It's been a while since we've had one of these for basketball, but for today's game between the Kansas Jayhawks and the Oklahoma State Cowboys, I reached out to Micah Allen of Cowboys Ride For Free, the site that covers OSU.
RCT: This has been a very strange year for Oklahoma State, with the high of Cade Cunningham committing (and sticking with that commitment) and the lows of COVID disruptions and the uncertain future of the program concerning NCAA penalties. With all this swirling around the program, what are the actual expectations for this program this season?
CRFF: That’s a tough one. There are still so many unknowns as far as whether or not we’ll even get this season finished. That being said, I think fans are beginning to realize that this team is crazy young and with that comes some growing pains. They have had issues with getting games finished. That had thwarted expectations. I think realistically this team could just come short of making the tournament.
RCT: The aforementioned Cade Cunningham gives this team a bona fide star to highlight in Mike Boynton’s system. What has his addition allowed this team to do new this year that we haven’t seen from OSU in the past few years?
CRFF: He brings a player that’s a swiss army knife if you will. He can get his points and can do some work on the other end of the floor as well. But truly I think the biggest difference is he brings a compliment player for Isaac Likekele. Ice isn’t doing all the work anymore. That I think has been big.
RCT: What does this team do well, and what do they not do so well?
CRFF: They play really well when they can control the speed and get to playing really fast. They have guys that can shoot those 2-point shots that aren’t really mid range jumpers. Defensively, zone has been working for them. As far as what they don’t do well… well free throws, turnovers and scoring droughts have doomed the Cowboys quite a bit this season.
RCT: Where can OSU realistically attack this Jayhawk team in tonight’s game?
CRFF: THEY HAVE GOT TO MAKE SHOTS! In the K-State game they shot 56.3% from the field. They’re going to need a repeat of that if they want even a fraction of a chance against the Jayhawks. Also Cade Cunningham has to stay out of foul trouble. Really the whole team does.
RCT: What’s the most important matchup for this game?
CRFF: Inside the paint. Oklahoma State is not a big team. Are they going to get bullied by some of KU’s defenders. They get blocked a lot so that worries me.
RCT: Prediction Time! Is OSU able to pull off the upset and get this team moving back up into the conversation as a potential tournament team?
CRFF: I just don’t see that happening. Let’s go with 75-60 Jayhawks.
A big thanks to Micah for helping us out. Don’t forget to head over to CRFF for the questions that I answered for her.