Jan. 23, 2012
By Andrew Gilman
NORMAN, Okla. -- If things go just right, Baylor's Perry Jones will talk to OU's Cameron Clark sometime before Tuesday's 7 p.m. tipoff.
And hopefully -- for Sooner fans -- Jones will talk a bit of trash to the Sooner sophomore guard.
"Me and Perry always talk before the game," Clark said. "It kind of lights a fire for me."
Last year, Jones started a blaze as Clark and fellow guard Carl Blair had their best games of the season against Baylor helping the Sooners win two of their three meetings against the Bears.
So maybe this year when the Sooners and No. 6-ranked Bears meet for the first time this season, inside the Lloyd Noble Center, Jones, from Texas like Clark, will provide a bit of extra incentive.
"I wouldn't say that," Clark said about needing some trash talk to get going. "But if that's what you want to call it, it always helps."
OU will need all the help it can get against Baylor (17-2, 4-2 in the Big 12). And the Sooners will need it from Clark and Blair, who have switched spots again in the starting lineup, with Clark back in after a three-game run with Blair.
OU is 12-6 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12, and maybe playing the Bears will jumpstart Blair, who has been sensational against Baylor. Blair has just five points in the last three games and has averaged 4.2 points per game this year, but he was 13-for-24 against the Bears last season and averaged 14.3 points and 8.0 assists per game in those three, including getting 19 points last year in Norman.
Meanwhile, Clark has saved his best for Baylor, too. He averaged 17 points in the three against the Bears, including 25 last year in Norman.
"It's just coincidence," Blair said about playing well against Baylor. "I was confident against them that day (in Norman). I don't think it was anything else."
Whatever it is, coach Lon Kruger said he was expecting production from both Clark and Blair Tuesday night.
"It will be a revolving door," Kruger said of who will start between Blair and Clark. "But we have to have eight, nine and 10 guys getting results every game."