If Oklahoma State is going to knock off No. 2 Oklahoma on Wednesday, they’re going to need to do a number of things. First of all, they're going to need to stay out of foul trouble. In the Cowboys' last two Big 12 beatdowns, they were forced to play without some key players for a majority of the game. Oklahoma State simply does not have the depth to beat OU without its best players on the floor. Even if the Pokes can stay relatively foul free, it’s no guarantee tthat he Sooners still won’t win this game with ease. Fortunately for Oklahoma State, the Cowboys have somebody who can guard Buddy Hield.
It won’t be easy, but Jeff Newberry has shown the athleticism and heart to hang with anyone at his position, and Wednesday night he’ll get the biggest test of his career. Hield is coming into the game averaging nearly 27 points a game. He is fresh off of a 31 point explosion in his last game against Kansas State. Perhaps an even more frightening statistic -- Hield is averaging 33.4 minutes a game. Even if Newberry is able to contain him while he’s on the floor, who will be able to guard Hield when Newberry is on the bench? At 6-6, sophomore guard Jeffrey Carroll may be able to move over to play defense on Hield, but Oklahoma has more talent than just their lone senior guard. Oklahoma starts four players who are averaging double digit points a game, while the OU bench can go as far as 11 deep.
The Cowboys will be outmatched at every position, and might even have less fans in the stadium than the Sooners. The most even matchup, and the matchup that the Cowboys will have to win, is the battle between point guards. Jawun Evans has been one of the lone bright spots for the Cowboys and he’ll be going up against a dynamic point guard in Jordan Woodard. Woodard is scoring 15 points a game and averages four dimes, compared to Evans' 10 points and five assists per game. If Evans can spread the ball around with some success, the Cowboys might be able to make a game out of it. But Evans will have his hands full with Woodard along with the rest of the Sooner defense.
Last, but certainly not least, the Cowboys need to rebound the ball. The Cowboys were slaughtered on the boards against Baylor, and didn’t have the manpower against West Virginia. It's not that they have to win the rebounding battle, because Lord knows that won’t happen, but it has to be competitive. If Oklahoma State gets outrebounded 44-18 like they did against Baylor, don’t hold your breath for an upset.