All-College Classic: OU, OSU opposite attractions

By John Rohde Modified: December 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm •  Published: December 22, 2009
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Oklahoma State is riding a four-game winning streak following Monday night’s 77-62 victory over La Salle in the All-College Classic at the Ford Center. The Cowboys have an eight-day break before their next game, but coach Travis Ford said he doesn’t want any days off.

"For me, I’d love to keep playing,” Ford said. "All coaches are probably hard to please, but I don’t think we’re playing all that great.”

Oklahoma had its six-game winning streak abruptly halted with an 89-74 loss to Texas-El Paso in the Classic’s opening game. The Sooners have a 10-day break before their next game, and coach Jeff Capel admits he has no idea if that’s good or bad.

"I don’t know if any time off for these guys is good,” Capel said, forcing a smile.

Such is the holiday life of college basketball.

The Cowboys’ next game is Dec. 29 against Pacific inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. Ford said his team will reconvene at 9 p.m. on Christmas Day.

OSU improved to 10-1 with its victory, a record Ford said he did not envision for a team that has seven newcomers.

"We’re excited, but we’re not happy,” Ford said. "We can’t get overjoyed ... We’re still waiting to put a game together, believe it or not.”

The Sooners’ next game is Dec. 31 against Gonzaga inside Veteran’s Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash. Capel said his team won’t practice again until the day after Christmas.

OU slid to 8-4 with the loss, a record much of America did not envision for a team picked No. 17 in the preseason Associated Press poll despite starting two true freshmen and losing national player of the year Blake Griffin.

At one point against the Miners, Capel got in the face of Tiny Gallon and basically told the freshman forward to man up.

"Yeah, it’s amazing you have to tell a guy to do that,” Capel said of the 6-foot-9, 290-pound Gallon. "It’s amazing you have to tell a guy to be a good player.”

The Sooners indeed are playing "tiny.” They’re better than what they’re showing.

These two in-state Big 12 were opposite attractions Monday night.

OSU beat the Explorers because of its defense. OU lost to the Miners because of its defense.

The Cowboys survived what could have been a matchup nightmare against long and lanky La Salle, which posts up its guards.


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