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Bedlam Preview: Sooners Can Expect Competitive Cowboys

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We only get to see it a few times a season if we’re lucky, but when Wednesday evening arrives the state of Oklahoma will get to see some Bedlam basketball when OU and OSU square off at 8 p.m. The Sooners (13-1) will look to continue its dominant conference play in Stillwater against the Cowboys (9-6), where we could see a lot more Crimson in the crowd than previous years due to the lack of attendance at Gallagher Iba throughout the start of this year.

Here are a few things to know about both teams heading into Wednesday’s matchup:

Sooners

-Oklahoma will enter the Bedlam matchup riding a double-digit win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon, a game in which the Sooners responded nicely to its first loss of the season against Kansas just a few days before. Buddy Hield proved his scoring outbursts to start conference play were not a fluke, as the senior guard poured in 31 points against the Wildcats while also stuffing other facets of the stat sheet.

-Sooner guard Isaiah Cousins has been in a slump as of late, and the senior point guard will look to get back in a rhythm against OSU. Since the start of Big 12 play, Cousins has shot 9-for-36 from the field, and only scored a combined 25 points. Cousins is a big factor in the OU offense as a scorer and a playmaker, and the Sooners will need him to find his stroke again as they try to make a push to be conference champions.

-While Cousins has been struggling, junior Jordan Woodard has emerged to become Hield’s wing-man on the court. Woodard’s performance since the start of conference play has been incredible, with the guard averaging 20 ppg while also distributing the ball at an effective rate. It’s an encouraging thing for Sooner fans to see Woodard excel like this, especially since he’ll be the most experienced returning starter next season and will be expected to carry a heavier load.

Cowboys

-Will the real Leyton Hammonds please stand up? Hammonds has been very inconsistent as a junior in a year where there isn’t a dominant scorer on the roster. He’s averaging 8.3 points and 4.3 fouls per game in Big 12 play. Although undersized for a power forward, Hammonds has the speed and handles to get by his man for easy buckets at the rim if he could just get over a bad case of jumpshot-itis.

-Can the Cowboys grab a rebound? The single-most-obvious deficiency this season has been Oklahoma State’s lack of rebounding. Travis Ford’s team has been out-rebounded by 23 against Baylor and by 5 against West Virginia. OU doesn’t boast great size in its front court so OSU has a chance to grab some rebounds on Wednesday night.

-Jeffrey Carroll is enjoying a breakout season as a sophomore, can he get going from deep against the Sooners? Before Saturday’s 0 for 4 showing against West Virginia, Carroll had connected on 7 of 13 over a three-game span. He still finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds against the Mountaineers. To upset Oklahoma, the Cowboys need Carroll to get hot from beyond the arc.

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