Marcus Smart is returning from serving a 3-game suspension after going into the crowd at the USA and shoving a Texas Tech fan. All eyes will be on the game in Stillwater, Oklahoma to see what will take place when the two teams meet again on Saturday. What can our Red Raiders expect going into this game; and what do you think will happen?
Seth - Maybe the most hostile crowd ever or maybe the most un-caring crowd ever. I can't figure out what Oklahoma St. fans are going to show up as they're not real excited about how this season has turned out for the Cowboys. As far as the team, I'm expecting a highly-motivated Marcus Smart, who I do think is truly repentant about his actions, and I think he's still a guy that is the top 3 or 4 players in the conference, the other two being Wiggins, Embiid, and Kane. A lot of times, I tend to discount the emotional aspect of the game, that players do have certain games circled on the schedule and I have no doubt that Oklahoma St. wants to exact some payback (in a basketball sense). Texas Tech and Tubby Smith seem to be playing as in-control as I can ever recall. They just don't seem to let things rattle them. I'll go with Texas Tech, but mainly because I think that Ford has some real coaching issues.
SARR - I don't anticipate anything terrible happening but I do expect their fans to be a little rowdier than usual.
I would expect Smart to play with more intensity, which should make for an exciting game. Regardless of his actions, he's still a really good player and OSU needs him to help right the ship.
The bigger story though is how well Tech is playing. Tolbert and Crockett have been unbelievable and the team is in every single game. It's really cool to be excited about watching Tech basketball again!
MikeTTU - This will definitely be an exciting match-up Saturday, considering the great game happened two weeks ago. With the wins against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, along with close loses at Iowa State and Kansas, we feel like we can beat anybody and will go into the Oklahoma State confident, especially after losing a game we should've won. Players like Toddrick Gotcher and Jaye Crockett will be looking for redemption after not performing to their level of play on Tuesday, while Robert Turner, Jordan Tolbert and Jamal Williams Jr will continue to strive off the success they have seen as of late. The X factor of this game will be Robert Turner, as his performance reflects are play. We have a lot of clever plays to get open shots down low, either by our post players or guard, then when they start pressing inside, we get our guard the ball deep. We must attack them straight one and not be afraid to get dirty in the paint. Overall, I think the game will end up us winning, with Oklahoma State's tough lost to Baylor and losing 7 straight. People will look at the whole Smart incident, but that will play no factor, as Jeff Orr won't be at the game and he had nothing against the Tech players (just a little choppiness against Crockett and Turner).
LSRR - Coach Smith knows how to handle the media and its impact on his players. He will have them ready, but our guys should expect a hostile atmosphere and a determined Marcus Smart. Smart is a tough, talented player whose excellent performance in our previous meeting has been overshadowed by "The Shove." We should see some improvement in free throw shooting between Tuesday and Saturday. That's quite a few practices for Coach Smith to drive the point home (did anyone else have to run lines at the end of practice on missed free throws?). And, speaking of drive, I would like to see our big men show more confidence with the ball and get to the hoop more often.
DanSwany - Even though the Cowboys are on a 7-game losing streak and have a split fanbase with some calling for the firing of HC Travis Ford, OSU is still considered by many to be a bubble team. Their fans are sticking behind them because every game matters for their chances to make the NCAA tournament. Our Red Raiders should expect a lot of unhappy fans that would love nothing more than beat the team that caused a suspension for their beloved star player Marcus Smart.
The fans and the players for OSU will be unwelcoming to Texas Tech in Stillwater on Saturday. Marcus Smart will have something to prove, and his teammates and fans are going to be behind him 100% of the way. He is a competitor that wants to lead his team to a victory and get past the whole shoving incident drama.
I think that OSU will start the game with a whole lot of fire, but that could end up burning out after Tubby Smith has Tech playing with calm stability. There is no doubt about it that Tubby Smith is a better coach than Travis Ford, and I think you will be able to recognize this undisputedly in the game on Saturday. Tech is playing some really great basketball right now and looks better every game. OSU is on a slide that keeps growing. A road win is hard to get in the Big 12, but I think the Red Raiders will end up winning the game. Wreck ‘em Tech!