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.
3. Regain confidence in the 3-pointer (Steven Pledger's the most)
The Sooners went 0-for-16 from beyond the arc. That shatters some confidence – especially in the guard who is known for making them: Steven Pledger.
4. Come ready to play
Osby said in the post-game that the Horned Frogs landed the first punch, but Oklahoma should have been ready regardless. Iowa State finished with the same conference record as Oklahoma. The Cyclones most likely won't make it as easy for Oklahoma to try and mount a comeback.
5. Focus on game day
Oklahoma had two short practices last week, and when the clock started, it didn't seem like they were ready to play at their normal level. Unlike the game against Texas, when the Sooners were focused from the start and just had seven bad minutes of play near the end, against TCU the Sooners struggled to accrue sound possessions in the first half. Focusing on the Iowa State game as one that isn't already a W should help the Sooners look more like when they upset Kansas rather when they lost to TCU.