Hello, friends and fans! There’s exactly one week left until Christmas, so if you still need to do some holiday shopping but can’t think of what to get that special fan in your life, how about purchasing one of these sweet and still available OU-themed t-shirts from BreakingT! Ah, a championship — the gift that keeps on giving.
If you were under a rock all weekend, then you’ll be pleased to find out that OU freshman point guard Trae Young went bonkers once again. This time, however, Young did so in the most raucous environment that the Oklahoma Sooners have experienced so far this season against No. 3 Wichita State. The game was really the showdown of the weekend — a top-three team versus the freshman phenom taking the college basketball world by storm.
This week's @Big12Conference awards are a Sooner sweep!— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) December 18, 2017
Player of the Week: @TheTraeYoung
Newcomer of the Week: @BradyManek
➡️ https://t.co/eoGoj5MQ1N pic.twitter.com/2Wcfut0RJL
For his performance, along with other budding star freshman Brady Manek, Young was named Big 12 Player of the Week. Beyond that, not only is Young leading the way for national freshman honors, he is firmly in contention for national POY. The attention doesn’t stop there, either, because even prominent pundits are taking notice and making some lofty, but justified, comparisons. ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams had this to say during the game on Saturday:
Real talk: Trae Young is the best player in college basketball. He is the Steph Curry of college. @espn #VideoGameLike— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) December 16, 2017
I totally agree with Williams’ take, too. His ball handling and shooting range are both very Curry-esque. During the broadcast, different parts of Young’s game were also compared to Steve Nash and Damian Lillard. As long as the 8-1 Sooners keep winning and Young keeps dazzling, the notoriety will only continue to grow around the freshman sensation.
Some Celtics players are buzzing about Trae Young in the locker room. Maybe the most exciting college player.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 17, 2017
Now onto today’s Hot Links! Below you’ll find out what Lon Kruger and the squad can expect moving forward, why the Texas Bowl between Mizzou and the Longhorns will have a Red River feel to it, when Kristian Doolittle is set to make his return to the line-up and more!
- After the Sooners’ massive upset against the Shockers, the team is looking forward to a brighter spotlight in the future. It’s expected that more fans will want to attend games just to see Trae Young for themselves, both home and away.
- The Sooners were No. 24 in the Coaches Poll, but just outside the AP poll last week. After the big win, anywhere in the top 15 would be a major jump, and quite frankly this team has earned it.
While waiting for this week's AP poll to come out, some notable analysts are high on the #Sooners.@TheAndyKatz has OU at 11, @SethDavisHoops at 12 and @GaryParrishCBS at 13.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) December 18, 2017
- The first ever early signing period period starts this Wednesday, and nobody really knows how it’s going to go. Yesterday, Jack wrote about some of the things to know about the period and what some of the coaches are at least expecting.
- Speaking of the early signing period, here are a few more of the specifics on this historic recruiting week.
- This could potentially be nothing, but a lot of recent Crystal Ball predictions have gone Oklahoma’s way for elite 2018 corner Brendan Radley-Hiles. He would be an enormous get for this OU staff.
- Where are the blue-chip recruits coming from in 2018? The usual suspects are there, but the state of Oklahoma has had a really impressive cycle.
- Orlando Brown is ready to line up against his home state’s flagship program, the Georgia Bulldogs, but he hasn’t let any surrounding noise distract him from his goals.
- While Brown is preparing to play the team from his home state, Caleb Kelly is eager to play in his home state for the Rose Bowl. The California native is also preparing to play a bigger role against a Georgia team that leans heavily on their run-game.
- Phrasing, Kirby! Phrasing!
Kirby Smart says he views Baker Mayfield as a level beyond Johnny Manziel in terms of his creativity with the ball— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 18, 2017
- Several former Sooners have been a part of the Missouri Tigers’ coaching staff this season, and head coach Barry Odom feels the Red River Rivalry coming through in their bowl preparation for Texas.
- The 20th-ranked Oklahoma wrestling squad defeated Appalachian State yesterday in its home opener.
- Sophomore forward Kristian Doolittle is back with the team, and it’s about to get a whole lot more fun. The Sooners are back at home tomorrow against Northwestern State at 6 p.m..
Doo back. pic.twitter.com/4svVU8GFji— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) December 17, 2017
Around the Sports World
- ESPN president John Skipper has announced his resignation, citing years of struggling with substance addiction.
- This is cool. After suffering a recent spinal injury, Ryan Shazier was back in Pittsburgh yesterday. Come back strong, Ryan!
This is how Heinz Field reacted to seeing Ryan Shazier on the Jumbotron. Goosebumps.— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 17, 2017
( : @steelers) pic.twitter.com/CyvAiWrswG
- It’s not necessarily news that states like Texas, Florida, and California are home to many of the nation’s blue-chip recruits. Using just the class of 2018, take a look at how each state ranks as far as their percentage of the national blue-chip recruits. Some states near the top may surprise you.
- Check out this list of the five weirdest bowl game sponsors. Number one on the list is just fun to say because it has so many darn syllables.
- In the Celebration Bowl between Grambling State and North Carolina A&T, some officials wore chest cams to capture the action from their perspectives, and the reviews have been mixed. Personally, I thought they were okay, but the tech could use some work.
- I’ve never been into the whole ugly Christmas sweater thing, but I would totally wear this:
solid sweater, coach pic.twitter.com/OP5eWVUoMR— nobody (@nick_pants) December 17, 2017
- Is it time to do away with Kent State’s football program? I’m usually never in favor of outright killing a program, but there is an argument to be made.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars have clinched a playoff berth for the first time in a decade. So just how did this once lowly team turn into one of the league’s stronger organizations?
- The NBA wants to expand into Mexico City. Why? Because money, that’s why.
Stick to Sports!
- The popular Cartoon Network series ‘Adventure Time’ is coming soon to a console near you. I’ve seen a handful of episodes and I’ve gotta admit, the humor is quite clever and the plots aren’t half bad. I’m also a fan of open world games, so this is definitely something right up my alley.
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