The Oklahoma Sooners will travel to Morgantown to face the West Virginia Mountaineers in another Big 12 match-up Wednesday night.
The Sooners (17-5, 6-3 in conference play) are coming off a loss to sixteenth ranked Iowa State 81-75. The twenty-first ranked Sooners are hoping to bounce back against the Mountaineers who have won two straight games.
Despite the recent loss, Oklahoma is still a contender for the Big 12 conference and this has come as a bit of surprise to most. Head coach Lon Kruger knows there's room for improvement but is overall satisfied with how well his team has done up until this point.
"Guys have played with pretty good energy and enthusiasm," said Kruger. "They're making the extra pass; we've been pretty effective offensively. Rebounding has been fairly consistent."
The Sooners are led by guard Buddy Hield who scored a career-high 30 points against the Cyclones. Hield is averaging 17 points a game while shooting 43 percent from the field.
Hield will look to out-duel West Virginia's star guard, Juwan Staten. Staten against Kansas State also scored a career-high, scoring 35 points.
Staten is averaging 18 points per game while shooting 53 percent from the field.
"Just watching them [WVU] lately, you know Staten is so tough in terms of transition," Kruger said. "You got two wings in [Eron] Harris and [Terry] Henderson who can shoot it. Their big guys are physical. Bob [Huggins] does a great job. They're playing really good basketball."
Kruger knows that this match-up against West Virginia will be a tough one just like every game in the Big 12 is. Kruger also believes that the Big 12 is the nation's toughest and best conference.
"This league is so good, so many teams play well," said Kruger. "We'd like to continue to improve. This is the best conference in the country. Every night we line up, we know it'll be a big challenge. It's a really, really good league."
The Sooners hope to take advantage of West Virginia's inside game. Ryan Spangler is proving to be a dominant force inside the paint for the Sooners. Last game Spangler had 12 rebounds on the night while West Virginia's big-man, Devin Williams could only snag four rebounds against Kansas State.
The biggest match-up will be how well the Sooners can slow down West Virginia's perimeter play. Staten continues to show what he's capable of doing while Harris and Henderson compliment him nicely. Staten versus Hield will be a great match-up to watch come Wednesday.
Oklahoma will look to get back on track after their loss while West Virginia will seek their third straight victory on Wednesday night.