Happy Monday, friends and fans!
After surviving a scare in Ames, Iowa over the weekend, the Oklahoma Sooners (14-5, 9-4) have moved up to No. 7 in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll.
Keep trending #Sooners rise two spots to No. 7️⃣ in the AP Top-25.#BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/QxIznHYUvV— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) February 22, 2021
This marks OU’s highest ranking in the AP Poll since a freshman Trae Young led the Sooners to the No. 4 spot during the 2017-18 season. Ultimately, Lon Kruger’s team finished unranked following a first-round exit as a 10-seed in the NCAA Tournament. According to CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm, this year’s group would be a two-seed if the Big Dance started today.
Up next for Oklahoma comes a trip to Manhattan, Kansas, where a struggling K-State squad awaits. Tip-off is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! OU’s Holder of the Year says ‘hold my beer’, Billy Bowman’s potential is special, there’s a change of leadership in Minnesota and more!
- 2020 Mortell Holder of the Year Spencer Jones was involved in an altercation that afterwards required emergency surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone. Warning — if you have not seen video of the incident, it does contain NSFW language. OU Daily’s Mason Young has more on the story. The moral of said story? Don’t mess with someone who has a wresting and/or MMA background. According to Jones’ attorney (big grain of salt here), he was trying to de-escalate the situation, but I’ll let you decide. Regardless, it’s great to hear that he will fully recover.
Was it really power hour if you didn’t get in a fight on the piss-soaked bathroom floor? pic.twitter.com/lWombEtc3g— Old Row Oklahoma (@OldRowSooners) February 20, 2021
- According to Lon Kruger, Oklahoma expects to have its full complement of players available for Tuesday’s game at Kansas State. In other words, there is absolutely no excuse why this shouldn’t be Kruger’s second win on the road against his alma mater since becoming the Sooners’ head coach. Will it happen that way? Stay tuned.
Lon Kruger: full complement of players for tomorrow at KState #Sooners— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) February 22, 2021
- Could 2021 signee Billy Bowman be the first true, two-way star for the Sooners since Andre Woolfolk shined at receiver and as a defensive back? Many in and around the program believe so. The Oklahoman’s Ryan Aber has more.
- Enough can’t be said for how impressive Lincoln Riley and his staff have been on the recruiting trail, especially over the latest cycle. According to 247 Sports Composite, eight of the top 10 recruits signed by Big 12 programs in the 2021 class are Sooners. That’s bonkers.
8 of the Top 10 @Big12Conference recruits in the class of 2021 are headed to @OU_Football— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) February 20, 2021
Which player are you most excited to see take the field? pic.twitter.com/oywcdlmuwA
- The OU women’s gymnastics team (11-0) has moved up to No. 3 in the nation after besting NC State, George Washington and William & Mary on Friday. Boomer!
Moving on ⬆️!— Oklahoma Women's Gym (@OU_WGymnastics) February 22, 2021
The Sooners are back in the top three this week!
➡️ https://t.co/ikjORPp3cp pic.twitter.com/pBzvpmV8bf
Around the Sports World
- After two seasons in Lincoln, former Nebraska Cornhuskers QB Luke McCaffrey has announced his decision to join the Louisville Cardinals via the NCAA Transfer Portal. He will be immediately eligible for UL in 2021.
Excited to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Louisville. Go Cardinals! pic.twitter.com/hWUlP3TTN8— Luke McCaffrey (@mccaffrey_luke) February 22, 2021
- The Minnesota Timberwolves have fired head coach Ryan Saunders after two and a half seasons with the team. As a replacement, the organization has hired Chris Finch — a former Toronto Raptors assistant.
- New York Rangers star winger Artemi Panarin has taken a leave of absence from the team after assault allegations have surfaced regarding an alleged dispute between he and an 18-year-old woman in 2011.
- Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. says he will not give up wearing the No. 11 jersey for incoming QB Caron Wentz. I say good for him.
- The high school football player who recently went viral for heckling Cam Newton at a 7-on-7 tournament has since released an apology. Spoiler alert — the apology is actually very poorly written and lacks genuine contrition. Surprised? Me neither.
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