A BOTCHED BEDLAM: Bad luck and poor shooting doom the Cowboys.

Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Throw in some bad officiating (what's new?), and it was generally a game we would like to forget.

For me, this game revolved around a quote and 1 stat.

From Pistols Firing's preview of Bedlam, "Three things to watch..."

"2. Push from the inside - There’s not much risk of OU killing you with the three (260th in the country in 3P%) so if you can push the ball out to their guards, you can devastate them offensively. They use two big men — Romero Osby and Amath M’Baye — each on 24% of their possessions. The Cowboys haven’t…um…been effective in the interior on defense but if they are today we can expect a mini-rout."

I think you know what's coming next.

8-13. 61.5%.

These are NOT OSU's 3pt shooting stats.

Now this is not to call out Kyle for not knowing what he is talking about. It is to show that if you do exactly what you should do, sometimes it doesn't work out.

OU came out fast and aggressive, and the Cowboys couldn't get their legs under them until they were already down 14. Finally, trailing 45-31 with 17:49 left to play, Ford decided to dial up the pressure. What happened over the next 8 minutes made everyone wonder why the hell this didn't happen right from the start. OSU picked up full court pressure and began relentlessly attacking the goal, going on a 19-7 run. OU cooperated, going cold on the offensive end. During that time, the Cowboys made:

  • 4 layups/dunks
  • 9 FT's
  • 1 jump shot
  • no 3pt shots
You can bash Ford's coaching all you want. You won't get any argument from me. Why it took until 17:49 of the 2nd half to dial up the pressure on the young Sooner guards is beyond me, and OSU should ALWAYS be attacking the rim.

You can bash the officiating all you want. You won't get any argument from me. The call that gave Pledger 3 FT's, made by the official on the other side of the floor, was one of the all time worst, but bad calls went both ways. The flagrant on OU for the elbow to Nash's face was abysmal. Can't find the tweet, but someone compared BIG 12 hoops officials to PAC 12 football brethren. I'm good with that.

This came down to 3pt shooting, especially in the second half. OSU had only 4 more FT attempts than OU, so even if they make a couple more, that doesn't get them over the hump.
  • Points in the paint...even at 26;
  • Fast break points...OU, 7-3. Neither team did anything here, and the Sooner's points came early in the game;
  • Bench scoring...OSU, 21-11. All but 1 FT came from Cobbins and Forte. I REALLY hope Brian Williams comes back SOON;
  • Rebounds...OU, 37-36. OSU had 2 more offensive boards (12-10);
  • Non 3pt shooting...OSU 45.7% (55% in 2nd half); OU 37.8% (35.3% in 2nd half); and that was with at least 5-6 point blank misses for the Cowboys;
  • 2nd half 3pt FG's...OU, 5-9...OSU, 0-9. Both teams made 11 FG's in the 2nd half, but 45.5% of the Sooner's made shots were 3's, and you can add 1 more for the 3 FT gift Pledger cashed in. Count those FT's, and that's 18 points the Cowboys had to make up somewhere else JUST IN THE 2ND HALF;
Say what you want about OSU settling for 3's, but they were 6-12 in the 1st half. Why would you stop shooting from deep? They actually took 3 fewer attempts from behind the arc in the 2nd half. Same number of 2nd half attempts as OU. Who's to say that Forte would go stone cold, missing several WIDE open attempts? He's shooting 37.9% for the season, so I don't have a problem with his trigger. Nash and Gardner need to stop taking 3's...combined, they've attempted 43 for the season and only made 9.

Both teams are comparable from deep for the season, and if you give OSU their season average for the game, that doesn't even amount to an extra 3pt basket (6-21...avg would have been 6.678-21). OU, on the other hand, was 8-13. Apply their season avg and you get 4.251-13. That's almost 4 made shots. OSU lost by 9.

Now let's add shooting inside the arc.

OSU shoots 50% for the season...OU 45.6%. The Cowboys held the Sooners to 37.8% for the game (35.3% in the 2nd half). Don't go bashing the big men. While OSU was held under their average (45.7% for the game), they put up 55% in the 2nd half. That means the Cowboys only put up 33% in the first half. When I think back to all the short range shots that were missed, well, that plus the 3pt shooting made the difference. If OSU had managed their season average from inside the arc in the first half, that would have amounted to 2.5 extra baskets...5 points.

If football is a game of inches, basketball is a game of possessions, and each one counts. Five possessions one way or the other can be the difference in a close game or a blowout. OU took 5 more shots, and made 3 more, in the first half, plus 3 more FT attempts and 6 more made. That's 12 points to make up somewhere else, and the only place that can happen is from behind the arc. OSU managed to do that, keeping the lead in single digits. However, when OU was busy putting in 18 more points from behind the arc than the Cowboys in the 2nd half, there was no way for OSU to make it up in possessions or FT's.

Observations...
  • OU isn't as sucky from behind the arc as you might think. The Sooners have 3 players averaging 23+ minutes per game that collectively shoot 36.8% from deep (4.3 of 11.6 per game), which means they have options;
  • OSU isn't as good. The Cowboys have only 2 players that have more than 5 attempts that are shooting 30+% (Forte & Brown). Of the 5 players averaging 23+ minutes per game, 4 of them average 2+ attempts each per game. If you take away Forte, the other three (Smart/Brown/Nash) average 29.3% from behind the arc. So Forte averages 2.4 made on 6.3 attempts per game. The other three average 2.9 made on 10 attempts per game.
  • There were a couple of possessions for Nash in the 2nd half where I went "WOW...now that's the guy I expect to see." Like I said, a couple of possessions.
  • Jurick...If I see him roaming around anywhere more than 10 feet from the basket, I'm going to kick in the TV. Ten feet and in, he is actually an offensive threat. Well, maybe just an option, but I'll take it.
  • That was Smart's worst game of the season.
  • My favorite lineup? Smart/Brown/Forte/maybe Nash/anyone else. Best shooters with best chance to spread the floor and make room to attack the rim.
  • Pistols Firing, and others, have continuously said this team should attack first, shoot 3's second. They do exactly the opposite, and that's on the coach.
  • Speaking of coach, the Sooners have a really good one. That was painfully evident yesterday.
  • Is anyone else as anxious as I am to get Brian Williams back?
  • Pending Williams return and his ability to be effective, both offensively and defensively, this current squad will struggle to make the tournament. Definite NIT material, but will be NCAA bubble team unless something changes. Just not good enough on offense. This was not the only game they will lose that they shouldn't have lost.
  • This is a decent defensive team. OU just happened to be unconscious from 3, and who would have thought OSU would go 0-fer in the 2nd half.
  • How ironic that the coach that deserved it had to struggle with contract negotiations and an extension, while the one who did nothing to deserve it got an extension without so much as a whimper. Now the one we want annually flirts with other suitors in order to get what he wants here, and the one we would like to ditch is stuck here because it's too expensive to let him go. I'm looking at you, Mr. Holder.
Gonna be interesting the rest of the way. Start doing the math based on what we've seen so far in Big 12 play, and this will be a rocky ride to the finish.

GO POKES!!!


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