No. 7 Oklahoma looks forward to playing Oklahoma State (Jan 03, 2018)

BY AP • January 2, 2018

NORMAN, Okla. -- Two of the lowest points of last year's 20-loss season for Oklahoma came in its two games again in-state rival Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys knocked off the Sooners in Norman with a late 3-pointer by Phil Forte and two big defensive plays in the final seconds. Then in Stillwater, Jawun Evans went on a tear in the past seven minutes to lift OSU once again as Cowboys fans waved brooms at the Sooners as they left the court.

Kameron McGusty has been remembering that scene this week as the Sooners, now elevated to No. 7 in the country, prepare to face Oklahoma State for the first time this season.

"Mad disrespectful," Oklahoma's sophomore guard said of last year's scene. "It's definitely a motivator for everybody else on the team last year. We're really looking forward to that. It's going to be a lot of energy, high-energy, great atmosphere to play in."

Oklahoma State is now without Forte and Evans, who departed after last season. The Cowboys also had a coaching change, with Brad Underwood leaving after just one season and assistant Mike Boynton elevated to head coach.

For Oklahoma freshman sensation Trae Young, it'll be his first Bedlam experience as a player.

"It's going to be fun," Young said. "It's going to be a crazy atmosphere."

Young, the nation's leader in scoring (29.6 points per game) and assists (10.7), figures to spent some time matched up with a familiar foe. Young and Oklahoma State sophomore Lindy Waters III started playing together early in their elementary school days.

"He's a guy who can do a lot of things," Boynton said of Waters. "He's a really good ball-handler. He's a guy who can pass exceptionally well. He can guard multiple positions.

"So he gives us a sense of versatility in our lineups that we can play different ways. We can go big with him at the point guard. We can play smaller with him as a power forward, and still be able to play pretty seamlessly."

Eventually, Young and Waters split up to different AAU teams but reunited to play at Norman North High School.

Waters has been the Cowboys' leader in minutes played so far.

"A lot of things that I know about him, he knows about me, so it's going to be fun," Young said. "I feel like I've gotten a little bit better since the last time I've seen him, but he has as well.

"There's going to be things he knows about me, but there's also going to be things that he doesn't. It's not just me that he's playing against (Wednesday), we've got a pretty talented group of guys around me, too."

Boynton's team has shown defensive tenacity early in the season, knocking off ranked Florida State on the road and playing both Wichita State and West Virginia tight recently.

But there's nothing in college basketball quite like trying to scheme to slow down Young, who had 39 points and 14 assists in his first Big 12 game.

"He's having as good a season as any college basketball player I've seen in a long time," Boynton said. "So hats off to him. But this will be a game between two schools that don't really like each other too much and look forward to competing."

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