Date: Saturday, Jan. 6
Tip: 12:47 p.m. CST
TV: ESPN Plus (KOCB 34/Cox 11 in OKC; KJRH 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa)
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (Flagship KOKC 1520 AM in OKC)
Series: OU leads 24-15
OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS
F 32 Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, So., 6.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
C 30 Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 13.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
G 2 Michael Neal (6-3, 198, Sr., 9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
G 5 Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
G 20 Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 10.2 ppg, 3.7 apg)
TEXAS TECH PROJECTED STARTERS
F 30 Michael Prince (6-7, 210, So., 2.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
F 41 Damir Suljagic (6-8, 248, So., 1.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg)
G 3 Martin Zeno (6-5, 208, Jr., 16.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
G 22 Jarrius Jackson (6-2, 185, Sr., 21.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
G 42 Charlie Burgess (6-1, 190, Jr., 10.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
Coming into conference play the Sooners have established themselves as a great defensive and rebounding team but they are below average in scoring. Longar Longar leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 13.3 and 7.8 respective averages. He ranks fourth in the Big 12 with his .591 field goal percentage and eighth with his 1.5 blocks per game. Freshman Tony Crocker is one of the best guards in the conference in shooting percentage with his .510 average from the field. Austin Johnson leads the team in assists per game with 3.7 and is also the teams leading three-point shooter going .400 from beyond the arch. Michael Neal has struggled with the longball this season but leads the conference in from the charity stripe (.893). Taylor Griffin has blocked at least one shot in each of the last six games.
Jarrius Jackson is the conference's third leading scorer with 21.4 points per game and also averages 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.9 steals. Martin Zeno scores 16.8 points a game and averages team highs in rebounds (5.1) and assists (3.7) while shooting .523 from the floor. Charlie Burgess adds 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. The Red Raiders don't have anyone else who averages more than 6.1 points or 2.9 rebounds.
Oklahoma owns a 24-15 all-time record against Texas Tech and is 8-9 in Lubbock. OU has won three of its last four games at Tech and seven of its last 10, including last year's 71-70 victory on Feb. 20. The Sooners are 15-7 against the Red Raiders since the inception of the Big 12 Conference and 8-4 against Texas Tech teams coached by Bob Knight.
To say that Tech is weak on the inside would be an understatement. The Red Raiders are horrific under the basket and Oklahoma needs to exploit that. On offense OU should be able to pound the ball inside all day which could suck in the defense creating outside shots for the Sooners.
Texas Tech is a great shooting team so there shouldn't be a lot of opportunities for defensive rebounds making it all the more important that the Sooners grab them. It will be crucial for the Sooners to be able to get solid pressure on the Tech guards to try to force turnovers and missed shots.
This is a huge opportunity for Oklahoma to get the conference season off on the right foot. With Colorado Wednesday night OU has an opportunity to start out 2-0 before playing Texas a week from today. Turnovers are going to be crucial again for the Sooners. If they keep them down then they will be in the game with a chance to win but if not then Knight will add another win to his total.
57-51 OU - Boomer Sooner!!!