After a solid win in the All College Classic against Texas A&M, Oklahoma should be on upset alert against the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin. The Sooners and Lumberjacks meet tonight in Norman, and the Lumberjacks will be looking to duplicate the outcome of their last trip to Norman in 2007. Five years ago, the Blake Griffin led Sooners were shocked at home by a gritty Lumberjacks squad.
The Sooners might have just found some momentum with their win over A&M. The defense and Clark’s new role at the power forward were the stories in the win over the Aggies. The Sooner defenders played hard all night and won many loose ball battles. They were flying around in the passing lanes and making it difficult for A&M to get any kind of offensive flow.
The freshman guards continue to get better and are a bright spot. Buddy Hield came off the bench and provided a spark for the Sooner offense that struggled without Steven Pledger.
The lone negative was the play of Amath M‘Baye who didn’t log a single rebound or point. The talented big man from France will need to be more consistent and play at the level he is capable of playing.
After a 78-67 win over Lubbock Christian, the Lumberjacks now have their eyes set on OU and another upset. Stephen F. Austin is 7-1 on the year, and their lone loss came against the Aggies of Texas A&M. A win over the Sooners would be a major notch in the belt for the Lumberjacks from the Southland Conference.
They are a great defensive team that can rebound and also shoots the ball well. They lead the nation in team defense at 49.5 points per game and haven’t let a team get seventy points or more in the past 40 contests.
Only one team has out rebounded them in the past 18 contests. Taylor Smith will be the key player for the Lumberjacks if they plan on upsetting the Sooners. Smith, a 6-6 senior forward, leads the team in points per game (14.3), rebounds per game (7.3), and blocks per game (2.8).
This game against the Lumberjacks might not be for the fans of offense. This will be two offensively limited teams who play great defense, going at it for 40 minutes.
The Sooners will need to match the Lumberjack’s intensity to win the loose ball battle. Oklahoma will have a size advantage and will need to utilize that on the boards. If the Sooners don’t allow easy shots and match the intensity of the Lumberjacks, look for the Sooners to pick up another win.