Sampson: We better be ready for a war

Sampson says beating Oklahoma State at Gallagher-Iba will be no easy task

When the Sooners and Cowboys tip-off round two of Bedlam basketball at 8:05 p.m. on the eve of Valentine's Day at Gallagher-Iba Arena, there will certainly be no cards, candy or valentine's exchanged between the two teams.

This is Bedlam, and there is no love lost between these two universities no matter the situation.

"They are going to come after us with everything that they have and we will them," said Sampson.

"This is going to be a war and we better ready for a war."

The Cowboys come into tonight's game having lost five of their last six games after starting the season 13-0.

On the other hand, the Sooners come in surging having won four straight, the first of which was a 58-53 over Oklahoma State in Norman on January 30.

The Cowboys struggled mightily without star guard Maurice Baker in their 58-52 loss at Fresno State last Sunday. Baker is not expected to play against the Sooners, but don't tell that to Sampson.

"Who says Mo is not going to play? Have you seen their practices? Do you know for a fact that Mo won't play? I know what they are saying, but that doesn't mean anything, because I promise you that Mo is doing everything he can to play. He is getting treatment five hours a day and he has until 8 o'clock Wednesday night to get it ready," said Sampson.

"It will not surprise us if he is ready to play by game time. We will prepare as if he is in the lineup."

Regardless of whether or not Baker is in the lineup Wednesday night, the Cowboys will come into the game knowing that they took the Sooners to the wire on the road in the last meeting.

And in that game Baker was virtually a non-existent, scoring only six points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field. Junior guard Cheyne Gadsen, who led OSU with 14 points off the bench against OU in Norman, is expected to start in Bakers spot.

"They are very good. Eddie is an excellent coach. They have a good coaching staff and they have good players. Victor (Williams), Fredrik (Jonzen) and Ivan McFarlan are good players," said Sampson.

"Both teams will play such good defense that both teams will not be able to run their offense."

Sampson also knows that half the battle is playing in Gallagher-Iba Arena where his Sooners are 2-5 under his command.

"Oklahoma State is our toughest road game of the year and when they come to Lloyd Noble that is their toughest road game," said Sampson.

"I don't know if Gallagher-Iba is the toughest road game for Kansas, it is probably Missouri or Kansas State. I doubt that OSU is Missouri's toughest road game as I that would probably be Kansas. For us, OSU is a very tough road game for us."

"Their fans create an unbelievable environment and their team feeds off of that. We have played them before when their fans have literally mean ten points for them."

The Series
Oklahoma leads the all-time series against Oklahoma State 116-82. The Sooners are 40-52 against the Cowboys in Stillwater and 2-5 in seven visits under Sampson.

The Polls
Oklahoma is ranked fourth in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Oklahoma State is 16th in the AP and 15th in the Coaches poll.

Road Warriors
Oklahoma has been impressive on the road in Big 12 play under Sampson. Coming into tonight's matchup with Oklahoma State the Sooners are 26-13 on the road in conference play. OU is 5-3 in true road games so far this season.

F 13 Aaron McGhee (6-8, 250, Sr.) 14.2 7.1 1.0
C 21 Jabahri Brown (6-10, 210, So.) 5.1 7.0 1.4
G 2 Ebi Ere (6-5, 215, Jr.) 15.1 5.7 1.6
G 4 Quannas White (6-1, 190, Jr.) 7.9 2.9 4.6
G 10 Hollis Price (6-1, 165, Jr.) 17.2 2.8 2.6

F 23 Ivan McFarlin (6-7, 210, So.) 10.7 7.3 0.5
F 34 Melvin Sanders (6-5, 205, Jr.) 7.8 3.5 1.4
F 5 Fredrik Jonzen (6-10, 230, Sr.) 11.7 7.2 1.4
G 5 Victor Williams (5-10, 185, Jr.) 12.3 2.4 3.8
G 30 Cheyne Gadson (6-3, 210, Jr.) 5.7 2.5 2.1

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