By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
When Bedlam men’s basketball renews Saturday in Norman, many of the athletes will be getting their first taste of the rivalry between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Markel Brown is the only Cowboy to have played in more than two Bedlam battles heading into the 2 p.m. tipoff on ESPN2 (Suddenlink channel 32). And while he’ll admit the rivalry is big, the junior guard is trying to downplay the significance to his younger teammates.
“We’ve been preparing for it like any other game,” Brown said. “It’s a big fight between these two schools — us going out there fighting for the pride of our school. But we’re just going to treat it like any other game in the Big 12. Coach really didn’t want me to say anything about it to them ... but I’ll eventually tell them how important it is and how much we want to win it.”
Freshman point guard Marcus Smart may be playing in his first Bedlam game for OSU, but the Flower Mound, Texas, native knows what to expect with this rivalry.
“I definitely knew how crazy it gets coming into it,” Smart said. “... I’d seen a couple of the games on TV, never got to come to one. But I could feel the atmosphere from sitting on my couch watching it.
“You could just feel how crazy and how loud it gets. It looked fun to play in. So I’m very excited and can’t wait to play in it.”
The Cowboys will get the first crack to buck the latest trend in the Bedlam series. The past three regular season series have been split, with the home team winning each contest — with OSU having not won in Norman since 2004.
“This game is never an easy game for us,” Brown said. “So, we’re going to have to be prepared no matter what.”
While Oklahoma State doesn’t have any Oklahoma natives in its regular rotation — the only Oklahoman on the roster is Alex Budke — Brown said that doesn’t change the significance of the rivalry with the Sooners.
“It’s still a rivalry game and we’re going to treat it like that,” said Brown, a native of Alexandria, La. “Even if we’re not from Oklahoma, we’re playing for this university and we’ve got to represent and get a win.”