Coming off the court after last year’s Bedlam sweep of Oklahoma in Stillwater, Oklahoma State brought brooms out to celebrate. The brooms were a motivating factor this offseason for the Sooners as Khadeem Lattin, Kameron McGusty, and Rashard Odomes all talked about it at preseason media day. When asked about it after practice yesterday, Lattin brought it up again. So how satisfying is a 109-89 win in the first 2018 version of Bedlam?
“It’s definitely satisfying,” junior guard Christian James said following his team’s win. “The brooms, I had a feeling that they kind of motivated us this year to come out stronger.”
Mike Boynton has changed the mentality of how Oklahoma State plays basketball. They have turned into a physical, no non-sense, defensive basketball team. Their identity has changed from going up and down the floor as many times as possible in a game. With that, Boynton tried something that no one else has done with Trae Young this season–be as physical with him as possible.
“I’ve seen it all. I saw it all during my high school years,” Young said about keeping his cool with how Oklahoma State defended him. “In the game of basketball, a lot of people are going to try to get in your head and make you do things you’re not comfortable doing.”
Young became the first Oklahoma player to score 20-or-more points in 12-straight games tonight. Who were his predecessors? None other than Wayman Tisdale and Stacey King. The freshman had another stellar night in his first Bedlam with 29 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds. However, a near triple-double wasn’t enough for the current top player in college basketball.
“I mean, it was a great win, (but) I didn’t play the best I could,” Young said. “I didn’t think I played good at all to be honest with you. I could’ve played better.”
In Bedlam part one, Young’s freshman counterpoint actually stole the show away from him tonight. Brady Manek was the leading scorer and set a new career high in points with 28 on 9-of-11 shooting (6-of-8 from three). Manek’s steady progression stems all the way back to his first month on campus in the summer. Oklahoma Head Coach Lon Kruger said he could tell how “comfortable” the Harrah product was during those practices before their foreign trip. Tonight, in his first Bedlam, Brady Manek stole the spotlight from his budding superstar teammate.
“I most definitely had some butterflies at the beginning of that one,” Manek said about the game. “Great crowd. Great atmosphere. To come out like that and for us to have that good of a win and keep moving on in the Big 12, it’s a satisfying feeling.”
Tonight’s game saw two more impressive performances from Kameron McGusty and Christian James. The two combined for 27 points behind 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc. The game also saw Kristian Doolittle play extended, meaningful minutes for the first time this season.
The entire team effort propelled Oklahoma to avoid any kind of late comeback from an Oklahoma State team that cut it down to 14 with 6:42 remaining. A win against Oklahoma State may not be impressive for their NCAA Tournament resume, but it was a win that pushed the Sooners past their win total of 2016-2017.
“I thought both teams played hard.” Oklahoma Head Coach Lon Kruger said in his opening statement following the win. “Proud of our guys for doing what they needed to to create a little bit of a margin there in the second half…tough battle and good win.”