Breaking down the Bedlam basketball matchups
Oklahoma State writer John Helsley breaks down Saturday's matchups.
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OSU's Philip Jurick vs. OU's Romero Osby
Analysis: Disclaimer: This pairing may not last for long, with Jurick's playing time likely limited due to OU's smaller, more athletic lineup, so some of the above matchups are fluid. Jurick will likely get the majority of his action when the bulkier Andrew Fitzgerald is on the floor for the Sooners. At his best, Jurick is a solid shot-blocker, defender and rebounder against fellow big men, not the more athletic post men, like Osby. The Sooner senior scored a team-high 17 points in the meeting in Norman and remains one of the league's most dynamic forwards.
OSU's Phil Forte vs. OU's Cameron Clark
Analysis: Forte has been a firestarter from the perimeter for the Cowboys, especially at home, where he's hitting 44 percent (41-of-93) of his 3s. And he's a better defender than he gets credit for. When OSU shifts to a smaller lineup, Forte will get the majority of the playing time. Clark has been up and down this season, although more up of late. He can be a dynamic player when moving and attacking the rim, but he often settles for jump shots.
OSU's Kamari Murphy, Brian Williams, Kirby Gardner vs. OU's Andrew Fitzgerald, Sam Grooms and Tyler Neal
Analysis: OSU's depth is improving, with the gradual return of Williams, a former starter who missed the first 18 games with a broken wrist. OU's depth has taken a hit, with Buddy Hield's foot fracture likely to end his regular season and change bench roles. Fitzgerald is a former starter who gives the Sooners bulk and scoring ability, while Grooms can provide stability at the point, as he did in the first meeting. Murphy, a solid rebounder and defender inside, has bounced back from a midseason funk. Gardner's is OSU's answer to Grooms and Williams is coming off a season-high 16 minutes at Texas Tech.
OSU's Travis Ford vs. OU's Lon Kruger
Analysis: Both appear to be strong contenders for Big 12 Coach of the Year and Kruger is among the top 20 National Coach of the Year candidates, according to SI.com's Seth Davis. Kruger, who has a history of doing more with less, is at it again in just his second season at OU, positioning the Sooners for a return to the NCAA Tournament. Ford likewise has done a strong job, continuing to mold and develop his team, which has ridden a six-game winning streak to a tie for first place in the conference.
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