What’s up, everyone?
It’s finally November, and that means Lon Kruger and the Oklahoma Sooners return to the hardwood tonight in an exhibition match against Pittsburg State.
After finishing tied for sixth in the Big 12 and a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament last season, the Sooners have been picked by the media to finish eighth in the Big 12 this season. There will be many new faces on the team this go around, but also plenty of familiar veterans, so tonight’s game should provide a solid look into what this Oklahoma squad’s identity could be going forward.
#Sooners starting lineup for Thursday's exhibition game against Pittsburg State:— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) October 31, 2018
G: Aaron Calixte
G: Christian James
F: Kristian Doolittle
F: Brady Manek
C: Jamuni McNeace
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CT, and tickets are only $5, unless you’re a current OU student, which in that case admission is free! If you can’t make it to Lloyd Noble Center, you can listen to the game on the Sooner Radio Network or find it streaming live on SoonerSports.TV.
FYI: No beer at this one unless you’re in the Courtside Club.
Oklahoma will not have beer sales for Thursday's men's basketball exhibition game, but is said to be making progress toward sales potentially as soon as the Nov. 18 season opener. #Sooners— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) October 31, 2018
Now it’s time for some Hot Links! Lincoln Riley doesn’t care about the CFP rankings right now, Tre Brown, Ben Powers and Dru Samia were all nominated for weekly honors, the OKC Thunder have some incredible alternate uniforms (which were actually leaked a while back) and more!
- So Kyler Murray was dressed up as an astronaut yesterday, and George Stoia gave us the pun of the day that dads everywhere should enjoy. He’s not wrong, either.
Kyler Murray dressed up as an astronaut for Halloween.— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) October 31, 2018
well, his play is — wait for it — out of this world. pic.twitter.com/tru39tzMp7
- Speaking of Kyler Murray, Oklahoma’s offense under him through eight games this season is statistically more prolific than last season under Baker Mayfield in several categories. That also goes for the QBs themselves. For as great as Mayfield’s 2017 season was, Murray’s 2018 campaign is special in its own right.
- Lincoln Riley didn’t find out where his Oklahoma Sooners were ranked in the first College Football Playoff rankings until Toby Rowland told him on his weekly radio show, and he couldn’t care less about them right now. Riley understands what needs to be done in order for the rankings to matter in the end.
- It’s been almost 10 years since Ruffin McNeill coached a game in Lubbock, only that time he was on the Red Raiders’ sideline. Now he’ll be on the other side of the contest, but he still holds the memories of his time at Texas Tech with reverence.
- Tre Brown was named this week’s Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award Nominee. The sophomore cornerback played with a heavy heart against TCU after losing his mother six days prior and attending her funeral just two days before the game. Brown received a game ball for his play on the field amid all the difficulties.
- Ben Powers and Dru Samia were both named Reese’s Senior Bowl Offensive Seniors of the Week for their contribution to Oklahoma’s dominant performance against Kansas State. These two road-grating guards have given the Sooners one of the most effective run games in the nation once again.
- Does this mean the University of Oklahoma is a basketball school? I’m only kidding, obviously, but this is an awesome stat that only an actual basketball school like Kentucky can also currently claim. Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young are doing damage and representing the Crimson & Cream! Boomer!
- Speaking of Trae Young, the 2018 NBA lottery pick is lighting up the box score for the Atlanta Hawks, and fans around that city have quickly grown enamored by his play on the court and his humility off of it.
- Baker Mayfield was the perfect choice to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy if for no other reason than to star in these Nissan Heisman House commercials. Oh, and he’s still eating Marcus Mariota’s sandwich from an earlier ad. That’s just superb attention to detail.
- If there are bootstraps that need to be pulled up, Mayfield is the guy to make it happen. Somebody should just challenge him to his face and tell him he can’t do it so it guarantees that he does. That’s how it works with No. 6, folks.
- Don’t forget to check out our Q&A with Viva the Matadors’ Jay Burrous who gave us some insight into what the Red Raiders are planning to accomplish this Saturday and what to watch out for from Kliff Kingsbury.
Around the Sports World
- The Oklahoma City Thunder are going to wear these Nike City Edition uniforms starting on November 14th against the New York Knicks. The look was inspired by the state of Oklahoma’s Native American heritage. These were leaked a while back, but it’s cool to finally get the full description.
More than just a uniform - we’re excited to honor Oklahoma’s Native American heritage. pic.twitter.com/Pi9eenoASj— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) November 1, 2018
- Speaking of the City Edition uniforms, Minnesota did a nice job with this Prince-themed unis.
- Minnesota Timberwolves point guard and former NBA MVP Derrick Rose scored a career-high 50 points in a win against the Utah Jazz and was immediately overcome with emotion. Rose’s once-promising career was derailed by a series of devastating injuries and off-the-court mental health struggles. Scenes like this show how powerful sports can be. Awesome job, D-Rose.
- When the Boston Red Sox toured the city in their World Series celebration parade, somebody threw a can of beer at the trophy and bent part of it. C’mon, guys, don’t be doing that.
WATCH: Video showing the moment a beer can breaks off some of the flags of the Red Sox World Series trophy during today's parade. #RedSox #DoDamage #NotThatKindOfDamage— Korey O'Brien (@koreyobrienTV) October 31, 2018
( : Luis Morales) pic.twitter.com/712AP74qB6
- In a strange timeline of events that likely was inevitable, Maryland fired head coach DJ Durkin one day after reinstating him from suspension.
- Bill Connelly details the distinct sections of the college football season, and why November is the best month of all. This is the time when championship runs are either broken or fulfilled, and chaos is always one upset away.
Stick to Sports!
- A new type of electrical stimulation treatment for people who have experienced spinal cord injuries is starting to exhibit major progress. For three men who were either partially or completely unable to walk for over four years, this treatment has restored their ability to use their legs and walk using supports. Perhaps the most miraculous part of this story is that they each regained mobility within one week. Incredible stuff.
Once the new treatment was applied, all three of the patients could stand up and walk using supports—within a week https://t.co/18kNn0Jnt9— National Geographic (@NatGeo) October 31, 2018
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