The Sooners (7-1) will be looking to stay hot today in a big-time matchup against No.3 Wichita State Shockers (8-1). Today, we will get to see how real Lon Kruger’s team really is. Coming in as the No.24 ranked team in the Coach’s Poll and carrying a five game win streak, the Sooners will have their biggest test of the season today against the Shockers.
The Shockers have a four game win streak going for themselves. They’re coming off a hard fought victory against the Sooners rival, Oklahoma State. The Shockers are going into today’s game with an impressive 2-0 record over the Big12 this season, but beating the Sooners won’t be easy.
The Sooners come in with one of the best offenses in the nation. They average an impressive 93.3 points per contest. That comes easy when you have the nations leading scoring in freshman point guard Trae Young(28.8ppg). Young has been better than people originally thought. His play in the early season has him climbing up NBA draft boards.
Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall will need to do whatever it takes to shut down Young. We have yet to see how good the Sooners are when a team takes away Young. Easier said than done, right? Nobody has been able to stop the freshman guard. .
The Shockers aren’t too shabby when it comes to putting the ball in the basket. They rank 17th in the nation in points per game with 87 ppg. That’s not good for a Sooners team that allows 80 point per game. This game has the making to be a classic shootout. The two teams are very comparable when it comes to team statistics. This game may ultimately come down to the Sooners overall experience.
The Shockers are a proven team, and that’s been proven with some of the wins they’ve had so far this season. The Sooners have some nice wins under their belt as well. The last time they were on a basketball court in a game situation, they beat USC 85-83 in Los Angeles. They also went all the way to Portland and handed out L’s to Oregon and Portland. Kruger should be thrilled about the way his young team is playing.
Keys to Victory
Bend but don’t Break: The Shockers are going to get there’s today and maybe even more than the Sooners hope. The Sooners are very vulnerable on defense. They’re going to need to play their best defense of the season, or just simply shoot lights out for 40 minutes. They are going to need a bend but don’t break mentality in this one.
Stay Aggressive: The Sooners are one of the more aggressive teams on the offensive side of the ball. The last thing they need to do is get away from what’s been working. They live and die by the three and that’s okay. The aggressive play from behind the arc has been a huge reason for the early success. Also, the Sooners are a physical team in the post. The Sooners rank in the top 20 in blocks per game.
Coaching: This one sounds a lot easier than it is. We not only have ourselves a matchup between two of the nations hottest teams, we also have a matchup between two of CBB’s top tier coach’s. This game could not only come down to who’s players are making their shots, but which coach brought their best game-plan. We have a game Chess on our hands.
Shockers 87, Sooners 81
When and Where?
IINTRUST Bank Arena In Wichita, Kansas
3pm CT – ESPN2