Iowa State-Oklahoma Preview and Prediction

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Date:  February 4th, 2012

Time:  5:00 PM (CST)

Where:  Lloyd Noble Center

TV:  ESPN2

Spread:  Oklahoma (-1.5)

Know the Foe:  The Sooners are 3-6 in the Big 12 so far, but don’t let that fool you.  Oklahoma has beat Kansas State twice and their losses came to Baylor, Mizzou, Kansas (twice), on the road at Oklahoma State (72-65), and lost in overtime to the Aggies in College Station.  Oklahoma, in my opinion, is the biggest surprise team this year in the Big 12.  A big reason for their success is the Big 12’s second leading scorer, Steven Pledger.  The 6’4 guard averages 17.8 points per contest and went off against K-State two games ago, scoring 30.  The guy that sets up Pledger and other Sooners for scoring is junior guard, Sam Grooms.  Grooms is third in the league in assists as he averages 5.6.  The Sooners also have one of the best rebounders in Romero Osby who averages 8 per game.  When Pledger isn’t doing the scoring for the Sooners, two other players average in the double digits in scoring.  Junior forward, Andrew Fitzgerald averages close to 13 points and Osby scores 12.3 points per game.

Oklahoma’s weakness is definitely their defense as they are last in the Big 12 in defense.  So far on the season, they have given up 80 points four times including giving up 83 to St. Louis.  I haven’t seen much of Oklahoma this year, but if they are slow on the defensive side of the ball, Iowa State can light them up.

Prediction:  Oklahoma is a favorite in this game and I’m not sure why.  I think Oklahoma is a solid team and they are at home, but Iowa State is on a roll right now.  Last game against KU, OU was dominated by Thomas Robinson (20 points and 17 boards).  I’m not saying that Royce White in Thomas Robinson, but Royce White has the ability to do the same.  Also, if OU is slow on defense and can’t get out to Babb, Christopherson, McGee, and other 3-point shooters, Iowa State will have a heyday from behind the arc.

A thing Iowa State can’t do is get behind early on the road.  I know Lloyd Noble Center isn’t a scary place to play, but the Clones don’t want a repeat of the second Texas game.  I’m really hoping Iowa State can go down to Norman and take care of business right away instead of it coming down to the wire.  However, I see the Sooners keeping it pretty close.

Iowa State 75, Oklahoma 69