The Sooners came way from Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse and "The Phog" empty handed on Saturday, their 12th consecutive loss at Kansas and their 10th straight to the Jayhawks in the series. The defeat to the eight-time defending Big 12 champions overshadowed a more significant story from Oklahoma's perspective. Senior Andrew Fitzgerald went over the 1,000-point level for his career.
The career milestone occurred five and a half minutes into the second half on Saturday, when the 6-8 Sooner forward cashed in a short jumper following an offensive rebound to record the 1,000-point in his accomplished OU hoops career and become the 39th Sooner to do so. Fitzgerald now joins his teammate and fellow member of the OU 2009 recruiting class, Steven Pledger, in that select club.
Fitzgerald might have reached the 1,000-point milestone sooner, but his scoring and playing minutes are down this season as a result of coming off the bench for the first time since his freshman season. After starting all 63 games as a sophomore and junior, he has adjusted well to his new reserve role.. Fitzgerald says he is fine with it if that is what coach Lon Kruger wants and it is best for the team.
For his four years at Oklahoma, Fitzgerald, from Baltimore, Md., is averaging 9.3 points a game. His high-water mark was in his sophomore season, when he averaged 12.6 points per contest.
In a brief interview last week after practice in preparation for the game with Kansas, Fitzgerald related that his best memory of his time playing basketball at Oklahoma was his freshman year when the Sooners beat Texas at OU. "That was the first time I had played in front of a crowd that large," he said, and the experience was unforgettable.
Regardless of what happens the rest of the year, it is a good bet the Sooners' former-starter-turned-sixth-man won't soon forget the day he scored his 1,000 college point. Although with at least 13 games still left to play this season, Fitzgerald also will tell you he is still in ascent mode toward a higher summit.
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