Well, it didn't take Mike Anderson long to return to Big 12 country. After leaving Mizzou to take the Arkansas Razorbacks job over the offseason, Anderson makes a familiar trip into Norman as the Hogs face the Oklahoma Sooners.
If you've seen Mizzou at any point over the last five years then you know what you're going to get from a Mike Anderson team: high intensity, full court defensive pressure.
But in this instance you can replace the names you're used to seeing in black and gold with new ones in cardinal and white. With leading scorer Marshawn Powell out for the year with a knee injury, the Hogs turn to freshman B.J. Young to lead the transition heavy offense. The freshman from -ironically-St. Louis is putting in 15.4 ppg and is aided in a balanced scoring attack by sophomore Mardracus Wade (10.9 ppg) and junior Julysses Nobles (10.4).
But the Sooners are much improved over last season, and a lot of that can be attributed to their new head coach, Lon Kruger.
Kruger has instilled a team philosophy in the Sooners, as evident nine players averaging double-digit minutes per game. (A tenth, Calvin Newell Jr., just left the team). Three remaining players are averaging double figure scoring led by Steven Pledger's 17.2 and followed by newcomer-of-the-year candidate Romero Osby and suddenly-hot Cameron Clark.
And it isn't your mama's OU team... slow and methodical. The high flying Hogs are only averaging a 1.6 more ppg - 80.6 to 79 - so the Sooners won't have to change up their offense too much to accommodate the press.
To remind Anderson of the last two times he's visited Norman (a 66-61 Mizzou loss in 2010 and a 75-66 Mizzou loss in 2008), OU needs to contain the Hog freshman and find a scoring replacement for Newell's lost points (watch for Cam Clark to explode...). Accomplish both of those, and the Sooners will be victorious.
The game tips at 2:00 p.m. CST and can be seen on ESPN3.