Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Tonight’s Bedlam game is big for Oklahoma but huge for Oklahoma State. Sunday’s loss at Kansas all but eliminated the Sooners from contention for the regular season conference championship. Now OU must win to remain in contention for one of the conference’s top spots and a first round bye in the conference tournament. The Sooners also need to continue to win games to improve their seeding for the NCAA tournament.

Oklahoma State needs to take advantage of having 5 of their final 8 games at home. The Cowboys win Saturday in Manhattan stopped a four game losing streak and a winning streak down the stretch using their home court advantage could propel OSU into the NCAA dance.

TEAMS I think OU is the better team with the most experience and possibly the most talented athlete in Terrell Everett. OU should be able to win this game inside with the guards feeding the ball to Kevin Bookout and Taj Gray. OSU doesn’t have anyone on their roster who can match-up with these guys. It will be interesting to see if Eddie Sutton tries to zone the Sooners.

OFFENSE The guards are about even for these two teams. Oklahoma has Terrell Everett who should get a lot of attention for the Cowboy defense and the Sooners will have to know where JamesOn Curry is at all times. Both teams have suffered shooting slumps from their guards but if I had to pick a team when the guards are “on” then it would be OU. Everett has proven that he can score from anywhere on the floor and Michael Neal needs just a second to kill you with a three pointer.

DEFENSE OU also has the advantage on defense. The Sooners swarming defense has held opponents to an average of 59.7 points while the Cowboys are holding opponents to 66.3 points per game.

TURNOVERS OSU takes care of the Basketball better than the Sooners to and turnovers could be crucial in tonight’s game. The Sooners will have to put pressure on Jamaal Brown and Curry to try to force turnovers and Everett and Austin Johnson will have to make smart decisions with the ball for the Sooners.

The final factor in tonight’s game is Gallagher Iba Arena. It is by far one of the most difficult places to play in the country and Cowboy fans get extra crazy for Bedlam. I think visits to Villanova and Kansas will help OU deal with the hostile crowd they will face tonight.

Scouting the Cowboys

F 4 Mario Boggan (6-7, 240, Jr., 13.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.8 apg)
F 5 Marcus Dove (6-9, 215, So., 5.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.8 apg)
C 40 Kenny Cooper (6-10, 260, Fr., 2.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G 10 Jamaal Brown (5-10, 200, Jr., 9.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 4.1 apg)
G 24 JamesOn Curry (6-3, 190, So., 14.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.4 apg)

The Cowboys are 13-9 overall record and 3-5 in the conference. They are 8-3 at home (the losses were to Northwestern State, Colorado and Nebraska). Three of their Big 12 losses were by two points (two of them in overtime) and two of their conference victories were by two points.

Junior forward Mario Boggan leads the Cowboys with his 13.9 and 5.6 scoring and rebounding averages. He is shooting .592 from the field to rank second in the conference and owns a .787 free throw mark to rank fifth. Sophomore guard JamesOn Curry averages 13.2 points and 4.5 assists per outing, and has made a team-high 41 treys (shooting .376 from behind the arc). Torre Johnson, a junior forward, supplies 12.1 points and 4.8 boards a game while shooting .576 from the field. David Monds is another junior forward who averages 9.1 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. He is shooting .535 from the floor. Freshman point guard Byron Eaton, who came off the bench for the first time of the year on Saturday, averages 7.6 points, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals.

PREDICTION If this game were in Norman then I would pick the Sooners to win going away. I can't do that with the game in Stillwater! I wouldn't be surprised to see OSU win and either way I think the game will be close. I'm picking the Sooners to win 62-57.