copeland (6-8, 235, Sr.. 12.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.1 apg)
F 33 Julius Ashby (6-9, 235, Sr., 4.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
G 21 Marcus Hall (6-1, 180, Jr., 9.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 4.0 apg)
G 23 Richard Roby (6-6, 195, So., 18.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.6 apg)

The Buffaloes, who have 10 seniors on their roster are just a game behind the Sooners. They have lost two of their last three and are coming off a 66-64 home win over Texas Tech on Saturday. Before losing at Iowa State (Feb. 5) and at Texas A&M (Feb. 8), the Buffs won five consecutive league games. They are 11-1 at home this year with the lone defeat coming at the hands of Kansas (75-63) on Jan. 11. Colorado leads the Big 12 in scoring (80.4 ppg), 3-point makes per game (9.0) and blocked shots (6.2 bpg).

Sophomore guard Richard Roby (pictured right) ranks fifth in the Big 12 with his 18.2 scoring average and also supplies a team-high 5.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Roby leads the league with .444 3-point percentage (he averages 2.5 treys) and had 17 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals Saturday against Texas Tech. Senior forward Chris Copeland averages 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a game and has made 35 3-pointers (he’s shooting .417 from beyond the arc). Junior guard Marcus Hall scores 9.7 points a game and also averages a team-high 4.0 assists and 1.4 steals. Andy Osborn, a senior forward, averages 8.9 points a contest (2.0 treys per outing) while fellow senior forward Martane Freeman averages 8.7 points.

If OU plays their game I am confident they will win. The Coors Events Center is a tough venue but not the toughest the Sooners have played in this year. In my opinion a win tonight will guarantee Oklahoma a top three finish in the conference.

Big 12 Basketball Standings
Texas 10-1 22-3
Kansas 9-2 18-6
Oklahoma 7-3 16-5
Colorado 6-4 16-5
Nebraska 5-5 15-8
Texas A&M 5-6 15-7
Kansas State 4-6 13-8
Iowa State 4-6 14-9
Texas Tech 4-6 12-12
Missouri 4-7 11-11
Oklahoma State 3-8 13-12
Baylor 2-9 2-9