Oklahoma and Oklahoma State find themselves in a similar position as the second round of Bedlam approaches. The both need a win in a bad way!
That’s what separates this round of Bedlam from the previous one, and it’s the reason the game could go down to the wire.
Oklahoma State traveled to Norman on January 5th having won two of their last three games. Even a 10-point loss to their arch-rivals didn’t damper the spirits of Mike Boynton’s upstart Cowboys. They went on to win the next two by downing the Longhorns at home and traveling to continue their winning streak in Morgantown, West Virginia.
However, since then a rash of suspensions, expulsions, and transfers have hit Oklahoma State. The Pokes are now taking the court minus Mike Cunningham, Michael Weathers, Maurice Calloo, and Kentrevious Jones. That’s 21 points per game, on average, no longer available.
To say that depth in an issue in Stillwater is a massive understatement. Sure, someone has to make up for those missing points but the number of people able to do so is extremely limited. Things are so dire for Boynton that he held open tryouts just so that he could find enough guys to practice with.
That’s not to say the Cowboys aren’t fighting though. The Pokes gave Baylor all they wanted and then gave Iowa State a run for their money before finally succumbing late in the game.
A Bedlam win on Wednesday night most likely turn the season around for Oklahoma State but it certainly would put a positive vibe in a locker room that has desperately needed one.
For Lon Kruger it’s an opportunity to escape the deja vu cycle. Just like last season, Kruger’s team posted an impressive non-conference showing this year. Then they fell flat on their faces once Big 12 play began, just like this year.
Losers in four of their six Big 12 games. This may be Oklahoma’s best opportunity to get that coveted first road win in conference play. After dropping a home loss to Kansas State last week, the Sooners need to pick one up on the road. This is their chance.
Even more more pressing, this is OU’s opportunity to go on a bit of a run. Following Bedlam they’ll step out of conference to host 9-8 Vanderbilt before Baylor comes calling next at the Lloyd Noble Center.
A road trip to West Virginia awaits Oklahoma following Baylor, lining Kruger and company up with four extremely winnable games, including two on the road, at a time of the season when they desperately need to pick up some wins.
It all starts with Bedlam on Wednesday night though. A loss there would take Oklahoma from bad to worse and potentially send the season spiraling out of control. However, a win pretty much renews all possibilities.
With so much at stake for both schools this could be one of the most desperate Bedlam Battles in quite a while. That should pave the way for an extremely entertaining ball game.