Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!
On Wednesday, Oklahoma Sooners junior RHP Cade Cavalli was named the 2020 Big 12 Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Going into what could be a resurgent season for Skip Johnson and this OU program, things are shaping up for the Bixby native to have a special year on the mound.
.@OU_Baseball's Cade Cavalli (@CADECAVALLI) is the 2020 #Big12BSB Preseason .— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) January 29, 2020
He compiled a 5-3 record on the mound in 2019 with a 3.28 ERA, good for sixth in the #Big12. The junior also racked up 59 strikeouts in 60.1 innings last season. pic.twitter.com/TlOyqAGNL2
Along with Cavalli, three other Sooners were also named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Those players are senior C Brady Lindsly, junior LHP Levi Prater and senior RHP Jason Ruffcorn.
There’s a lot of experience and enough talent throughout this Oklahoma team to set the stage for an exciting season. The games begin Feb. 14 against Virginia in the Wahoos Classic (Pensacola, Fla.).
Now on to today’s Hot Links! Lon Kruger attempts to sweep his alma mater for just the second time since he’s been in Norman, Oklahoma’s 2020 recruiting class maintains its top 10 status after final player rankings shift the field, Coach K gives the Cameron Crazies a piece of his mind and more!
- Winter workouts are in full swing at Oklahoma, and I’m sure strength coach Bennie Wylie is out there separating the men from the boys. Looks fun, but like, in a way that I want no part of because I get winded super easily.
- Nicholas Ian Allen of Athlon Sports compiled and revealed his All-Decade OU team, and as you’d expect it’s a pretty formidable group on paper, especially on offense.
- Also over at Athlon, our Allen Kenney listed two Sooners among the 10 players in the Big 12 that will be the most difficult to replace in 2020.
- It’s been one month since Oklahoma’s season came to an abrupt end in Atlanta, and Sooners Wire’s Kegan Reneau now has his final offensive and defensive grades for both individual players as well as overall positions.
- The OU men’s basketball team is on the road this Wednesday facing Lon Kruger’s alma mater — Kansas State. As of late, Manhattan has been a house of horrors of sorts for the Sooners, as they haven’t beaten the Wildcats inside Bramlage since the 2011-12 season (the first year of Kruger’s OU tenure). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT, and will stream exclusively on ESPN+. You’ll need a subscription, which can be purchased here for $4.99/mo.
- Staying on the court, junior guard Alondes Williams has shown a gradual rise in his play since transferring to OU from the JUCO ranks, and going into the back half of the schedule, he’s looking to finish with an impact, writes Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World.
- Oklahoma pitcher Giselle Juarez and catcher Lynnsie Elam have developed a deep bond with each other on and off the softball diamond, and going into year two of their connection, they’re feeling better than ever about their potential for greatness, writes the Norman Transcript’s Joe Buettner.
- Speaking of OU Softball, the team’s first media availability of the season was held on Tuesday, and there we learned that the Sooners are expecting senior utility player Nicole Mendes to return from an ACL injury in mid-to-late March. This is great news indeed, especially for a team that is replacing some all-time veterans going into the campaign.
#Sooners can expect senior Nicole Mendes back mid to late March. Good news for Gasso and Co.— Austin Curtright (@AustinCurtright) January 29, 2020
- 247Sports recently made a final update to its class of 2020 player rankings, and OU Insider’s Collin Kennedy has you covered on how much Sooner recruits either rose or fell from their previous positions.
- Quite a bit has transpired for OU this month, but Jack and Kamiar are back in the saddle with another episode of the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast to dish on it all. This week, the guys discussed the hiring of DeMarco Murray, Sooner Hoops, and some recruiting news as the February Signing Period approaches. If you would be so kind, make sure to drop a five-star rating to help grow our audience, and as a usual word of warning, there is some NSFW language used on the pod.
Around the Sports World
- After an epic back and forth match, 26-year-old Dominic Thiem of Austria upset the world’s No. 1 ranked tennis pro, Rafael Nadal, in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
THIEM's Time To !— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2020
After 4 hours and 10 minutes, @ThiemDomi knocks out world No.1 Rafael Nadal, 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(6) to advance to the #AusOpen semifinals for the first time.#AO2020 pic.twitter.com/lWuZXBzNmt
- On Tuesday night’s NBA on TNT pregame show, Shaq shared his thoughts and emotions after discovering the news his former teammate Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna had passed away tragically on Sunday. This is a heartbreaking and powerful message that I highly recommend everyone watch and listen to if they can bear it.
- Super Bowl LIV might feature the two fastest teams in SB history, at least in terms of raw speed among individual players. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers could form legitimate track relay teams with a number of guys on their rosters. ESPN’s Nick Wagoner has more.
- Deion Sanders recently vowed that he would be the head coach of a college football program in 2021. Does he know something we don’t? No matter how something like that turns out, it would be awesome to see ‘Primetime’ back on a collegiate sideline.
- Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski thoroughly admonished his student section after they directed a chant towards Pitt coach and former Duke player and assistant Jeff Capel (also former OU head coach, cough). The reactions on some of those students left me satisfied for some odd reason. However, as it turns out, the students were actually chanting ‘Sit with us’ (a chant the section often uses for recruits and former players), and after learning of this, Coach K apologized for scolding them.
When the Cameron Crazies started chanting at Jeff Capel (Pitt's head coach and a former Duke player), Coach K was not having it. pic.twitter.com/t2aRxu66IH— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 29, 2020
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