All the hype and fanfare of this nationally televised match-up between two teams that have lost a combined 14 of their last 16 games took a substantial hit when it was announced that ESPN’s golden boy would not be suiting up for the 8 PM Friday evening tip between Oklahoma and Iowa State.
A couple of weeks ago Iowa State sophomore Solomon Young had surgery to clean up some cartilage issues in his knee. He was initially ruled out for two to three weeks, with the door left open for a possible return in the regular season finale.
That will not be the case.
The real losers here are the television partners at ESPN.
Young was must watch TV for the first part of the season. With his ability to step out and attempt three pointers (19 to be exact) and pass the rock (18 assists on the year) ESPN decided to put all but one of his team’s Big 12 conference games on their family of networks.
After one of his three makes from deep on the year, teammates began affectionately referring to him as “Trey” Young.
The mother-ship has gone to extreme lengths to make Young’s presence felt. Often times when he steps to the free throw line they will show his stats for the game. Even though he is out for tonight’s game, the cameras will most certainly show him cheering on his teammates from the bench.
It doesn’t look like ESPN will be the only ones suffering though. With Young unlikely to play in the Big 12 Tournament there are tickets still available for the first time in many years.
As for the game itself, it is destined to be a good ole fashioned suck off. Both teams only have one win in their last eight games played, something only the Cleveland Browns could be proud of.
Somehow, Oklahoma still is on track to make the NCAA tournament. Many think freshman phenom Brady Manek will attract so many viewers that Turner Sports is pushing hard to get the Sooners into the field.
We know it isn’t their high-flying offense. The last time Oklahoma played in the NCAA tournament, they scored just 51 points on 19/60 shooting.
Cyclone fans are counting down the days until next season, but unfortunately for them there are still 80 minutes left in this season. Freshmen Lindell Wigginton and Cameron Lard have given hope that another NCAA tournament berth is on the horizon.
Wigginton has made a lot of shots this year, in fact only missing on purpose every once in awhile to keep Curtis Stinson’s freshman scoring record in place. It wasn’t his record to have, according to Wigginton. That is class right there.
Steve Prohm’s group does not have strength in numbers, but the last time these two teams met they won by 8 points, one for every player they had in uniform.
The old saying goes, “Unfortunately, someone has to lose”. For these two head coaches, a twist of wording reveals “Fortunately, someone has to win.”
This could be a preview of a first-round tilt down in Kansas City just days from now. The fine folks in the Sprint Center are shaking with apathy just thinking about the dozens of tickets that will be sold.
If they do meet, will it be the infamous rubber match sponsored by Trojan?
Most likely. After all, Iowa State is without Solomon Young.
Oklahoma- 91 Iowa State- 79
Game Time: Friday, March 2nd, 8 PM
Line: Oklahoma -10