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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Oklahoma Pt. 1

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Freshman phenom Lindell Wigginton leads his team against Brady Manek and the Oklahoma Sooners

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Last Time Out

For awhile it looked like Iowa State just might have enough to sweep the conference’s best basketball team. Ultimately, the wheels came off in a hurry with about five minutes to go as the Cyclones fell to Chris Beard’s Texas Tech squad by a score of 76-58.

Cameron Lard, strapped with foul trouble the entire game, once again showed he has the potential to be one of the best big men to play at Iowa State. The freshman tallied 22 points and 5 rebounds in just 20 minutes of court time.

About Oklahoma

Cyclone fans are hoping this program can replicate Oklahoma’s turnaround from just a year ago. Last year the Sooners finished with a paltry 11-20 record including just five wins in Big 12 play. This year Lon Kruger’s squad sits at 16-7 and is in great position for not only a NCAA tournament berth but also a very good seed.

How did they make such a quick turnaround?

Brady. Manek.

The superb true freshman is lighting it up from deep, while leading Oklahoma to one of their best offensive season’s to date.

Outside of Manek, Oklahoma has a fairly balanced attack. Thirteen players on their roster combine to score 59 of their 89 points scored per game.

While Steve Prohm would like the Cyclones to play with pace, Lon Kruger has taken it to another level. The Sooners play with the fifth fastest adjusted tempo in the country. Their average possession length is just over 14 seconds in length.

There won’t be much standing around in this one.

Players to Watch

We’ve already mentioned diaper dandy Brady Manek and he helps stir the drink for Lon Kruger’s team but Christian James deserves a mention as well.

James, a junior guard from Houston, Texas, is producing at the highest rate of his career. He is connecting on almost 40% of his shots from three point range while collecting 4.7 boards per game.

Khadeem Lattin was granted a tenth year of eligibility and he is making the most of it. Lattin is one of the nation’s best shot blockers recording a stuff on 9.7% of possessions when he is on the floor.

What to Expect

Shots, shots, shots. Ken Pomeroy is predicting a game with 75 possessions. I think this number might be too low. Neither team offers much resistance on the defensive end and when you get two teams determined to push pace, things get wild.

Oklahoma is a jump shooting team. Just under 41% of their shots come from deep and 34.7% of their points come from behind the arc. The good news for Iowa State is they may not be tested all that much around the rim.

Oklahoma has just two road wins on the year, granted they were both fairly impressive, beating both TCU and Witchita State on the away from Norman.

How close are the Cyclones to competing in the Big 12? Without their starting point guard and a bench full of misfits, the ‘Clones are just a 4.5 point underdog.

The pace and game script sets up similar to the West Virginia game. If Lindell Wigginton can play within the framework of the offense and not try to one up Brady Manek, Iowa State has a shot.

Hilton Magic corrals Oklahoma’s long range shooting and Iowa State’s freshmen combine for 40+ points.

Iowa State- 85 Oklahoma- 80

Pick Three

  1. Oklahoma player sets career high
  2. Iowa State and Oklahoma freshmen combine to score 70% of total points scored
  3. No player records more than three fouls

Game Notes

Game Time: Saturday, February 9th, 1 PM

Line: Oklahoma (-4.5), O/U (165)

TV: ESPN