With OU firmly entrenched in its Big 12 conference play, SoonersIllustrated.com is going to preview each of the Sooners conference games.
Oklahoma State (16-3, 4-2) at Oklahoma (16-4, 5-2)
When: 8 p.m. CST
Last game: OU played one of its most complete games of the season in a solid 74-65 victory at Texas Tech. It wasn’t a pretty win for Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys pulled it out down the stretch with an 81-75 win against West Virginia.
What to watch for: The crowd. The OU attendance has been taken to task by some media members. Even though the team is producing on the court, it hasn’t generated the big crowds yet. It’s Bedlam. It’s the first time since 2005 both teams are ranked in the top 25. If a huge crowd doesn’t show up Monday, when will it?
Saturday was a big game for point guard Jordan Woodard, who broke out of a mini-slump with 15 points and eight assists. When Woodard gets his shot going, the game becomes so much easier for him and then his teammates.
It was an off night for Isaiah Cousins, who has improved so much with his shooting. Lubbock hasn’t been kind to him in his two trips, but he should feel comfortable being back home.
Emotion. Never know how a young team is going to handle the emotion of the moment. It should be the loudest Lloyd Noble Center crowd this season but can’t get all wrapped up and be too fired up.
Scouting the Cowboys: All eyes will be on Marcus Smart. Coming off a dreadful four-point outing where he showed visible signs of frustration, you know full well he’s going to be determined to make a statement. He averages 17 points per game.
But you can’t load up on Smart, not when you have to contend with Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash. In particular with Nash as he’s coming off a career-high 29 points. He leads the team at 6.1 rebounds per contest.
Brown doesn’t get the recognition he probably deserves with Smart, but OSU knows how valuable he is. He enters the game averaging 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds. The loss of Michael Cobbins has been tough for the Cowboys, but they’re starting to adjust accordingly.