Preview: Bears no easy matchup for Price, Sooners

Hollis Price and the Sooners hope to complete the series sweep of Baylor Saturday in Norman. Tip-off Oklahoma vs. Baylor is scheduled for 3p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center. Price scored 17 points in the Sooners' 67-54 win over the Bears in Waco on January 25.

The 5th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners welcome the Baylor Bears to the Lloyd Noble Center Saturday in Norman. The two teams have already met once this season in Waco on Jan. 25. OU beat Baylor that day 67-54.

Don't let Baylor's 1-6 record in the conference fool you, they are a solid basketball team. Their record is the result of a brutal opening schedule in conference play. Do not forget that they took Oklahoma State to OT in Waco and also had Texas down by double-digits in the first half of their trip to the Brazos River. This game, unlike in years past, will not be a pushover.

The nucleus of this Bear squad revolves around youth and the three-point shot. Baylor's top three scorers, Lawrence Roberts, John Lucas and Kenny Taylor, are all sophomores, averaging 15.1, 14.3 and 13.3 points respectively. Roberts is also the leading rebounder for the Bears, averaging 9.4 boards a game, which is 3rd highest in the Big 12.

For those that may have watched the OSU-Baylor game in Waco, it became obvious in the second half that the Bears like to shoot the trey. Baylor's Ferrell Center is the only arena I've ever been to that keeps track of the team's three-point total for the year.

Against OSU, Baylor's center, R.T. Guinn, frequently drifted behind the arc and burned the Cowboys repeatedly on his way to 21 points. For Oklahoma to be successful, they must take Guinn out of his comfort zone and force him into difficult shots like they did in Waco when Guinn only tallied five points on 1-of-7 shooting.

For Oklahoma, it's the same old story: scoring. OU's offense has been erratic most of the season, but they seemed to have a breakout game against Kansas State in their 91-89 win in Manhattan last weekend. Leading the way for the Sooners was Ebi Ere, and the scoring presence of Oklahoma's dynamic wing from Tulsa seemed to open the offense up for the rest of the squad. Four Sooners scored at least 16 points, and another offense show such as that one will garner Oklahoma an easy victory tomorrow.

This will also be another game for Kevin Bookout to show what he's made of. The Stroud freshman had a superb game in Waco, scoring 18 points to go along with nine rebounds. His inside presence forced Baylor to make massive adjustments and really opened up shots for Hollis Price in the second half. Look for Baylor coach Dave Bliss to try and have an answer for both Price and Bookout tomorrow, which only puts more pressure on Ere to keep up his offensive punch.

If the offense that showed up against Texas Tech shows up then Oklahoma will struggle mightily, especially if Baylor is shooting well from behind the arc. If OU plays a solid offensive game, like they did in Manhattan, they will win easily. We'll find out tomorrow at 3 p.m.

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