Rich DeCray of Crimson and Cream Machine was nice enough to sit down with me and answer a few pressing questions about tonight's Bedlam match-up. I know that over here at CRFF we aren't particularly fond of the other Big 12 school in the state but make sure you head over to CCM and read some of their great stuff! Anyhow, enjoy today's Q&A and Go Pokes!
The first match-up between these two squads did not go how the Cowboys had planned. Will this game be any different?
Crimson & Cream Machine: Let's hope not! On a serious note, road wins are seriously though to come by in the conference. Either of these teams could potentially pull out a win. However, GIA remains a loud arena and gives an advantage to O-State each night. If the Sooners hope to pull out a win, they'll need a quick start and a large lead.
Buddy Hield has emerged as arguably the Big 12's best offensive player. Averaging nearly 18 PPG, what has been the biggest change in his game from last season to this season?
Crimson & Cream Machine: I think you need to go back to Hield's freshman season to adequately explain his progression. During the first year on campus, fans witnessed an energetic player with a motor that never quit. Jumping to the collegiate level, Hield drove the lane to finish at the rim more often than not shying away from open shots from the perimeter.
Moving into his sophomore season, Hield focused on scoring by improving his jump shot and range. The kid lived in the gym and the work paid off.
Now, the junior has combined the two mindsets to become a complete player. With the ability to shoot from beyond the arc at any given time combined with the skills to finish at the rim, Hield provides a constant scoring option for Oklahoma making him a nightmare matchup for any defender.
What does Oklahoma State need to do to stop OU offensively, seeing as there was no answer last time?
Crimson & Cream Machine: The Sooners thrive off rebounds springing them into the transition game. Ryan Spangler may be one of the best rebounders in the country although undersized. Finding him and putting a body on him could pay dividends while allowing the defense an opportunity to get back eliminating the transition threat.
Secondly, ball pressure has been an issue for Oklahoma throughout the season. Deploying half court traps have led to more than a handful of Sooner turnovers and easy points for the opposition.
Outside of Forte and Nash, is there another player you feel they need to keep a watchful eye on?
Crimson & Cream Machine: Cobbins is a familiar name so aside from him, I'd have to take Anthony Hickey. Gaining experience in the SEC, the guy can explode on any given night.
Stuffing the stats the last time these two met with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals, Hickey should be able to follow that up with a great performance. Most of the attention will be on the two you mentioned, but Lon Kruger hasn't forgotten about Hickey.
Would you consider trading coaches? Please...
Crimson & Cream Machine: With the current state of the program, I'd have to keep Kruger. While Ford has proven to be a solid recruiter, the on the court product continuously falls short of expectations (at least that's my perception).
You know it's coming, so we have to ask, what's your game prediction?
Crimson & Cream Machine: I think this game is decided by free throws. Give me OU 67, OSU 63
That's all we have from this Q&A! Make sure you read our Bedlam preview here before tip at 7:00!