Date: February 22, 2020
Tip: 3:00 PM
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena (College Station, TX)
Pride, Big 12 standings, and even a possible NCAA berth are all on the line in Bedlam Basketball’s second round. Both teams come into this game following losses. The Sooners (16-10, 6-7) most recently dropped a home game to top ranked Baylor while the Cowboys (13-13, 3-10) lost on the road at West Virginia.
Here’s what you’ll want to know about Saturday’s Bedlam game.
Oklahoma owns a 140-99 all-time advantage in the series and is 22-11 in Bedlam games since 2006. The Sooners are 12-6 against the Cowboys games under Lon Kruger.
Oklahoma State owns a 64-46 all-time advantage in Bedlam games played in Stillwater, but Oklahoma has won four of the last six meetings at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
A win on Saturday would give Oklahoma its eighth Bedlam sweeps since 2006. Oklahoma State has swept the Sooners just once in that span.
Possibilities Of Improving Seeding
With five regular-season games remaining before the Big 12 Championship, the Cowboys sit in ninth place at 3-10 in league play. If the conference tournament started today, Oklahoma State would play eighth-seeded Iowa State in the opening round for the rights to take on No. 2 seed Kansas in the quarterfinals. The Cowboys are 12-2 all-time in the first round of the Big 12 Championship. However, OSU is just two games behind TCU for sixth place in the standings, and based on win percentage the Cowboys will face the second “easiest” remaining schedule in the Big 12 over the final weeks of the season (.574 win percentage).
Epic Games In Stillwater
In 2018, the Cowboys beat the Sooners in overtime despite eventual National Freshman of the Year Trae Young scoring 48 points – the most ever in a Bedlam game, the most ever by visiting player at Gallagher-Iba Arena and tied for the most ever by a Big 12 player. In 2019, the Sooners pulled off the 70-61 victory despite trailing by as many as 19 points in the first half. Jamal Bieniemy scored a career-high 17 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting (3-of-3 from deep).
Finding His Stride
Cameron McGriff, who is coming off a 19-point game at West Virginia, has morphed into Oklahoma State’s most consistent player. The senior has made it a point to get into the paint, and as a result he’s scored in double-figures in each of the last seven games and has a team-high KenPom offensive efficiency rating of 106.0. Over this stretch, McGriff is averaging 13.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and is shooting 45.6 percent from the floor. What’s more, OSU has won all three of its last five contests. He recently became just the sixth player in school history with at least 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 55 blocks. The senior has played in 126 career games, which is a feat only 15 players in school history have topped. McGriff ranks eighth in the Big 12 with 6.8 rebounds per game, and his 82.5 free throw percentage ranks sixth.
Can He Pick Up Where He Left Off?
Oklahoma Junior forward Brady Manek lit up the Lloyd Noble Center in the first Bedlam meeting of 2020 (Feb. 1), scoring 30 points and sinking a career-high seven 3-pointers. Manek was shooting lights out from the start, scoring 17 points (5-of-6 from 3-point range) in the first eight minutes. The junior grew up a Sooners fan in Harrah, OK, and has always brought his best in Bedlam games. He’s averaged 17.5 points in his previous six Bedlam matchups and has finished with at least 15 points in his last three games against OSU (all wins).
The Three Amigos
The Sooners boast the top scoring trio in the Big 12 and one of the best in the country in senior forward Kristian Doolittle (15.6 points per game), junior forward Manek (15.3) and junior guard Austin Reaves (13.6). All three Sooners rank in the top 11 of the Big 12’s scoring race.
The Simple Keys To Success
The Sooners are 14-1 this season when they have a better field goal percentage than their opponents. Their only loss when owning a better field goal percentage was on the road at No. 1 Baylor.
OU is 15-6 when holding its opponents to under 80 points.
Oklahoma is 10-1 when it out-rebounds its opponent.
OU leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage, making 77.4% of its shots from the foul stripe. The Sooners, who shot free throws at a 69.7% rate in 2018-19, rank 13th in the country in 2019-20 (third among major-conference teams).
OSU Scouting Report
Oklahoma State is basically even on the season and points scored and points allowed (66-66). They are grabbing 36.3 rebounds per game and recording 11.7 assists.
The Cowboys are led in scoring by guard Isaac Likekele’s 11.1 points per game. He is also dishing out a team-high 4.5 assists per game. McGriff is pulling down 6.8 rebounds per game and center Yor Anei is averaging 1.9 blocked shots per game.
Oklahoma Scouting Report
Oklahoma is winning games this season by an average score of 71-68. The Sooners are grabbing 36.6 rebounds and dishing out 12 assists per game.
OU is led in scoring by Kristian Doolittle’s 15.6 points per game. He’s also pulling down a team high 9.1 boards per game. Austin Reaves is delivering an average of 2.9 assists per contest and Kur Kuath is blocking 1.3 shots per game.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland