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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball Season Opener vs. Omaha: Preview, game thread and how to watch

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The Oklahoma Sooners open their season against Omaha at the Lloyd Noble Center on Sunday afternoon.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

IT’S BASKETBALL TIIIIIIIIIIIME IN OKLAHOMAAAAAAAAAA!

I’m so sorry. It won’t happen again.

Anyway, we’ve all been anxiously awaiting Trae Young’s official debut as point guard of the Oklahoma Sooners, and there’s plenty of reason for it. Young has looked the part of a former five-star prospect through six exhibition games, capping his offseason with a 23-point effort in only 22 minutes against East Central on Wednesday. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his style, his game can best be described as a mixture between Steve Nash and Steph Curry. His defense is going to need a bit of work, but he’s shown promising signs on that end, as well.

Oklahoma vs. Omaha Coverage Info

Time: 2 p.m. CT

TV: FS Oklahoma

Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa)

Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?DB_OEM_ID=31000&id=197958

If you feel like discussing some OU basketball, head on down to the game thread (comments) and give us your thoughts and observations.

Here’s what we need to keep an eye on today:

The effort on defense - Oklahoma allowed over 100 points in it’s charity exhibition late last month against Texas-Arlington. Granted, the vibe of that one was a bit more relaxed, but the Sooners again allowed plenty of points in the first half against DII East Central on Wednesday. Much of that can be chalked up to some hot shooting on East Central’s part, but it will become a legitimate concern down the road if Oklahoma struggles in that area again today.

Brady Manek - Trae Young came in with the justified hype, but don’t be sleeping on Brady Manek. Earning a start at power forward in the absence of Kristian Doolittle (who is scheduled to rejoin the team on Dec. 9), Manek has an opportunity to showcase his skills, which include some impressive shooting range and deceptive strength. Back in March, Kartik compared him to a young Danilo Gallinari, and I think that’s the type of player he can become. He’s put on a bunch of weight since then, so he’ll probably be able to hold his own in the post better than most originally envisioned.

A new beginning for Christian James - Heading into last season, it was assumed that Christian James would become the primary scorer. It looked like it would pan out that way at first, but James struggled mightily with his shot as the season went on. He was eventually moved to the bench on a team that barely reached double-digit wins. However, he seems to have his confidence back after some nice performances this summer and fall. If he can play up to his potential, this OU team could be a serious Big 12 contender.