The Oklahoma Sooners have been a second-half team in 2019, but they might need a bit more of a complete performance as they face the undefeated Stanford Cardinal in the Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center in Downtown Kansas City.
Focus and preparation at today’s shootaround.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) November 25, 2019
8:30 CT tip against Stanford on ESPN2. pic.twitter.com/9zhxceef8k
Oklahoma (5-0) vs. Stanford (6-0): approx. 8:30 p.m. CT at the Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.)
Commentary: Jason Benetti and Jon Sundvold
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Tune In Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Oklahoma -4.5 (as of 5:50 p.m. CT)
- As part of the Hall of Fame Classic’s campus round, Stanford also played games against William & Mary and Maryland Eastern Shore. Unlike Oklahoma, Stanford got out to a big halftime lead against the Shore (46-16) and handled W&M with ease (81-50). However, has not yet faced a major-conference opponent, as its other wins have come against Montana, Cal State-Fullerton, Long Beach State and Santa Clara. It’ll be interesting to see how the Cardinal look opposite a talented Oklahoma team that put together good showings against Oregon State and Minnesota.
- Stanford is under the direction of head coach Jerod Haase, who is in his third season in Palo Alto. Including this year’s six wins, he’s accumulated a record of 54-49 with a 2017-18 NIT appearance. Prior to arriving in Northern California, Haase spent four years as the head coach at UAB, leading the Blazers to an NCAA Tournament berth (2014-15) and an NIT bid (2015-16) while compiling a record of 80-53.
- The Cardinal are ranked 71st nationally in KenPom’s team efficiency ratings, sitting at No. 111 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 51 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Additionally, Stanford is No. 227 in adjusted tempo, so the team’s goal will certainly be to slow down this fairly fast-paced Oklahoma team. By comparison, OU ranks 29th, 48th, 27th and 68th in each of these categories, respectively.
- Stanford is led by Oscar da Silva, who is averaging 15.8 PPG, 5 RPG and 2.2 APG. The 6’9” junior forward from Munich, Germany is also making 59.3 percent of his field goal attempts and demonstrates a substantial amount of skill in the paint.
- Hall of Fame Classic: After two “campus round” games against William & Mary and Maryland Eastern Shore, OU enters a field featuring Stanford, Missouri and Butler, with tonights winners playing for the championship and the losers playing for third place on Tuesday. If the Sooners lose tonight, they’ll play at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, while a win would put them in the 8:30 slot once again.
- Manek becoming more consistent: After struggling with consistency for much of his early career, junior forward Brady Manek has scored in double figures in 18 of his last 21 games dating back to last season. Having said that, two of his five 10-point games this season (back-to-back games against Oregon State and W&M) have seen him shoot 33.3 percent of less from the field, so his shooting is still a bit streakier than Lon Kruger would like it to be. If he can just become a bit steadier in the 2019-20 season, OU’s chances of finishing in the top half of the Big 12 will improve immensely.
- Reaves off to good start: Redshirt junior transfer Austin Reaves currently leads the Sooners in scoring average at 16.5 PPG, which also ranks fifth in the Big 12 and second among the conference’s newcomers. Senior forward Kristian Doolittle is not far behind in that department at 16.5 PPG (four games) while also leading the team with 10 rebounds per contest. It’s been a while since OU has had this many viable scoring options, and I have to tell you... it has me all sorts of excited.
Oklahoma 75, Stanford 70