MBB Preview: Oklahoma at Missouri

The Sooners (15-10) and Tigers (16-10) will tip-off at 6:06 p.m. Tuesday night in Columbia. OU coach Jeff Capel (pictured) is 0-3 head-to-head vs. Missouri coach Mike Anderson.

The Teams
Oklahoma (15-10, 6-6) vs. Missouri (16-9, 5-7) -- 6:06 p.m. (CST) -- Mizzou Arena (15,061) -- Columbia, Mo.

Tuesday's game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Southwest. Chris Gervino (play-by-play) and Norm Stewart (analyst) will call the action. The game, which is also available with the ESPN Full Court Package, can be heard on the Sooner Radio network on KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City.

Radio Broadcast Info | Live Stats

The Matchup
Tuesday's game will be a showdown of two teams heading in different directions as of late. Oklahoma comes into the game having lost two straight, while the Tigers have won back-to-back games and three out of their last four.

The Tigers, who are coming off of a huge 75-64 upset win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater last Saturday, are a hard team to figure out. They won their first 11 home games, but were then beaten at Mizzou Arena by Iowa State. They then bounced back to beat Texas Tech at home, only then to lose to Nebraska. Overall, they are just 2-3 in Columbia in Big 12 games this season.

Missouri will also present a different style of play than the Sooners have this season with their fullcourt press directed by first-year head coach Mike Anderson, a former assistant of Nolan Richardson at Arkansas. And their press has been successful, as they lead the league in steals and turnover margin.

Interestingly enough, Tuesday night won't be the first time Anderson and Jeff Capel, both first-year coaches in the Big 12, have coached against each other. Anderson, who was previously at UAB, is 3-0 against Capel when he was at Virginia Commonwealth.

OU leads the all-time series 110-92, but the Tigers hold a 58-31 edge in Columbia.

Big 12 Stats | Oklahoma Game Notes | Missouri Game Notes

Jeff Capel on Missouri
"Missouri's a hot team. They're a difficult team to prepare for because of their style. Mike Anderson does a very good job. Their strength is in their guards. (Stefhon) Hannah and then Keon Lawrence, Matt Lawrence, Jason Horton, those guys can really, really play.

"Keon Lawrence and Stefhon Hannah are two of the better new guards in our league. They can score, they handle it, they really apply a lot of pressure on the ball. They run at you a lot on the defensive end.

"They're coming off of a heck of a win (at Oklahoma State), which I'm sure increases their confidence level. They're a good team and Mike's done a very good job with this group. He'll be great in this league, especially as he starts to add and improve the talent level there. Missouri will be a very difficult team to prepare for.

"It's going to take a really good performance for us to win up at Missouri. This is a team with a lot of confidence, like I said earlier. It's going to take a great effort. We're going to have to be really, really sharp — mentally, physically — with the way we defend and our transition defense is going to have to be very good. We're going to have to do a lot of really good things to win this game.

"I played against Mike's teams the last three years. When I was at VCU and he was at UAB we played them the last three years. It's (Missouri's pressure defense) similar to the Arkansas and coach (Nolan Richardson) style. At Arkansas they called it '40 minutes of Hell'. At UAB, Mike calls it 'The fastest 40 minutes'.

"One of the things we did at VCU to prepare for it was we went 5-on-7 with seven guys on defense. We don't have enough guys to do that here, so we can't do that. We've gone 5-on-6 yesterday in preparation for it, but it's difficult to simulate. They do it every day. We're trying to do it two days to get ready for it.

"The thing we've got to do a good job of is not get rattled under their pressure. They want to force you to play faster and to make quick decisions. We want to play fast, but we want to be able to make solid decisions. We don't want to get the game at their pace, we want to try to keep the game at our pace and make sure we can make good, sound solid decisions in going faster."

Oklahoma Projected Starters:
C -- 30 --Longar Longar -- 6-11, 228, Jr. -- 11.8 ppg, 7.6 rbg, 1.3 bpg
F -- 24 --Nate Carter -- 6-6, 220, Sr. -- 10.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg
G -- 2-- Michael Neal -- 6-3, 198, Sr. -- 10.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg
G -- 15 --David Godbold -- 6-5, 215, Jr. -- 7.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
G -- 20 -- Austin Johnson -- 6-3, 160, So. -- 7.4 ppg, 3.2 apg

More on the Sooners
Roster | 2005 Stats | Schedule/Results

Missouri Projected Starters:
F -- 44 -- Kalen Grimes -- 6-9, 250, Jr. -- 7.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg
F -- 15 -- Marshall Brown -- 6-6, 220, Jr. -- 10.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg
F -- 33 -- Matt Lawrence -- 6-7, 210, So. -- 11.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg
G -- 2 -- Keon Lawrence -- 6-2, 180, Fr. -- 9.3 ppg, 2.8 apg
G -- 3 -- Stefhon Hannah -- 6-0, 1175, Jr. -- 15.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.3 rpg, 2.7 spg

More on the Tigers
Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories