The Oklahoma Sooners have put on show as one of the most entertaining teams in the nation. With the up-tempo style of play along with emerging stars, Lon Kruger and his squad find themselves on the verge of breaking into the top 25. Fortunately, one of Oklahoma's trend setters will be available after a slight scare over the weekend.
Ryan Spangler (bruised calf) didn't do much in practice today, but @LonKruger says he's expected to play Tuesday vs. UT Arlington. #Sooners— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) December 16, 2013
Hoping to upset the surging Sooners, the UT-Arlington Mavericks bring a potent offense to the court. However, Head Coach Scott Cross is known for his smothering defense. At the end of the season last year, UTA ranked 25th in the nation, boasting a 39.1% defensive field goal percentage. Could this be a team capable of slowing down the attack of OU?
Two starters from last year's UT Arlington squad are returning this season. The Mavericks finished 19-14 with an appearance in the NIT a year ago and are now in a rebuilding state. Once considered a player to watch, point guard Shaquille White-Miller has been relegated to a role player after a struggling to contribute points consistently. Taking over the point is JUCO transfer, Lonnie McClanahan and he has proved to be more than effective. Currently McClanahan is averaging 11.8 points per game to go along with 4 assists.
Jamel Outler is the only other returning starter and attempted 28% of his teams shots when on the floor during the 2012-13 season. Heading into this match up, Outler is continuing his shooting streak with a more efficient effort. He averages 2.8 makes on 6.6 attempts per game for a 42.4% conversion rate.
The guy UTA really wants taking shots is Reger Dowell, an Oklahoma St. transfer. Initially the expectation was to work Dowell in slowly. But, it is hard to ignore a player who is averaging 22 points per game and leads the Sun Belt Conference in the category.
Behind him is a very athletic and physical Brandon Edwards evidenced by his 10.2 rebounds per game while standing at only 6-6. Edwards works hard to get his shots and is a more than capable scorer putting up high percentage shots. Currently this kid is averaging 19.7 points to rank third in the conference. The ability to find and keep track of these two could prove vital if the Sooners hope to secure a tenth victory.
The game tips off at 7:00 PM CST on Tuesday, December 17th and can be found on FS Southwest Plus or FOX College Sports Central.
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