The Oklahoma Sooners haven’t played a game at home since Nov. 21, but they finally play in front of a friendly crowd at the Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday as they face the UCF Golden Knights.
Oklahoma Sooners (7-3) vs. UCF Golden Knights (9-2): 1 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center
Commentary: Chad McKee, Tom Dore and Jessica Coody
Live Stream: FoxSportsGo
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 -9.5 (as of 11:15 a.m. CT)
- The Golden Knights are currently 108th in KenPom’s efficiency ratings, sitting at No. 161 offensively and No. 82 defensively.
- Central Florida has won six consecutive games coming into Saturday’s meeting against Oklahoma, with this matchup in Norman being its first true road game since Nov. 17.
- UCF is led in scoring by redshirt junior forward Collin Smith, who averages 14.3 points per game. Redshirt junior guard Ceasar DeJesus is also a threat from the field, scoring 11 ppg on a 57% shooting percentage.
- Back on track: Coming into Saturday, Oklahoma has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season at the hands of a pair of formidable opponents (Wichita State, Creighton). Despite the losses, the Sooners’ strength of schedule has kept them afloat at 45th in KenPom’s efficiency ratings. Notching a win over this UCF team won’t vault OU much higher in the immediacy, but getting back on track in the win column will help build a much needed cushion with Big 12 play right around the corner.
- Consistency for OU’s Big 3: The Sooners’ trio of Austin Reaves, Kristian Doolittle and Brady Manek accounts for nearly 50 points and over 20 rebounds per game. When there have been dry spells on offense, it’s almost always because a combination of these players isn’t finding their shot or is forcing the issue. If each of them simply play to their averages and don’t disappear on the court for a prolonged stretch, Oklahoma should be in just about every game it plays.
- Assists and Turnovers: A strong assist-to-turnover ratio speaks both to a team’s style of play as well as its discipline. Oklahoma is second in the nation in protecting the ball, only turning it over 9.8 times per game. On the flipside, the Sooners are last in the Big 12 and 279th in all of D-I in assists with 11.8 per game. Lon Kruger’s squad needs to maintain the poise it’s shown on offense through 10 games while also finding more efficient ways of creating shots for each other.
Prediction: Oklahoma 74, UCF 69
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