Breaking down the Bedlam basketball matchups

Oklahoma State writer John Helsley breaks down Saturday's matchups.
by John Helsley Published: February 15, 2013
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OSU beat writer John Helsley breaks down the matchups between the Cowboys and Sooners:

Point Guard

OSU's Marcus Smart vs. OU's Isaiah Cousins


Analysis: Cousins is one of three point guards used by the Sooners this season. And the pressure is on to hold things together, with Buddy Hield now lost to a foot fracture. Cousins played well in the win over Kansas and is averaging 7.3 points over OU's last four games. He'll find a difficult task in Smart, who is the driving force behind the Cowboys' rise to a first-place tie in the Big 12. And after Smart was limited by foul trouble — and ineffective when he was on the floor — in the first Bedlam meeting, he'll likely be dialed in for this matchup of true freshmen.

Edge: Cowboys

Shooting Guard

OSU's Markel Brown vs. OU's Je'lon Hornbeak

Analysis: For all the attention heaped on Smart and Le'Bryan Nash, Brown has delivered consistent offense and more as OSU's leading scorer. His improved shot has come into focus of late, with two road outings that featured seven 3-pointers — at Kansas and at Texas Tech. And he had a game-high 19 points in Bedlam's Round 1. Hornbeak, another true freshman, has been solid for the Sooners, heating up from the arc himself of late, making 42.1 percent in Big 12 play. He hit a clutch 3 in OU's win over Kansas, so he's not afraid of the big shot.

Edge: Cowboys

Wing

OSU's Le'Bryan Nash vs. OU's Steven Pledger

Analysis: This matchup could swing either way, depending on who comes best ready to play. When engaged, Nash can be an effective slasher and scorer near the rim. And he figures to be a tough guard for Pledger. But it's similar on the other end, where Nash will have his hands full chasing Pledger on the perimeter, where he can be deadly when hot. Nash averages 12.8 points, while Pledger's average is down from recent years, at 10.6.

Edge: Cowboys

Small Forward

OSU's Michael Cobbins vs. OU's Amath M'Baye

Analysis: The Preseason Newcomer of the Year in the Big 12, M'Baye hasn't disappointed, playing his best basketball in the Big 12, averaging 11.8 points and 5.1 rebounds over his last 13 games. M'Baye was big in the first meeting, scoring 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a statement dunk late. Cobbins hadn't yet returned to the starting lineup when the teams met the first time — still on the road back from a toe fracture — but he's been a major cog since, averaging 8.0 points and 8.9 rebounds in eight games as a starter.


by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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