Setting the stage: OU vs. Iowa State
OU forward Ryan Spangler
OU forward Ryan Spangler
Sooners Illustrated
Posted Jan 10, 2014


The Sooners look to get back on track, but it won't be easy against the undefeated Cyclones.

With OU firmly entrenched in its Big 12 conference play, SoonersIllustrated.com is going to preview each of the Sooners conference games.

No. 7 Iowa State (14-0, 2-0) at Oklahoma (12-3, 1-1)

When: 11 a.m. CST

Last game: The Sooners offense was up to its usual production, but the defense had no answers against Kansas in a tough 90-83 loss at Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday. Iowa State dominated another top-10 foe, Baylor, en route to an 87-72 victory, arguably the most impressive of the season for the Cyclones.

What to watch for: Nobody wants to get back onto the court more than sophomore forward Ryan Spangler. Saddled with foul trouble throughout the KU game, he only accounted for four points and three rebounds in 23 minutes, far below his standards and season averages.

OU has been dominated in the paint in its first two conference games and is going to have to find a way to start slowing down teams sooner than later. The Sooners are allowing 87.5 points per game in conference action, and its plan cannot be to outscore everybody. That just won’t work.

Nobody should be asking what Cameron Clark can do for an encore. After 32 points against KU, he’s doing fine. But he needs help. Whether it’s from Jordan Woodard or Isaiah Cousins, a consistent third option has to be there with Clark and Buddy Hield.

Scouting the Cyclones with AllCyclones.com publisher Trey Scott: Iowa State has no apparent weakness. The Cyclones (14-0) don't turn the ball over, are deadly in transition and shoot lights-out from anywhere (only one team has a better percentage on two-point shots, per kenpom.com).

Maybe last weekend the only negative you could say about the Cyclones was their lack of size, not starting anyone over 6-foot-7 with a short bench. That didn't matter against Baylor and 7-foot-1 center Isaiah Austin. If anything, Iowa State used its speed as an advantage against Austin, blitzing defenders at him from every direction and turning him over five times.

In bullish point guard DeAndre Kane — a triple-double threat every game — Iowa State has perhaps the conference's best player. But conference road games are very difficult, so while the Cyclones might be 10 or more points better than Oklahoma on a neutral court, Saturday's contest should be close throughout, as the Sooners have a very efficient offense themselves.



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