Building a winning basketball team from a smoldering wreck is a hard task in any conference, but the Big 12 being absolutely stacked doesn't make it any easier. Tonight the Frogs seek their first road win in the Big 12 (of the year, and overall) against another top 25 outfit, the Oklahoma Sooners. Things may get ugly in this one as the Frogs haven't had a lot of close games on the road in Big 12 play, but we did beat Oklahoma last year, something that coach Johnson will be sure to point out to the boys as often as possible tonight. Tonight's keys to the game are familiar-
1. Penetrate early and often- The Frogs aren't a good enough shooting team to settle for long twos and contested threes, so they've got to find ways to get into the paint to create openings on the outside. Kyan Anderson was excellent at this last year, but has struggled with consistently getting to the rim this year. Tonight would be a great time for him to snap out of his funk.
2. Keep it tight early- This is good advice most nights, but it becomes even more important in a hostile road venue. If the crowd gets into it early the young frogs may wilt. Amric Fields and Kyan Anderson are going to have to steady the team early by making shots.
3. Don't get killed on the boards- Losing the overall board battle is expected, but the Frogs need to attempt to crash the boards with enthusiasm and don't just accept that getting outrebounded by a ton is okay because of the size difference. Enthusiasm and proper boxing out can make up for size issues, so do it right guys.
4. Make a three pointer now and then- We've been getting open looks from three, but the guys just haven't been hitting them. That has to change if the Frogs are going to come away with their first conference win.
And we'll leave it at that. There's no reason that the Frogs can't hang tight with OU until late if they play to the best of their abilities, so let's see some fire and just maybe we'll be able to steal it away late.