Breaking Down Bedlam

Breaking down Monday night's nationally televised showdown between the fifth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (14-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big 12) and 18th-ranked Oklahoma (15-2 and 4-0) at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the ESPN-TV broadcast.

Point guards
OSU's John Lucas vs. OU's Drew Lavender
Lucas has a record of 45-6 as the Cowboys' starting point guard over the past two seasons. He is among the Big 12's leading in scoring (17.8 points per game) and assists-to-turnover ratio (3.04). Lucas had two big games as the Cowboys won swept the Sooners a year ago, including an 18-point and six-rebound performance in OSU's 65-52 win in Norman. In the two games last season, Lucas was 14-of-23 shooting (5-of-7 from three-point range), 7-of-7 from the free-throw line, had 11 rebounds and six assists. Lavender, the 5-foot-7 sophomore, is averaging 9.8 points and 3.6 assists for the Sooners. He made three three-pointers in OU's 64-60 win over Texas on Saturday. It was the third straight game in which he has made three treys, and he is 11-for-22 from three-point range in the Sooners' last four games.
Edge: Lucas

Shooting guards
OSU's Daniel Bobik vs. OU's Jaison Williams
Bobik often goes unnoticed because the headlines are often going to teammates Joey Graham, John Lucas or Ivan McFarlin. But when the 6-foot-6 senior is on the floor the Cowboys always seem to play better. He only averages 6.6 points, 3.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds but usually guards the opponent's best perimeter scorer. Bobik, usually one of the Cowboys' most reliable outside shooters, was hitting 41.5 from three-point range prior to going 0-for-6 from behind the arc in Saturday's win over Baylor. Williams was among the Big 12's top three-point shooters until his 0-for-10 performance against Texas on Saturday. He is averaging 8.1 points and 2.7 assists.
Edge: Bobik

Small forwards
OSU's Joey Graham vs. OU's Terrell Everett
Joey Graham, as he does every time he steps on the court, will present some major matchup problems for the Sooners. The 6-foot-4 Everett is three inches shorter than Graham and not nearly as strong. But the Sooners can't put 6-9 Taj Gray on Graham because he would never be able to stay with the explosive Graham. Graham, after his 24-point performance against Baylor, leads the Big 12 in scoring (19.0 points) and also averages 7.0 rebounds. Graham has made 35 consecutive free throws and will pass former Sooner Hollis Price (36 in a row) if he makes two more. The school record of 40 consecutive free throws is held by Arlen Clark set during the 1958-59 season. Everett had a season-low four points against Texas, but his nine assists were the most by a Sooner this season. The left-handed Everett, a transfer form West Plains Community College in his first season at OU, is averaging 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and a team-high 5.1 assists. He is averaging 7.5 assists in the last four games and leads the Big 12 (league games only) with 6.8 assists a game.
Edge: Joey Graham

Power forwards
OSU's Ivan McFarlin vs. OU's Taj Gray
McFarlin is one of only two players (the other being Byron Houston) in school history to record 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 steals and 100 blocked shots in his career. He is 13th on the career scoring list and needs only 14 points to pass Corey Williams for 12th. McFarlin (12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists) must have a big game rebounding the ball for the Cowboys to have a chance in Norman. The Cowboys outrebounded the Sooners in both victories a year ago with McFarlin either leading the team or tying for the team lead in rebounding in both games. Gray, the 6-foot-9 transfer from Redlands Community College, is one of the main reasons the Sooners are 15-2 and have matched the start by the school's 2001-02 Final Four team. Gray (14.3 points and 8.2 rebounds) is tied with KU's Wayne Simien for the Big 12 lead with seven double-doubles this season.
Edge: Gray

Centers
OSU's Terrence Crawford or David Monds vs. OU's Kevin Bookout
Crawford, just 6-foot-6, makes everyone on the floor better when he's on the floor. For instance, in Saturday's win over Baylor Crawford finished with seven rebounds (including three offensive), six points, five assists and three steals in just 20 minutes of action. Monds, bigger than Crawford at 6-8, made his first career start against Baylor and contributed four points and four rebounds in a career-high 19 minutes of action. Expect Crawford and Monds (and possibly Aaron Pettway and Frans Steyn) to attempt to pound on Bookout all night. Bookout is having a tremendous season. He is averaging 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting a Big 12 best 63 percent from the field. He is averaging a double-double (19 points and 10.3 rebounds) through the Sooners' first four Big 12 games. Against Texas, Bookout led the Sooners with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Edge: Bookout

Bench
The Cowboys bring two of the most dangerous players in the Big 12 off the bench in senior Stephen Graham (8.9 points) and freshman JamesOn Curry (6.1 points). Stephen Graham would be starting for most teams across the country. He scored nine points in 23 minutes of play against Baylor on Saturday. Curry tied a career-high with 14 points against the Bears. The Sooners have their own threats on the bench in 6-2 guard Lawrence McKenzie and 6-8 forward Johnny Gilbert. McKenzie came off the bench to score 15 points in the win over the Longhorns. He has come off the bench to score in double figures in 10 of the Sooners' 17 games this season. He is third in the Big 12 with 2.6 three-pointers made per game. Gilbert is a defensive specialist who can spell either Bookout or Gray. He won't score much but comes in to bang inside and get rebounds.
Edge: Cowboys

Coaching
OSU's Eddie Sutton vs. OU's Kelvin Sampson
Eddie Sutton is 18-12 against OU since taking over as head coach at Oklahoma State in 1990. During his 36-year coaching career, Sutton's overall record against Oklahoma is 23-13. The Cowboys are 4-2 against the Sooners the last three seasons with both losses coming in Norman. Sutton has won 769 games during his illustrious career and has moved into seventh on the Division I coaching victory charts, surpassing his mentor and former head coach Henry Iba (767 wins). He is the only coach to lead four different schools to the NCAA Tournament, and is the lone coach in Division I history to record 30 or more wins in a single season at more than one school (OSU in 2004, Kentucky in 1987 and Arkansas in 1978). Kelvin Sampson has a 9-13 record against Oklahoma State, but the Sooners have won 7 of the 10 games played at the Lloyd Noble Center. Under Sampson, the Sooners have averaged 26 victories over the past five seasons.
Edge: Sutton

Intangibles
Oklahoma State (92.08 points) is ranked sixth and Oklahoma (91.72 points) is ranked seventh in the Sagarin Ratings. Using the Sagarin Ratings, OU would be favored to win since the Sooners are playing at home and would receive a four-point home court advantage. The Sooners have won 60 of their last 64 games at Lloyd Noble Center. The Cowboys have accounted for two of those four losses, including last season's 65-52 win in Norman. Watch the battle of the boards. Oklahoma State is +6.6 while Oklahoma is +4.6 (but leads the Big 12 in conference games with a +8.8 margin). The Sooners have outrebounded their opponents in seven of their last eight games and are 13-0 this season when winning the rebounding battle. Oklahoma State is 11-1 when outrebounding its opponent.

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