With OU firmly entrenched in its Big 12 conference play, SoonersIllustrated.com is going to preview each of the Sooners conference games.
Oklahoma (18-7, 7-5) at Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-7)
When: 1 p.m. CST
Last game: The Sooners had their first true bad loss and first uninspired effort of the season in a 68-60 loss to Texas Tech at home. The troubles for Oklahoma State continued Tuesday at Texas in a blowout loss in the first game of Marcus Smart’s three-game suspension.
What to watch for: How OU mentally responds after a rough two-week period. The Sooners were once the story of the Big 12 but after having lost three of their last four, have fallen out of the top 25 and are trying to find some consistency.
One way for that to happen will be for at least one of their three key players to step up. Wednesday was a horrible night for guards Jordan Woodard and Buddy Hield and forward Ryan Spangler. Hield had his worst shooting performance of his career. Woodard had one assist and four turnovers, while Spangler wasn’t as effective in the post as he has been throughout this season.
The Tech loss illustrated what happens when OU relies too much on perimeter shooting and the shots aren’t going down. It’s almost too late to make wholesale changes to the offense, but it will be interesting to see if OU changes its offensive approach.
Scouting the Cowboys: From bad to worse here lately for Travis Ford’s group. OSU has lost six of its last seven and is also firmly out of the top 25 rankings. This will be game two of Smart’s suspension.
OSU took its lumps in Austin but that was to be expected. If nothing else, it gave the Cowboys a chance to try to prepare how to play these next two games without Smart. Motivation could be a factor in some of the other games, but you know it won’t be for Bedlam.
Both teams are desperate. Both teams need a win. Saturday afternoon could be a turning point, either good or bad, for both schools.