Big 12 Tournament Preview: Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma
Here is everything you need to know about Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in our Cowboys vs. Sooners 2023 Big 12 Tournament men’s basketball preview.
Game 2: No. 7 Oklahoma State (17-14, 8-10) vs. No. 10 Oklahoma (15-16, 5-13), 8:30 p.m. CT, ESPNU
Season series (Texas 2-0): Oklahoma State def. Oklahoma, 72-56, in Stillwater, Okla., on Jan. 18; Oklahoma State def. Oklahoma, 71-61, in Norman, Oklahoma, on Feb. 1.
Winner gets: A Thursday quarterfinal game against No. 2 seed Texas at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
Projected starting lineups
Oklahoma State: G Bryce Thompson, G John-Michael Wright, F Caleb Asberry, G Woody Newton, F Kalib Boone
Oklahoma: G Grant Sherfield, G Milos Uzan, G Otega Oweh, F Tanner Groves, F Jalen Hill
Player to watch
F Kalib Boone: Boone took a big step forward this season, especially in the absence and/or limited action of his fellow forward, Moussa Cisse. Boone showed what he can do as a forward, averaging 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He’s not just a defensive presence anymore. He’s a quality all-around player that defenses must account for.
F Tanner Groves: If Groves has a big game, then Oklahoma tends to win. But what defines big for the fifth-year senior who tends to blend in well with his teammates and helps them as much as he helps himself? Well, a game like the last one against TCU wouldn’t hurt. He had 23 points and 10 rebounds, well above his season averages of 10.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Oklahoma State was uneven to start Big 12 action and found itself slipping out of contention before a victory over Ole Miss in the Big 12-SEC challenge sparked a five-game winning streak. But, just as quickly, it went away. The injury to guard Avery Anderson III seemed to take the life out of the Cowboys as they lost five straight games down the stretch. The Cowboys ended the regular season with a win over Texas Tech, but they probably have a little work left to do in Kansas City to try and make the NCAA tournament.
So which Oklahoma team will show up? The one that lost six of seven games to start February? Or the one that beat Alabama at home in late January, and then turned around and beat Iowa State on the road and TCU at home in two of its final three regular-season games? The Sooners had been the most inconsistently good team in the Big 12 in recent memory. They have the talent to stay with any team in the conference. The question is how they’ll play on that given night. The two victories in their last three games gives Oklahoma just a smidge of momentum.
Oklahoma 71, Oklahoma State 68. I honestly don’t have a clue who will win this game. But Oklahoma looks like the slightly hotter team right now and they’re playing for a chance to get back to .500. That may be enough at a neutral site.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.