WVU - Oklahoma State: Milan Puskar vs. T. Boone Pickens

USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia University men's basketball team looks to find their third conference win in Stillwater against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Game Day Vitals

Opponent Information

Marcus Smart - Hair Connoisseur

Freshman guard Marcus Smart is one of the headlines for this Cowboys team being absolutely electric with immediate contribution in his first year and very high in contention for Big XII Freshman of the Year. There's one thing that makes him stand out over most players on the court and it's not necessarily his play. This man sports a fade and it is... well.....

Smarthair1_medium

Smarthair2_medium

Whatever, man. Do your thing.

Game Preview

After just looking at OSU's record, you would think they would be ranked. They have an RPI of #41, SOS of #57 and are 9-1 at home. There are some flaws, though. They are 1-4 against the RPI Top 50 and have some interesting losses (VT in Blackburg 81-71, home vs. Gonzaga 69-68) that don't quite tell the story. I'm still not sure how good Oklahoma State is. They shoot okay (43%, 150th in country), rebound okay (37.0, 98th), score offensive okay (70.1, 114th.) That being said, there is no question that there is talent on this Cowboys team.

The Cowboy backcourt of Markel Brown (junior, 6-3), Marcus Smart (freshman, 6-4), and Phil Forte (freshman, 5-11) are young but versatile and the source of a majority of the OSU offense. Between the three, the starting backcourt averages 40 points a game and that is exactly where this game will be won by Oklahoma State if they get their way. The duel between Jabarie Hines, Gary Browne, Juwan Staten, Eron Harris, and Terry Henderson (again, ridiculous that I am listing that many names as the WVU backcourt) and these three heavily favors the Pokes. Where WVU needs to win the game is the front court.

This is nothing new. Bob Huggins basketball, as we all know, means defense and rebounding. With the Cowboys average of 70 points a game, this game will be in the 60s if WVU has their way and can slow down the game. Noreen and Murray will need to play big in this game getting 10-15 rebounds between them for WVU to have a chance. Read that again. A chance. Make no assumptions about this one. The Cowboys are 2nd in the Big XII for a reason. Vegas has them favored by 10 for a reason. WVU as proved almost 20 games into the season is that the only two things at which they are consistent are being excruciatingly and mindbogglingly inconsistent..... and being horrible shooters. Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Three outcomes, out of all the rest, are the most likely ranking from highest probability: blowout loss, one-point loss, five point win (due to actually hitting foul shots.) Let's hope it's the third.

Prediction: OSU 67 WVU 58

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