Jenni Carlson: Cowboys could make it to Final Four if matched against guard-oriented teams

The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: February 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm •  Published: February 27, 2013
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The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here's a look at today's Q&A:

Tom 11:02 a.m. Can OSU make the Final Four without a dominate big man? Jurick looks slow compared to other bigs and Cobbins isn't big enough to play the low post all game.
Jenni Carlson 11:03 a.m. Great question, Tom. OSU doesn't have a dominant post player, but as I look around college basketball, I don't see a ton of dominant post players. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:04 a.m. If you're a really talented big man, you don't stay in college long. You go to the NBA. That means most teams are like OSU -- they are guard-oriented. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:05 a.m. So, what it really comes down to for the Cowboys is matchups. Who is in their bracket in the NCAA Tournament? If their matched against other guard-oriented teams, I think they have as good a chance as anyone to get to the Final Four. If they have a couple teams with good big men that stand in their way, then I suspect that could be their undoing.
Tom 11:05 a.m. How important is B12 tourney seeding?
Jenni Carlson 11:05 a.m. Important in terms of winning the tournament? Oh, it's mildly important. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:06 a.m. The thing that a team can't do is fall out of the top six spots and have much of a shot at winning the tournament. If you're seven, eight, nine or 10, you have to play the first day of the tournament. That means you'd have to win four games in four days to win the title, and that's nearly impossible. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:07 a.m. Otherwise, I could see any team seeded one to six being able to win the Big 12 tourney. Again, matchups are huge. If a team is a six seed but has favorable matchups, I still think they could win it. It just depends on who they're slated against.
Dale 11:07 a.m. Thoughts on Lon Kruger and the job he was done with OU so far?
Jenni Carlson 11:07 a.m. He's done exactly what he was brought into do -- turn around the program, win in the right way and get people excited about the program again. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:08 a.m. Now, do I think he has a Final Four caliber team just yet? Probably not. But the improvement over the past two seasons has been pretty remarkable. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:09 a.m. Remember where the Sooners were when Jeff Capel left? It was total disarray. Now, they have young guys who are good, veterans who are playing their roles and people who are interested in coming to games. It's been a great turnaround, and Kruger deserves a ton of credit.
Alan 11:09 a.m. If you had to pick one, did the Derek Fisher signing improve the Thunder's title hopes or dim them?
Jenni Carlson 11:10 a.m. It really depends on how the Thunder uses him. From the sound of things, he's going to play more than Eric Maynor was when he was traded. And frankly, that has me worried. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:11 a.m. If he plays more than Maynor, that means Fisher has to take minutes from someone. Who's he taking them from? Reggie Jackson? I don't think that's a good idea. Thabo Sefolosha or Nick Collison or even Ronnie Brewer? I'm against that, too. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:12 a.m. Tonight will be a really interesting game from the standpoint of seeing how Scott Brooks uses Fisher. The coach said Tuesday that he intends to play Fisher meaningful minutes. He didn't say that Fisher was the back-up point guard like last year, though. So what does that middle ground look like? I'll be curious to see. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:12 a.m. To answer your question, Alan, if Fisher ends up playing as much as he did a year ago, I think the Thunder's chances of winning a title are diminished, not improved.
David 11:12 a.m. The story of the opponent who passed the ball to a special needs student so he could score is the heart-warming story of the week in sports. You've written a lot of these type stories. Do you have a favorite or a few favorites?
Jenni Carlson 11:13 a.m. You know, I've seen the link to that video but have yet to actually have time to watch it. I know people are saying that it's really something, though. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:14 a.m. I have done numerous stories like that one, and I always enjoy them. But one of the more recent ones that I did was last football season and the story of Keegan Erbst. He's an eighth grader with muscular dystrophy, and his buddies at Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond decided he needed to be part of the football team. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:15 a.m. To me, that story was a great tale of friendship, love, acceptance, the power of sport ... all of that rolled into one. I loved that story, and I know it resonated with readers, too.
Michael 11:15 a.m. Is Le'Bryan Nash more valuable to the Pokes than Markel Brown?
Jenni Carlson 11:16 a.m. Not in my mind. Now, a year ago, that might have been the case, but Brown has really expanded his game. Last season, he was largely just a guy who could dunk. Now, he does all sorts of stuff. He is extremely valuable because of that. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:16 a.m. Also, Nash is still a bit too inconsistent for my taste. When he is locked in and engaged, he is really good. He can be a force on both ends of the floor. But too often, he plays like he's uninterested. And you never know when that's going to happen. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:17 a.m. Like at the start of the Kansas game. Nash just didn't look locked in. It's Kansas. It's a game for the Big 12 lead. How can you not be locked in? ...
Jenni Carlson 11:18 a.m. But really, my valuing of Brown over Nash is really more about Brown than Nash. Markel has done a heck of a job developing his game and becoming a really good all-around player.
harry man 11:18 a.m. hello from hawaii..to the daily oklahoman...my writing will begin soon
Jenni Carlson 11:18 a.m. Oh, boy. Here we go! :)
harry man 11:18 a.m. if dennis rodman can do it (what it is he is doing) harry man can do it...WHY
Jenni Carlson 11:19 a.m. I assume we're talking about Rodman taking basketball to North Korea. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:19 a.m. I assume there aren't many people running around North Korea who look like Rodman, by the way. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:20 a.m. It's an interesting move, having Rodman go there. But hey, everything about the guy is interesting. And Harry Man, if you think you can get to North Korea and grow basketball there, I say knock yourself out! ;)
Jenni Carlson 11:21 a.m. Hey, folks, I've got about 10 more minutes. Still plenty of time to send in your questions. The Sooners have some new football coaches. The NFL combine is going on. We can talk about any of that, too.
harry man 11:22 a.m. derek fisher help the thunder up is like harry man help save planet earth. maybe rodman can do it. but fisher NO...players from other teams are not DUMB
Jenni Carlson 11:22 a.m. Harry Man, you say a lot of interesting stuff that I don't necessarily agree with, but on this, I agree. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:23 a.m. Having a third-string point guard is a great idea. Most NBA teams have three point guards as an insurance policy against one of the first two guys getting hurt. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:24 a.m. But I'm not sure that Fisher should be used any more than Eric Maynor was. It just doesn't seem wise to me. He is 38 years old. He brings some great things to the floor, but at the same time, he isn't able to play like he once did. I'm just skeptical that he deserves more minutes than anyone else who's playing right now.
harry man 11:25 a.m. does the daily oklahoman still have live tv with darnell, you, sports editor and john rhode and what days time
Jenni Carlson 11:26 a.m. That's our Thunder Thursday hangout! And we absolutely still do it. It's Thursday at 1:30 p.m. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:27 a.m. And people can ask questions through our NewsOK.com/live page that we'll answer right there during the hangout on NewsOK.com/sports.
harry man 11:27 a.m. ok name your 7 players you would have if owning a nba team....mayberry told us all his
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. Am I working under the salary cap and luxury tax restrictions of the current NBA collective bargaining agreement? Because if I am, I'm going to have to more than a couple minutes to figure this out. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. But if I just get to pick any seven ...
Jenni Carlson 11:30 a.m. Sorry, my computer froze up. ..
Jenni Carlson 11:35 a.m. Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony. We're playing small ball, but we will dominate.
Jenni Carlson 11:35 a.m. OK, folks, because my internet seems to be on the verge of completely bogging down, I'm gonna have to call it quits for today. Thanks for joining me! It was fun.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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