Tip Time: 10:02 p.m. CST
Location: Los Angeles, CA./Galen Center
Radio: 1520 AM (OKC), 97.5 FM (Tulsa)
Tonight begins what could possibly be the roughest stretch of the season. Over the course of the next month the Sooners will play #22 USC, TCU, Tulsa, Stephen F. Austin, Arkansas, #19 Gonzaga and West Virginia. Needless to say this is a make or break stretch for Oklahoma's basketball season even before conference play begins. A win tonight over the Trojans would go a long way in getting this stretch started.
The Trojans, like the Sooners, are led by a super freshman. Guard OJ Mayo, who shared McDonald's High School All-American honors with Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, is averaging 21.8 points to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game and is stroking .422 from three point range. Guard Daniel Hackett is averaging 12.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and a team-high 5.8 assists per game and is shooting .611 from the field and .667 from long three. Forward Taj Gibson averages 11.8 points and team highs of 9.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game. Guard Dwight Lewis is averaging 10.7 points and 2.2 rebounds a game. Forward Kasey Cunningham is averaging 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
USC's athleticism will provide a challenge for Oklahoma but the Sooners have already experienced the same kind of challenge when they played Memphis. Another thing that may help OU is that the Trojans are facing a tough stretch on their own. After tonight's game they'll play #4 Kansas and then at #3 Memphis. Is there a chance the Trojans will look past OU a little?
Oklahoma Projected Starters
F 23 Blake Griffin 6-10 243 Fr. 15.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg
C 30 Longar Longar 6-11 234 Sr. 12.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg
G 5 Tony Crocker 6-6 193 So. 11.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg
G 11 Omar Leary 5-10 163 Jr. 8.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg
G 20 Austin Johnson 6-3 165 Jr. 5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.3 apg
USC Projected Starters
F 22 Taj Gibson 6-9 225 So. 11.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.3 apg
F 43 Kasey Cunningham 6-7 225 Fr. 3.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G 13 Daniel Hackett 6-6 200 So. 12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.8 apg
G 21 Dwight Lewis 6-5 215 So. 10.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg
G 32 OJ Mayo 6-5 200 Fr. 21.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.3 apg
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