Sampson recaps Colorado, previews Iowa State

Kelvin Sampson talks about OU's loss to Colorado, Saturday's matchup agaisnt Iowa State and the injury status of starting guard Austin Johnson. (AP Photo)

Below is a transcript of OU head coach Kelvin Sampson's interview with James Hale and Bob Barry, Jr. Friday morning on the Sports Animal.

Sampson's Sooners (16-6, 7-4) will take on Iowa State (4-7, 14-10) Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.

On the loss to Colorado

Sampson: "Every year they beat a ranked team at home, whether it's Kansas or Texas when you look at their track record.

"The thing going into that game that worried me, especially when we found out that Austin (Johnson) couldn't play, was Terrell (Everett) and Mike (Neal) the last four minutes just because of them wearing down. As it turned out, I thought Terrell and Mike did a great job.

"We're a team that has to have everybody playing good to win games like that. I thought our guards were really good. Nate Carter came off the bench and he's been playing better and better each game. Kevin (Bookout) and Taj (Gray) didn't play as good as they're capable of obviously. We missed a lot of chipies and some free throws.

"Colorado, I think going in, was 12th in the league in free throws shooting 61 percent and they go 19 for 22. I think our last lead was 57-53, then they go up 61-58. Then it's 69-67 at about the four-minute mark and we missed a couple free throws. And then they hit big three after big three.

"I'm going to tell you, the best player you haven't heard much of in this conference is Richard Roby. Remember how good Antoine Wright was for Texas A&M? Well, this kid's probably a little better.

"If he was at a Kansas or a Texas or a higher-profile school in this league, I'm telling you this kid is legit. What separates him is a lot of guys can score, but this kid's a great passer too.

"That was a magical night for Colorado. They had a great crowd and their kids played well. I thought we played well for a long time, but we just didn't have enough at the end."

On Saturday's matchup against Iowa State

Sampson: "They're a lot better on the road than they are at home. They blew out Nebraska, they blew out Missouri and they played Kansas down to the last three minutes in Lawrence last Saturday.

"(Curtis) Stinson and (Will) Blalock are dynamic type guards. In a one-on-one contest to see who's the best one-on-one player in this league, I'm not sure Stinson wouldn't win it. He can make plays.

"I think we were on a five-game winning streak last year when we went to Iowa State, and I think they were 1-4. They beat us and the next think you know they won five or six in a row. They won at Texas, at Kansas. They beat a lot of good teams.

"They've got their three best players back in Rashon Clark, Stinson and Blalock. Although the one thing they do miss is the big (Jared) Homan kid inside.

On Austin Johnson's injury status

Sampson: "I'm not sure yet. I wish I could say yes definitively. Trust me, I wish I could say yes. But I think we'll just have to see today.

"When an ankle is sprained as badly as his was, when he tweaks it again it takes a while to get over it. Hopefully he can. We'll see today in practice."

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