Big thanks to KFitzy87 and Wide Right Natty Lite for helping me out and getting me their answers quickly as we marched closer to gametime. You'll find a formal apology from the guys at WRNL later on and you can find my answers for them over on their site.
More From Wide Right & Natty Lite
More From Wide Right & Natty Lite
There isn't long before they tip in GIA so let's get started!
CRFF: Iowa State has a legitimate shot at dethroning Kansas as Big 12 Champion this season. Buy or sell?
My heart? Buy. My mind? Sell. Iowa State is a completely different team outside the friendly confines of Hilton Coliseum. That loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock back on January 24 continues to be a huge thorn in the side for this Cyclone squad. If we would have picked up that win, we'd be gunning for a share of the conference lead tonight in GIA.
Kansas' remaining schedule is also considerably easier than ours, with (after tonight) only two more road games compared to our three. I would typically say that a game at TCU should be a win, but our loss in Lubbock strongly opposes marking that one off with a sharpie just yet.
By the way, thanks for holding down the fort at home against the Jayhawks a couple weeks ago. Seeing you guys and Huggy Bear's squad send Bill Self home frowning lets us bask in this small glimmer of conference title hopes.
CRFF: What’s the atmosphere like in Ames right now regarding the basketball program and their rise to prominence?
Honestly, it's the weirdest thing right now. In my opinion, it all depends on how you viewed this team prior to the season. There's a chunk of our fanbase that still has the "I'm just happy with getting to the NCAA Tournament" mindset, but there's also a large group that heard coach Hoiberg say "National Championship" at our midnight madness event and expects us to be at or near where Kentucky currently is.
This is by far Fred's most talented team, but they've been very inconsistent. The second half of our game against Iowa earlier in the year was quite possibly one of the most beautiful offensive clinics I've ever seen. On the flip side, we couldn't throw a basketball into the ocean off of a boat against Maryland.
Overall, we're simply ready for the postseason. Last year's Sweet Sixteen team, which our entire fanbase remembers fondly, didn't truly click until the Big 12 Tournament. It's our hope that the same thing happens this year.
CRFF: What is the one player that Oklahoma State fans should look out for before tomorrow night’s game?
I'll go with our hero from when we played the Cowboys earlier this year - Dustin Hogue. The senior forward hit some clutch buckets down the stretch in that game and sealed the deal by blocking Phil Forte III at the buzzer. Hogue is surprisingly the most accurate three point shooter on this year's team, making 44.7% of his attempts (17/38). When he's playing well, our team becomes a lot harder to guard.
CRFF: What worries you most about the Pokes’ basketball team and what does OSU need to do tomorrow to pull off the win?
The answer to this one is even easier after hearing Naz Long has been dealing with a hip pointer recently. It's gotta be Forte.
Long was in charge of trailing Forte around the thousands of Cowboy screens in the game in Ames, so him not being 100% is a concern. Matt Thomas may get a boost in playing time tonight (and therefore more Forte-guarding duties), and while his defense has improved since last year, Long and Bryce Dejean-Jones seemed to cause the most problems for Forte the first time around.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Forte get more points tonight than the 21 he scored against us in Hilton. And I'll be yelling at my TV after every one.
CRFF: Can’t get through a Q&A without this one. What’s your prediction for the game?
Due to our trend of playing much worse on the road, I gotta go with the Cowboys tonight. I'd love to be proven wrong, especially with Kansas' recent signs of vulnerability, but winning in GIA is no easy task for any Cyclone squad. Give me the Pokes, 71-68.
CRFF: BONUS - Are you willing to offer a formal apology for 2011 football? We are still heartbroken.
Yes. Sorry, OSU... - Sent from the Cyclone football tire fire.
Once again, big thanks to KFitzy87 and WRNL for taking time to answer these questions for me and enjoy the game tonight! Tip is set for 8:00!