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Know Thy Enemy: Oklahoma Sooners

Just as we did Saturday with Nebraska, here are some questions I exchanged with OU blogger Matt from Crimson and Cream Machine. Be sure to check it out for anything and everything Boomer Sooner. For the questions I answered, click here.

1) Oklahoma looks much improved this season. Do you think that the Sooners are good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, and if yes, how far will they go?

The answer to your question is yes I do believe that the Sooners are good enough to make it to the dance but not go deep. I think that right now in the Big 12 you have Kansas and Texas A&M at the top and then Texas just a notch down. Below that you have Oklahoma, Kansas State and Missouri all fighting for the next three spots.

OU's loss to Kansas State on Saturday hurts their effort because I believe that the top five in the conference are going to make it into the tournament. That means that Oklahoma is going to have to pick up a game on the road somewhere.

Keep in mind that this is a young team led by sophomores and freshmen. So while they are improved this season it's the future that still looks very bright for the Sooners.

2) Your forward play has been stellar all season, led by freshman Blake Griffin and Longar Longar, but your guard play has been suspect at times. Are your guards good enough to keep up with the four Kansas guards?

No. Oklahoma's guards actually are playing a lot better than they had been in the past two seasons but the Kansas guards are some of the best in the country. You'll be hard pressed to find another team in the country that can match the Jayhawks guard play.

Sophomore Tony Crocker is averaging 11.5 points per game and then Austin Johnson and David Godbold put in 8.9 and 7.0 respectively. Combined the three have a 8.3 - 4.2 assist to turnover ratio.

3) A little more than a month ago, the Sooners lost to Stephen F. Austin at home. Was that an aberration, or were the wins over Gonzaga and West Virginia more representative of the "true" Sooners?

My personal opinion was that it was an aberration. Coach Capel said that it was the result of not respecting your opponent. The three games that followed SFA were Arkansas, Gonzaga and West Virginia and the game before was against in-state rival Tulsa which made this the perfect trap game for the Sooners and they definitely got snagged.

4) How happy are you with Jeff Capel in his second season? How does he compare to former coach Kelvin Sampson?

I'm ecstatic with Capel. Like Sampson he emphasizes tenacious defense but he also is not afraid to let his team run the floor. He also has recruited the athletes to do that. Where Sampson's bread and butter was getting the most out of second tier talent Capel has landed guys like Blake Griffin and Willie Warren who is coming in next season.

I always tell people that this is the point where Capel won over the fans last season which was obviously his first.

5) If given the choice, would you rather have a trip to the Final Four or a BCS Bowl win?

Well, there are only three schools in the Big 12 who can say that they've experienced both and fortunately OU is one of them. The Jayhawks got a taste of the BCS with their impressive win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl and obviously everyone knows the struggles that the Sooners have had recently on football's big stage.

I guess the answer to this question is determined on whether you are a basketball or football fan first. I'm a football fan first so if I could only have one I'd take the BCS.

Bonus Question: What will the score and who will be the winner Monday night?

I'll be cheering my heart out for the Sooners but I just think they'll be undermanned against what I feel is the best team in the country. I have to be realistic, 70-55 Jayhawks win.


A preview will be up in just a little bit, as gametime is less than 2 hours away.