The final non-conference game has finally arrived and the Oklahoma Sooners will have shaken out many of the bugs. Lon Kruger will be looking to solidify the starting five as OU takes on the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders as part of the McCasland Fieldhouse Series. This meeting will mark the first time the two teams have met and the Sooner's fourth Southland Conference opponent this season.
The Islanders are currently riding a 9-game losing streak. Their single win this season came against Texas Lutheran during the home opener. However, they have struggled since while allowing 72.1 points per contest. In this current stretch of losses, the margin of victory has soared to 14.1 points.
Leading the way for this limping team is Will Nelson. Not only does he lead the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game, he also leads the team in rebounding with 7.3 boards. However, Nelson is not the most accurate shooter from the floor connecting on 36.1% of his shots. This translates to him needing to shoot the ball fairly often to get his numbers. Nelson is coming off a double-double performance against a defensively stout team in the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.
To compliment what Nelson is doing is Johnathan Jordan who has a knack for finding himself at the charity stripe. Jordan has shot a total of 63 free throws on the season while making 44 of those. He currently averages 12.3 points per game along with 4.3 rebounds. But, Jordan is a stat stuffer as he opens up scoring for a few of his teammates to the tune of 4.4 assists per game.
For this Islanders, Oklahoma will present the second best defense this team has faced. Shots and offensive rebounds will be hard to come by for Texas A&M-CC while the Sooners present a unique challenge on offense as well.
Every game presents a different scenario and this is certainly a team OU and Kruger must not over look as conference play looms ever so close. For an Oklahoma team being projected as a No. 12 Seed in the NCAA Tournament, they must make the most of every opportunity. Expect the changes made in practice to have this team fired up and ready to compete.