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Game 13: 22 Baylor Bears vs 18 Oklahoma Sooners

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The Bears open Big 12 conference play on the road in Norman

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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No. 22 Baylor (11-1) at No. 18 Oklahoma (9-3)
Jan. 3, 2015 | 3:00 p.m. CT
Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center (11,562)

TV: ESPNU
and WatchESPN
Radio: ESPN Central Texas
Satellite Radio: Sirius 84 / XM 84

GameTracker | Tickets Listen Online | Tickets Tickets | Tickets Baylor Notes | Tickets Oklahoma Notes

A new year, a new start to Big 12 conference basketball. Baylor and OU kick off their schedules with a showdown between top 25 teams. If you want a little deeper look at the Sooners, check out Sunday's Big 12 basketball power rankings. We'll try our best to make fuller previews in the future, but holidays and family have taken up time. Hopefully you won't begrudge us that. In the mean time, let's take a quick look at the Sooners.

Oklahoma Sooner Roster and Stats

Player Class Pos Ht Summary
D.J. Bennett SR F 6-8 2.8 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 0.2 Ast
Frank Booker SO G 6-4 4.5 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 0.5 Ast
C.J. Cole SO F 6-7 0.6 Pts, 0.6 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Isaiah Cousins JR G 6-4 13.0 Pts, 6.2 Reb, 2.0 Ast
James Fraschilla SR G 5-10 0.0 Pts, 0.0 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Daniel Harper SO G 6-1 0.0 Pts, 0.5 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Buddy Hield JR G 6-4 15.7 Pts, 5.0 Reb, 1.8 Ast
Khadeem Lattin FR F 6-9 3.5 Pts, 3.7 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Austin Mankin SO F 6-7 0.3 Pts, 0.4 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Trey Slate SO G 6-1 1.2 Pts, 0.2 Reb, 0.0 Ast
Ryan Spangler JR F 6-8 10.0 Pts, 8.4 Reb, 1.0 Ast
TaShawn Thomas SR F 6-8 10.8 Pts, 5.2 Reb, 1.0 Ast
Dinjiyl Walker JR G 6-1 5.5 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 1.2 Ast
Jordan Woodard SO G 6-0 8.3 Pts, 4.3 Reb, 4.8 Ast
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 1/3/2015.

As you can see, JR Buddy Hield is the Sooners' leading scorer and shameless three gunner. He has lots of help, though. There are four double digit scorers on the team, and SO Jordan Woodard isn't far away from being a fifth. JR Ryan Spangler is nearly averaging a double-double, and JR transfer TaShawn Thomas is a threat to score inside.

Even with all those scorers, Oklahoma's defense is the real threat. They boast the country's 5th ranked defense by adjusted efficiency, per KenPom. It'll be tough to score, especially given Baylor's sometimes stagnant half court offense.

Baylor Bears Roster and Stats

Player Class Pos Ht Summary
Kenny Chery SR G 5-11 8.8 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 4.3 Ast
Deng Deng JR F 6-8 4.4 Pts, 2.7 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Allerik Freeman FR G 6-3 7.0 Pts, 2.2 Reb, 0.8 Ast
Rico Gathers JR F 6-8 10.1 Pts, 10.4 Reb, 0.3 Ast
John Heard JR F 6-5 1.0 Pts, 0.7 Reb, 0.0 Ast
T.J. Maston FR F 6-7 2.1 Pts, 0.9 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Lester Medford JR G 5-10 8.3 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 4.3 Ast
Austin Mills JR G 6-1 0.9 Pts, 0.3 Reb, 1.3 Ast
Johnathan Motley FR F 6-9 9.8 Pts, 4.7 Reb, 0.8 Ast
Royce O'Neale SR F 6-6 10.8 Pts, 6.5 Reb, 3.3 Ast
Taurean Prince JR F 6-7 11.5 Pts, 5.4 Reb, 1.2 Ast
Ish Wainright SO G-F 6-5 2.0 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 1.2 Ast
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 1/3/2015.

Baylor has three double digit scorers of its own, and FR Johnathan Motley, SR Kenny Chery, JR Lester Medford and FR Allerik Freeman are all pretty close to getting there themselves. As always, offensive rebounding will be the key. Baylor still holds the 2nd best offensive rebounding percentage in the country, per KenPom. A fair bit of the Bears' points come after offensive rebounds, particularly for JR Rico Gathers and Motley. Those two will have to finish well around the rim for Baylor to compete in this game.

Like Oklahoma, Baylor's strength was at the defensive end in the non-conference slate. Last season, Baylor was the worst Big 12 team at defending the three point shot. This season, they're 8th in the country. Perimeter defense will be imperative. Limiting JR guard Isaiah Cousins, Woodard, and Hield will be tough.

Quick Keys to a Baylor Win

1.) Offensive rebounding

2.) Perimeter defense putting pressure on Oklahoma's shooters

3.) Limiting Oklahoma's transition opportunities

Join us in the comments for the game! Sic'em, Bears!