Oklahoma men's basketball: Sooners should not take Cyclones for granted

OU is back preparing to get better. And the Sooners, says senior Romero Osby, have a lot to improve on their game.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: March 10, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma Sooners' Amath M'Baye (22) drives by Baylor Bears' Deuce Bello (14) in the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men defeat the Baylor University Bears (BU) 90-76 in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Sooners' Amath M'Baye (22) drives by Baylor Bears' Deuce Bello (14) in the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men defeat the Baylor University Bears (BU) 90-76 in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

College basketball's regular season is over and the post-season begins.

Now, Oklahoma is back preparing to get better. Senior Romero Osby said Saturday night after OU's 70-67 loss to TCU that the Sooners still have a lot to improve on in their game.

One of those things could be not taking a team for granted after already beating them once — and easily for that matter.

Although the Sooners split their regular season games with the Cyclones – with Iowa State winning the first contest and Oklahoma winning the second – the Sooners' recent memory is the 17-point domination of a team that couldn't land a shot.

The scene sounds eerily similar to the one that played out Saturday night vs. TCU in Fort Worth.

Against TCU, Oklahoma overcame a 22-point deficit but couldn't make a 3-pointer. Against Iowa State on Thursday in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., a comeback might not be as easy.

Here are five things the Sooners need to do this week to prepare for their game against Iowa State:

1. Understand that this Iowa State team is either really good at making shots or really bad.

What that means is Iowa State is a team that's hard to beat when it's draining 3-pointers – like the 11 they drained in its first game against OU. The Cyclones actually hit 11 from beyond the arc in the second game, too. The difference? In the first game, they made eight in the first half, went on a roll and cracked OU's confidence. The second game, ISU's 3-pointers came in spurts with four in the first half.

2. Work Amath M'Baye like crazy in the post

M'Baye sat much of the second half vs. TCU. When Kruger was asked about it, he said that other players were giving more energy. Then he went on to talk about two freshman — Buddy Hield's energy and Je'lon Hornbeak's defensive stops. M'Baye brought neither to Fort Worth. He, and the rest of the team in the first half, lacked any real pop. M'Baye also failed to get a stop in the post. Luckily, Iowa State likes playing on the perimeter, but the Sooners still need guys to defend.


by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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