OU-ISU Hoops Preview

NORMAN, Okla. -- Sooners Illustrated breaks down the matchup between OU and Iowa State Saturday in Ames.


The Sooners (10-9 overall, 2-3 Big 12) arrive in Ames riding a two-game Big 12 winning streak after defeating Texas Tech and Colorado in their previous two outings, while the Cyclones come in losers of three straight, with a 1-5 overall conference record. Each team is looking to stay out of the bottom third of the conference, with OU currently tied for seventh and Iowa State in dead last, but just a game out of ninth.

Sooner Notes:

--The Sooners have a 109-77 series advantage, including four straight and 11 of the last 15. But they are only 36-45 all time in Ames.

--Starters have scored 146 of the 150 points in the past two outings, as the bench scored just a pair of points in each contest.

--OU is 10-1 at home but still looking for its first road win, with an 0-8 mark.

--The success of guard Steven Pledger will be a key, as he has scored in double figures in eight of OU's 10 wins. He is averaging 11.9 points per game over the season.

--The Sooners have outscored opponents 170-145 in points off turnovers in their victories, but have been outscored 162-103 in that statistic in their setbacks.

--Guard Cade Davis averaged 20 points and 7.5 boards in last week's pair of wins, something that will be huge if he can do again.

Looking at the Cyclones:

--They came into conference play with a 13-2 record but have dropped to 14-7 overall after losing only one game in their first six attempts.

--They are not a good shooting team, ranking last in the conference at 39.8 percent from the field and ninth in 3-pointers at 33.6 percent.

--Neither are they real good at defending, sitting at 11th in the conference with 79.8 points given up per game.

--Senior point guard Diante Garrett leads a trio of ISU players in double figures, with 17.8 points per contest, which puts him at fifth in the league.

--For the second straight game, the Sooners will face a first year coach in Fred Hoiber.

Projected Starters:


F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 231, So., 14.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

G Steven Pledger (6-4, 212, So, 11.2 ppg. 2.3 rpg)

G Carl Blair (6-2, 209, So., 6.8 ppg, 4.5 apg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 189, Fr., 9.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg)

G Cade Davis (6-5, 209, Sr., 13.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg)


F Melvin Ejim (6-6, 215, Fr., 11.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg)

F Jamie Vanderbeken (6-11, 240, Sr., 11.9 ppg. 5.8 rpg)

G Jake Anderson (6-2, 205, Sr., 12.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg)

G Diante Garrett (6-4, 190, Sr., 17.8 ppg, 5.9 apg)

G Scott Christopherson (6-3, 195, Jr., 13.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

As previously mentioned, the Sooners have struggled mightily on the road this season, coming up empty in eight tries. And Ames isn't exactly the easiest place to correct that. It's historically been a tough venue for many teams in the conference and more than likely, that doesn't figure to change this weekend. The Sooners will, however, be very competitive in dropping a close conference matchup.

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