Two early inter-conference losses could be damaging to the Cowboys.
Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 pm EST at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
Betting odds makers are giving OSU much respect in which 5 Dimes Sportsbook lists the Sooners as a mere 1.5 point favorite at home. No total is provided.
Stay tuned, as I give you my NCAA basketball Picks for this Big 12 matchup
We can see why Oklahoma has gotten to this point with a virtually clean record. This isn’t a team that excels at one particular facet of the game. The odds makers see it that way also. While the Sooners possess two victories over West Virginia, they got blasted by Gonzaga in a 25 point loss earlier this season. The pressure is not only on Oklahoma State to lose a 2nd conference game, it is also on the Sooners, who have yet to beat a legitimate opponent. It won’t get any easier here, but home court advantage will certainly help.
Go To Guy
Oklahoma possesses great experience at the key positions and forward Romero Osby is definitely the player that they turn to in pressure situations. Osby leads the team with a modest 13.2 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds per contest. He’s coming off of a game in which he got little support from other key members of the team as Oklahoma beat West Virginia. Osby managed 21 points and 9 rebounds on 7 of 11 shooting from the field in 36 minutes.
Osby is only averaging 24.5 minutes per game. Look for his playing time to increase as the schedule only gets tougher. Nonetheless, Oklahoma is a poor offensive team that can’t shoot from the outside. Depth is the strength of their team, but look for the Cowboys defense to be keying in on Romero Osby.
Active Ball Handlers
This is what you get when you look at the Oklahoma State offense. This isn’t a team that will shoot the lights out of the building at just 44% from the field and no definitive 3 point shooter. The Cowboys are led by two hustlers, guards Markel Brown and Marcus Smart.
With great size at 6 foot 4, 225 pounds, Marcus Smart offers opposing defenses a different look with his football-like body and ferocious style of play. Smart isn’t a great shooter, but can score, rebound, make precision-style passes, and swipe some pockets.
In his last 5 game, Smart has had 4 steals or more in 4 out of those 5 games. He provides the energy and basketball I.Q. needed to help OSU win this game. Smart has had recent outings of 23 points against Gonzaga and 25 points against Kansas State. Look for Smart to have a big game here in this hostile environment.
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Come Get Some
Oklahoma State is battled-tested where Oklahoma isn’t and they’ve been successful. While the Cowboys have taken Gonzaga and Kansas State down to the wire, they possess a huge 20 point victory over the North Carolina State Wolfpack this season. This is a victory that can be used later on in their resume for the Big Dance. When it comes to schedules, victories, and near misses, the Cowboys have a huge edge over Oklahoma and a victory here will be tough, but not out of the question.
You have to like Oklahoma State here. This is almost like a home game for the Cowboys, in which they’ll receive some crowd support. On the court, they’re just the better team. Oklahoma’s offense is nothing to write home about and I don’t see the Sooners stopping Marcus Smart and Markel Brown in this game.
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