With Big 12 basketball upon us, the newspapers are certainly gearing up with previews of the conference. Here at BOTC, we will be focusing on our own little corner of the conference, and Saturday's 5:00 p.m. matchup with Oklahoma.
1. Which Sooner do you want to defend Michael Beasley, if the Sooners play man-to-man defense?
CCM: I really think you’ll see more zone on Saturday than you will man-to-man but there will be several defensive switches. When Oklahoma is manning up David Godbold is their best defender. He gives about four inches in height to Beasley but is tough, has quick hands and being a senior is very experienced.
The good news for Oklahoma is that they’ve already faced Derrick Rose from Memphis and OJ Mayo from USC so while Beasley will certainly give Oklahoma fits on Saturday at least the Sooners are already experienced against some of the fabulous freshmen in the country.
2. What are the Sooners' tendencies on offense? Do they want to pound it inside, or will they bomb away from range?
CCM: With the Griffin brothers and Longar Longar Oklahoma is a lot better inside than they were last season but on Oklahoma’s current 5 game winning streak it has been the guards who have led the way. OU’s inside game sets up their outside shooting and their outside game sets up Blake Griffin and Longar Longar for some high flying action.
3. What is one thing OU does that has been bugging you this year, and would desperately like to see stop?
CCM: Turnovers and inconsistent shooting have been driving nuts! I guess if I had to pick only one to come to an end it would be the turnovers because even when the outside shots aren’t falling Oklahoma can still make some plays inside with their athleticism but they can’t do anything without the ball.
4. Assess Jeff Capel's performance so far in Norman. Are the natives happy with him as a replacement for Kelvin Sampson?
CCM: Keep in mind that there are some OU fans who won’t be satisfied unless Billy Tubbs comes back to coach Oklahoma basketball. In my opinion this is the moment that Jeff Capel won over the majority of the Sooner basketball fans. (BOTC Note: Video coming later. Technical difficulties at the moment...)
5. Look into your crystal ball and tell us how you see OU's conference season playing out.
CCM: Kansas, Texas A&M and Texas have all set themselves apart in the conference but that #4 spot is certainly open and I think that legitimately OU has a solid shot to finish in that spot. I think that the top 5 teams in the conference make it to the dance which puts Oklahoma back in post-season play.
***Just a quick programming note: Saturday will be a travel day for me, so expect to see the open game thread posted later today. You can use it to discuss all the Big 12 games tomorrow, including the Cats at 5:00 p.m. Posting will probably be light in the next week, as I have a mountain of work awaiting me when I arrive back at school. If anyone is interested in filling in for me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just post your stories in a diary, and I will try to bump them to the front page as time allows.