Happy Friday, friends and fans!
The Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball team announced its official seven-game non-conference schedule for the 2020-21 season. Lon Kruger and his tenth OU squad are set to tip-off the campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 25 inside Lloyd Noble Center against UTSA.
Sooner Basketball returns to the LNC on Nov. 25.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) October 22, 2020
OU finalizes its non-conference schedule with marquee matchups against Florida, Alabama, UCF and Xavier.
Out of the seven contests announced, the Sooners will play host in five games. The two occasions OU will hit the road are Saturday, Nov. 28 at UCF (Orlando, Fla.) and Wednesday, Dec. 9 at Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Also announced on Thursday was Oklahoma’s seating capacity situation for its home games. The plan is to limit fan attendance inside the LNC to 25% of regular capacity, which translates to roughly 2,900 fans. Feel free to add your jokes about that number being par for the course by heading down to the comments section.
In a little over one month from today, college basketball will finally make its long-awaited return after being abruptly concluded in March due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! A veteran OU defender has made his presence felt in a big way, Shep is back for the G-Men, Army-Navy will throw down at West Point and more!
- Lincoln Riley and his Sooners are ready to get back into the swing of things with another tough test this weekend at TCU. Many young players showed a lot of maturity in the face of adversity two weeks ago in Dallas, and are now looking to carry those lessons learned with them this Saturday in Fort Worth.
- Redshirt junior DE Isaiah Thomas has become an unexpected force on the edge for Oklahoma through the first four games, and with each snap he takes on the field, the Tulsa native seemingly grows in confidence, writes the Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey.
- It should be no surprise that Dallas Cowboys rookie WR CeeDee Lamb has been a consistent playmaker through the first seven weeks of the 2020 NFL season. He currently leads all first-year pass-catchers in the league with 22 receptions resulting in first downs.
Most 1st down catches among rookie WRs:— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 23, 2020
1. CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys - 22
2. Justin Jefferson, Vikings - 19
3. Laviska Shenault, Jaguars - 16
4. Tee Higgins, Bengals - 15 pic.twitter.com/eTLe1iogvV
- Speaking of former Sooner receivers in the pros, New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard returned from a toe injury on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles in a big way with six catches for 59 yards, including this two-yard TD. In the end, Philly beat NY, 22-21.
- When Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns travel across Ohio to take on the Cincinnati Bengals, missing from the lineup will be RB Joe Mixon, who has been ruled out for a foot injury. While this news is unfortunate for the Bengals, this also means another former Sooner RB — Samaje Perine — now moves up in Cincy’s backfield rotation.
- In case you missed it, I wrote my preview for Oklahoma’s matchup against TCU. I detailed the game’s major storylines, as well as offered a final prediction on how I see this crucial contest playing out.
- Make sure you also check out this week’s Blatant Homerism Podcast with your usual host Allen Kenney and his bro — The Skinny. The fellas dished on this weekend’s games and shared their gambling predictions for the most intriguing matchups on the docket.
Around the Sports World
- The kick-off time for the upcoming game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Las Vegas Raiders has been swapped with the Seattle Seahawks’ date with the Arizona Cardinals, making the latter matchup this week’s new choice for Sunday Night Football. The cause for rescheduling is due to the uncertainty surrounding the Raiders’ organization as it relates to its COVID-19 status.
- The LSU Tigers are planning to start true freshman QB TJ Finley this Saturday against the South Carolina Gamecocks since original starter Myles Brennan has been sidelined with an abdominal injury.
- This week the Big Ten officially joins the 2020 college football party, but right away the conference will be missing at least one of its established stars as Purdue Boilermakers WR Rondale Moore has been ruled out for the season opener against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
- The 2020 Army-Navy Game has been moved from its usual setting in Philadelphia to West Point — home of the Black Knights — due to attendance limits in the state of Pennsylvania. This is the first year the annual rivalry game will be played at an on-campus location since 1943.
- The 2020 NBA Draft will officially be conducted virtually at ESPN studios on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. CT. The Minnesota Timberwolves currently hold the rights to this year’s first overall pick.
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