Bedlam Preview: Big Monday Showdown

The big question entering the Big Monday showdown with the Oklahoma Sooners is which Oklahoma State Cowboy team will show up when the ESPN national television cameras begin rolling at 8 o'clock. Will it be the Cowboy team which played some of its best basketball in back-to-back home wins over Texas Tech and Texas in the last eight days, or will it be the OSU squad which looked as lost as ever in a 16-point loss to Iowa State last Wednesday? We'll find out soon enough.

Oklahoma State (15-13, 5-9) vs. Oklahoma (19-6, 10-4)
Lloyd Noble Center (12,000), Norman, Okla.
Monday, 8:05 p.m., ESPN
ESPN: Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla, Holly Rowe
Cowboy Radio Network: Dave Hunziker and Tom Dirato

THE SERIES
Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 120-87, and the Sooners own a 73-26 margin in games played in Norman. The Cowboys have won five of the last eight games, including a 65-52 win over the Sooners on Feb. 16, 2004, their last win at Lloyd Noble Center. The Cowboys are 10-9 vs. the Sooners since the Big 12 was formed in 1996.

KEYS FOR A COWBOY VICTORY:
Play Like Veterans - The Cowboys' Marcus Dove, JamesOn Curry and David Monds must play like they've been inside Lloyd Noble Arena and won before, and freshmen Byron Eaton, Kenny Cooper and Terrel Harris will have to play like this is the 29th game of the season. Dove (0 points and 3 rebounds), Curry (20 points on 7-of-13 shooting) and Monds (0 points and 6 rebounds) did not get the job done in the Sooners' 73-65 win on Feb. 8. They must play better for the Cowboys to win.

Play "Small" Ball - Sean Sutton has gone with a three-guard offense in Curry, Eaton and Jamaal Brown on the court and it worked in the wins over the Longhorns and Red Raiders. The Cowboy guards must outplay the Sooner guards. In the Bedlam game on Feb. 8, the Sooner guards combined for 44 points and the Cowboys could not stop Terrell Everett who finished with 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Curry, Eaton, Brown and Terrel Harris off the bench must play well – on both ends of the court – for the Cowboys.

Keep the Big Monday Streak Alive - The Cowboys are 8-3 all-time vs. Oklahoma on Big Monday. The two teams played both of last year's games on Big Monday, with OSU winning inside Gallagher-Iba Arena and OU capturing the win inside Lloyd Noble Center.

Spoil Senior Night - Monday night is the final home game for seniors Kevin Bookout, Terrell Everett and Taj Gray. The Cowboys would like nothing better than to spoil their final night in front of the home crowd.

KEYS TO A SOONER WIN:
Taylor Griffin: Cowboy Nemesis? -
Sooner freshman Taylor Griffin is averaging just 3.4 points and 3.1 rebounds as his first year winds down, but he looked and played like anything but a rookie when the Sooners defeated the Cowboys in Stillwater. The 6-foot-7 Griffin finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in just 22 minutes of play. If the Sooners get that type of effort from Griffin again, it will probably lead to their 20th win of the season.

Ride the Everett & Neal Express - Terrell Everett was a one-man wrecking crew with 23 points (on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line), 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the earlier win over the Cowboys. While Everett is capable of scoring 20-plus points on any night, he also involves his teammates (his 6.8 assists average is third in the nation). He has scored in double figures in 13 of OU's last 14 games. Michael Neal is averaging 17.2 points over the last 11 games on 50-for-95 (.526) three-point shooting. He has made at least three treys in each of the last five games. If Everett and Neal stay hot, look for the Sooners to give head coach Kelvin Sampson his first series sweep over the Cowboys since 1999.

OSU's projected starters:
F: 4 Mario Boggan (6-7, 235, Jr., 14.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
C: 40 Kenneth Cooper (6-10, 260, Fr., 2.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
G: 00 Byron Eaton (5-11, 215, Fr., 7.4 ppg, 3.2 apg)
G: 10 Jamaal Brown (5-10, 200, Jr., 5.3 ppg, 3.1 apg)
G: 24 JamesOn Curry (6-3, 190, So., 13.8 ppg, 4.1 apg)

OSU's key reserves:
F: 55 Torre Johnson (6-6, 215, Jr., 10.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
F: 32 David Monds (6-8, 232, Jr., 8.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
F: 5 Marcus Dove (6-9, 215, So., 4.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
G: 1 Terrel Harris (6-5, 190, Fr., 4.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg)

OU's projected starters:
F: 21 Taj Gray (6-9, 238, Sr., 14.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
F: 34 Kevin Bookout (6-8, 270, Sr., 11.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
G: 3 Terrell Everett (6-4, 188, Sr., 12.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.8 apg)
G: 15 David Godbold (6-5, 217, Jr., 5.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
G: 2 Michael Neal (6-3, 191, Jr., 13.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg)

OU's key reserves:
G: 20 Austin Johnson (6-3, 168, Fr., 3.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg)
F: 24 Nate Carter (6-6, 220, Jr., 6.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
F: 32 Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, Fr., 3.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg)

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