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Oklahoma/Norfolk State Preview

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NORFOLK STATE PROJECTED STARTERS (2005-06 Averages)
F  22  Tynell Dunkley (6-6, 225, Sr., 4.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
F  23  Corey Lyons (6-4, 185, So., 3.6 ppg, 0.8 rpg)
C  42  Calvin Brown (6-9, 255, Sr., 9.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
G  5   Tony Murphy (6-4, 220, Jr., 15.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
G  10  Rashid Cann (6-0, 185, Jr., 0.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg)

OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS (Exhibition Averages)
F  32  Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, So., 8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
C  30  Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 12.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg)
G  5   Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 11.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
G  15  David Godbold (6-5, 215, Jr., 8.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 10.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

Everything from tonight on counts for the Sooners as the 100th season of Oklahoma basketball officially gets underway. OU doesn't have a size advantage over the Spartans, which will be a theme this season, so they will have to use speed and athleticism to get by and will have to trust in true freshman Tony Crocker to fill the void left with Michael Neal's suspension. However, Norfolk State has their own player ineligible problems and will not have Senior guard Al'Davon Thomas who led the team with an average of 3 assists per game to go along with 6.2 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Norfolk State is led by first team All Conference guard Tony Murphy (5) who averaged 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 32.9 minutes a game last year. Calvin Brown (42) is the big guy in the middle who could pose both offensive and defensive problems for the Sooners on the glass. Last season he averahed 9.5 points and 5.6 boards per game. Tynell Dunkley (22) started 22 games last season for the Spartans but only averaged 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds on the year.  The reason to watch him is because he should be matched up against Sooner forward Taylor Griffin.

This isn't going to be a forgiving season for the Sooners and they are going to have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way as well as create some opportunities of their own. This is a game that they have to win and should be able to even without Michael Neal.

Prediction: 74-58 Oklahoma