The Oklahoma Sooners are currently on a seven game winning streak and stand 11-1 on the season. As this week's AP Poll released, OU finds themselves ranked 26th in the nation. With a substantial amount of time off, the squad returns to the hardwood for the first time since December 21st to face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The contest marks the final non-conference game for Oklahoma as well as a big step in getting to the 20 win mark.
A 27-win campaign has the Bulldogs ready to transition into Conference USA from the WAC. Under the direction of Michael White, Louisiana Tech is 6-2 away from home this season largely due to a stout defense. Michale Kyser leads the way as the rim protector/shot changer. Currently Kyser is swatting 4.2 shots per game while pulling down rebound after rebound on the defensive glass. He could very well single-handedly change the course of the game.
Make no mistake, the Bulldogs like to put up some points as well. As a team, this squad averages 81.8 points per game on 47.4% shooting. With eight players averaging 15+ minutes per outing, Coach White has plenty of options to choose from in order to get the desired results.
Raheem Appleby is the team's leading scorer dropping in 16.1 points a night. At 6-4, his frame may be a bit light holding 160 but Appleby knows how to score. Five times this season, this kid has poured in 20 or more points and will be looking to make it six.
Behind him, Alex Hamilton adds his own 13.8 points while Chris Anderson rounds out the trio with 10.6 of his own. This group can stretch any defense out forcing an opponent to exert a decent amount of energy to cover the floor. It could spell trouble for the Crimson and Cream in Norman.
The first time these two teams met was in the NCAA Tournament in the round of 16. Wayman Tisdale starred in the match up as he and the Sooners bested Karl Malone and the Bulldogs in 1985. In the most recent meeting, Mookie Blaylock put up 34 as OU pulled off a comfortable win in the 1989 NCAA Tourney. Needless to say, Oklahoma is 2-0 when facing Louisiana Tech.
The contest tips off at 7:05 PM CST on Monday, December 30th. Fortunately for those unable to attend the game, it will be aired on FS Oklahoma as well as FOX College Sports Central.