OU-Iowa State Part I Hoops Preview

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated breaks down OU's contest against the Iowa State Cyclones this weekend at Lloyd Noble Center.


The Sooners (13-8, 3-6 Big 12) return for a two-game home stand when they host the Iowa State Cyclones (16-6, 6-3 Big 12) Saturday evening at 5. OU comes in fresh off a two-game Sunflower State road split with a 63-60 win at Kansas State and 84-62 loss at Kansas. Iowa State arrives winners of four of their last five, including its most recent 72-70 home triumph over Kansas State. The Sooners lead the overall series between the two 110-77, and they won the last meeting 82-76.

Sooner Notes:

--They have won five straight in the series and nine of the last 11, including seven straight in Norman. The Sooners are 60-21 all-time vs. Iowa State at home.

--OU's top three scorers, guard Steven Pledger and forwards Andrew Fitzgerald and Romero Osby, are shooting a combined 51.6 percent from the field this season, with a combined 83.1 percent free throw mark.

--The Sooners are the only team in the league with three scorers ranked in the top 15 of Big 12 play. Pledger averages 16.6 points per game, while Osby adds 14.2 and Fitzgerald manages 13.6.

--They rank second in Big 12 play with a +2.6 average turnover margin.

--After dominating the rebounding battle in non-conference play (+10.4), OU has lost it six times in nine contests during Big 12 play for a -4.6 margin.

Looking at the Cyclones:

--They have already equaled their win total from last season and are tied for fourth place in the league race at 6-3.

--The Cyclones lead the Big 12 with 8.6 treys per contest and are the only team in the country with four players each with 34 makes long range.

--Forward Royce White is the only player in the nation to lead his team in points (14.0), rebounds (9.5), assists (4.5), blocks (1.2) and steals (1.2).

--Guards Chris Allen and Scott Christopherson join him in double figures with 11.8 and 10.9 points per game, respectively.

--Head coach Fred Hoiberg is in his second year as head coach with a 32-22 overall record.

Projected Starters:


F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 247, Jr., 12.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg)

F Romero Osby (6-8, 232, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 8.0 rbg)

G Sam Grooms (6-1, 203, Jr., 6.1 ppg, 5.6 apg)

G Steven Pledger (6-2, 205, Jr., 17.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 198, So., 8.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

Iowa State:

F Melvin Ejim (6-6, 220, So., 8.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg)

F Royce White (6-8, 270, Fr., 14.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg)

G Chris Babb (6-5, 225, Jr., 9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

G Chris Allen (6-3, 205, Sr., 11.8 ppg, 2.3 apg)

G Scott Christopherson (6-3, 195, Sr., 10.9 ppg, 2.1 apg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

There's no reason to be deceived by their record. The Sooners have been pretty competitive in conference play this year, despite suffering to a 3-6 mark so far in conference play. Twice they've had Kansas close at halftime before struggling in the second half en route to blowouts. They nearly beat Baylor. They swept Kansas State. We have reason to believe OU will bounce back and get an important home victory here in its chase for the NIT. (Big 12 Prediction Record: 5-4)

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