After missing out on the NCAA tournament the last three seasons, it was announced last Sunday night that the Sooners would return to The Big Dance.
The Sooners must be able to contain, Jamaal Franklin.
Their first-round opponent, the San Diego State Aztecs who finished with an overall record of 22-10, and 9-7 in Mountain West play.
Here’s a look at the Aztecs.
SDSU PROJECTED STARTERS
#21 Jamaal Franklin, 6’5, 205, Guard.
16.7 PPG 9.5 RPG 3.2 APG
#22 Chase Tapley, 6’3, 195, Guard.
13.5 PPG 3.2 RPG 2.8 APG
#2 Xavier Thames, 6’3, 190, Guard.
9.8 PPG 2.6 RPG 2.2 APG
#23 DeShawn Stephens, 6’8, 215, Forward.
5.9 PPG 4.9 RPG
#20 JJ O’Brien, 6’7, 225, Forward.
7.4 PPG 4.6 RPG
#0 Skylar Spencer, 6’9, 235, Forward.
3.0 PPG 3.0 RPG 1.5 Blocks Per Game
#11 James Rahon, 6’5, 205, Guard.
6.5 PPG 0.6 APG
#13 Winston Shepard, 6’8, 210, Forward.
6.0 PPG 3.6 RPG
Perimeter Defense: Thanks to a group of very athletic guards, the Aztecs biggest strength may be their ability to play tough defense on the perimeter. OU has struggled this year against teams who can defend well on the perimeter, and it’s likely they’ll have a tough time finding open shots and attacking the basket in this game. SDSU is also very capable of pressure the ball handler and forcing turnovers, something that the Sooners have struggled to handle this season.
Jamaal Franklin: The 6’5, 195 pound guard was the Mountain West player of the year in 2012, and was elected to the all-conference first-team this season. Franklin, is averaging 16.7 points a game, and will be a tough match-up for the Sooners. OU must find a way to slow down Franklin.
Tournament Experience: The Aztecs are making a school-record fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance this week. This gives SDSU the experience factor, whereas, only two players on OU’s roster have played in an NCAA tournament game.
Recent Skid: The Aztecs aren’t playing their best basketball. They’ve lost five out their last nine games, which included a 10-point defeat at the hands of New Mexico in the semi-finals of the Mountain West tournament.
Size: Much like the Sooners, the Aztecs don’t possess a lot of size in the post. Their two starters on the block, DeShawn Stephens, and JJ O’Brien, are 6’8 and 6’7, respectively. If they are unable to contain Romero Osby, the Sooners will have a lot of success.