Five Things to Watch: OU vs. OSU

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 21, 2012

Feb. 22, 2012

 

By Andrew Gilman | SoonerSports.com
 
NORMAN, Okla. -- Here are five things to watch for Wednesday when the Oklahoma men's basketball team hosts Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center. OU has won seven straight in the series in Norman.

1. Finish strong
The Sooners are on a six-game losing streak, but in four of the games OU had chances to win in the late stages. Undone by turnovers in losses to Texas and missed free throws against Missouri, OU has to find a way to eliminate crucial mistakes in the late going. The Sooners also were within a basket against Iowa State in Norman in the final minute.

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State | Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
Full Game Preview | OU Ticket Information | Live Stats | Gameday Central

2. Guard the 3-pointer
If the Sooners are going to be successful against OSU, they can't give up easy looks from the 3-point line. The Cowboys will shoot them, but OSU ranks last in the conference at just 29.7 percent as a team. Watch guard Keiton Page. He is shooting 35.2 percent on 3-pointers. He scored 40 points last time out in a win against Texas and was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week.

3. Tyler Neal's scoring
Forward Tyler Neal has been more consistent of late and he says it's due to more confidence. He has scored 18 points in his past two games after scoring a total of 15 points in the 13 games previous. Neal is another 3-point option for the Sooners and can help take pressure off Steven Pledger. Neal has made two 3-pointers in each of the past two games. He's shooting 35.7 percent on 3-pointers for the season. That's good news for the Sooners, who rank last in league play with just 3.6 3-pointers per game.

4. Keep being diverse offensively
OU is led by Steven Pledger, Romero Osby and Andrew Fitzgerald in scoring. The three are combining for more than 41 points per game. However, in the past two games, Cameron Clark, Tyler Neal and Carl Blair are chipping in 29.5 points. The three only averaged 12.2 points for the first 12 conference games.

5. Sam Grooms and his assists
While the Sooners haven't had a lot of positives this season, they have been able to count on guard Sam Grooms. He's first in the league in assists at 6.1 per game. Meanwhile, Grooms is only averaging 1.8 turnovers per game in Big 12 action. If Grooms can make a few early shots, he becomes more diverse and more dangerous. He's averaging 6.6 points per game this season, but scored a career-best 17 against Missouri on Feb. 6 and then went for 12 last game against Iowa State.

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