Men's Basketball: Crowd intensity key part in hopes of winning against Tech
The Oklahoma men’s basketball team looks to continue its hot start to Big 12 play when it takes on Texas Tech at 7 tonight at Lloyd Noble Center.
The Sooners are 11-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2008-2009 season — Blake Griffin’s final year at OU.
In OU’s last game, it led wire-to-wire against Oklahoma State, winning its ninth-straight home game in the Bedlam series, 77-68.
OSU was able to mount a few comebacks, but heady play by senior forward Romero Osby, junior forward Amath M’Baye and freshman guard Buddy Hield held the Cowboys at bay.
The Red Raiders are coming off of a 60-46 loss to sixth-ranked Kansas, dropping their record to 8-6 (1-2 Big 12).
However, while Oklahoma just notched a signature win, and the Red Raiders appear to be reeling, the Sooners are not taking them lightly.
“Tech is a ball club with some big guys who can really score,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “After a big win, you’re concerned about the next game. We have to bounce back and focus on getting better.”
The Sooners will be hoping to slow down Texas Tech’s active frontcourt, consisting of junior forward Jaye Crockett and sophomore forward Jordan Tolbert.
Crockett is averaging 14 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game, while Tolbert is putting up averages of 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.
OU will counter with its own dynamic frontcourt, consisting of Osby and M’Baye, both of whom were critical to the Sooners’ Bedlam victory.
In that game, Osby had 17 points and three rebounds. M’Baye chipped in with 15 points, five rebounds and two steals .
“It definitely gives a great deal of confidence,” M’Baye said about performing well against OSU. “I’m definitely looking forward to the game [against Texas Tech]. Every time that we can build a little bit of confidence, it’s really good for us.”
The Sooners also are hopeful they will get a crowd that is as large and energized as it was during the Oklahoma State game. The fans’ intensity fueled the team as it held off the Cowboys’ comeback attempts.
Even though this game appears to be a potential trap for Oklahoma, the Sooners are preparing for it just as hard as if it were against a highly ranked opponent.
“We just have to be ready to go,” M’Baye said. “Their record might not be speaking for how good they are. I’ve been on teams that were below .500 before, and we upset some people because they weren’t ready. We just have to compete with energy and do the same thing that we did against Oklahoma State.”