Alexander a gametime decision for Tech showdown

Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson talks about De'Angelo Alexander's (pictured left) ankle injury and his Sooners showdown with Texas Tech. Tip-off for tonight's matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center tonight in Norman. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

Below is a transcript from OU Head Basketball Coach Kelvin Sampson's interview with James Hale on WKY this afternoon. Sampson's Sooners will face off against Texas Tech in a Big 12 South showdown Wednesday night in Norman. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center.

On the Sooners final eight Big 12 games
"Every game we play is going to be big from here on in. We've got a lot of basketball left. We made the turn at 4-4 and didn't play as well at Texas as we would've liked or anticipated. We've got to bounce back and play well tomorrow night."

On OU's scoring woes on Sunday
"Texas is a very good defensive team. When they went man-to-man we had a hard time getting to the rim and went they went zone we had a hard time making open shots. The good thing is we got some good shots, good looks. We've just got to get our young kids to bow up and play a lot tougher."

On getting a player to become tougher
"During the four-game winning streak I thought we got better with each game, and then in the Texas game we got out-toughed. Texas is a tough matchup, a tougher matchup for some teams than others. Texas and Oklahoma State are kinda separating themselves as maybe the two best teams in this league. We're still trying to establish certain things in the program and it's going to be something we'll work on all year."

On going 1-for-21 from 3-point range against Texas
"If you look at a kid like Lawrence McKenzie, who really played well during that four game stretch, he went from our third or fourth or fifth option that teams were preparing for and all of the sudden was the first option. During that stretch of four games we won somebody else stepped up, but Sunday was a day where nobody shot the ball well. I thought De'Angelo Alexander really played well. He had 11 points and six rebounds at halftime. Then when he went down with the injury that was a tough hit for us. You know what ... that's basketball. We didn't play well, we got beat soundly, but that's why you have the next game. You've got to come back and practice to get your head straight, a will to win and determination that you're going to play better and stay at it."

On the status of Alexander's ankle injury
"Well, he couldn't practice yesterday (Monday) and I don't think he can practice today (Tuesday). It will probably be a game time deal. We expect him to at least try, and I'm sure he will. We'll just have to wait and see."

On Alexander's injured shoulder
"He was cleared to practice right after the Nebraska game. He practiced for the first time with us going into the Iowa State game and you could tell his confidence was coming. He played really well in the Iowa State game — he had 17 points — and really practiced well going into the Texas game. Injuries are injuries. Some years as a coach you're lucky if you don't have any and some years you seem like you have too many, and that's been like that for us this year."

On the matchup with Texas Tech
"When you prepare for Texas Tech you obviously prepare for Andre Emmett. He's coming off a game when he had 29 points against Kansas at Kansas. The other two kids that really play well for them are the (Ronald) Ross kid and the (Jay) Jackson kid. (Robert) Tomaszek is a huge key for them. He's been injured and out, and I think that has coincided with some of their losses. Tomaszek is such a skilled big man. He's really played well this year. They expect him to be back healthy and play against us. You start with Andre Emmett, but those other guys are good players too."

TEXAS TECH (17-5, 5-3)

F-14-Andre Emmett (6-5, 225, Sr., 21.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 apg)
F-21-Devonne Giles (6-8, 225, Jr., 7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.7 apg)
F-55-Robert Tomaszek (6-9, 250, Sr., 7.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G-22-Jarrius Jackson (6-1, 185, Fr., 10.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg)
G-24-Ronald Ross (6-2, 185, Jr., 10.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.4 apg)

OKLAHOMA (14-5, 4-4)
F-32-Johnnie Gilbert (6-8, 265, Jr., 4.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.4 apg)
C-21-Jabahri Brown (6-10, 220, Sr., 7.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.5 apg)
G-1-Lawrence McKenzie (6-2, 170, Fr., 7.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg)
G-3-Drew Lavender (5-7, 155, Fr., 10.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.7 apg)
G-5-Jason Detrick (6-6, 215, Sr., 10.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.5 apg)

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