As the Oklahoma Christian Eagles travel the short distance south on I-35 for their exhibition match against the Oklahoma Sooners, former USA Coaching Staffers will be reunited. Dan Hays, the Eagles Head Coach, was an assistant under Lon Kruger for the 1990 US Olympic Festival. They duo returned to the court together in 1991 for the Junior Men's World Championships and cruised to an 8-0 record. However, don't expect the product to be a friendly battle as each coach faces different struggles this evening.
Tip: Monday, Nov. 4nd, 7:05 PM CST
Location: Norman, OK | McCasland Fieldhouse
TV: Sooner Sports TV | FS Southwest | Fox College Sports Pacific
Radio: Sooner Radio Network
The Oklahoma Christian Eagles are coming off a 19-12 season that ended with an appearance in the NCCAA Championship Game. However, Hays is returning a lone starter from that squad in Kendre Talley who averaged 11 points per game last season. It is likely that the offense will run through Talley as he is the most experienced player on the roster.
Finding themselves inserted into starting roles will be Nick Tate, a sharp shooter who averaged 10.2 points per game, and Willie Harper, both of whom have a single start to their name. Yet, it is this trio in the backcourt that is the strength of the Eagles considering the loss of All-American Will Reinkein. With inexperienced and undersized taking the lead in the frontcourt, OC could struggle with a Division I opponent like the Oklahoma Sooners.
Regardless, the Eagles play a smart brand of basketball by keeping turnovers to a low of 11.8 per game last season. Count on this squad finding high percentage shots and making the most of those opportunities as they scored 75.2 points per game to the tune of 44.4% shooting during the 2012-13 season.
On the flip side of the coin. the Sooners are coming off a 104-76 victory that showcased the pace as which Lon Kruger would like for his squad to run. Cameron Clark took center stage as the senior stepped up and into a role many expected him to take in the absence of Romero Osby. Make no mistake though as Buddy Hield continues to be a vocal leader for this team.
Je'lon Hornbeak returns for this game possibly solving the bench scoring issue that has the potential to derail this group in conference play. Look for a steady flow of the defensive press as well as fast break opportunities as the Sooner squad takes the court.
Oklahoma Christian and Oklahoma have met one time prior to this meeting. In 2006, the Sooners won 79-51 behind the efforts of Keith Clark, Longar Longar, and Taylor Griffin who combined for 43 points.