OU Takes On No. 13 Memphis in Maui

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 20, 2006

Oklahoma (2-0) meets Memphis (1-0) in the first game of the 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Monday at 1:32 p.m. CST (9:32 a.m. Hawaii time).  The three-day tournament will be played at the Lahaina Civic Center and will also feature Georgia Tech, Purdue, DePaul, Kentucky, UCLA and host Chaminade.  The Sooners will play Georgia Tech or Purdue in the second round Tuesday at 12:30 or 6:30 p.m. CST.  The start time of OU's third-round game is to be announced.

All of OU's Maui Invitational contests will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC-AM 1520 in Oklahoma City) with Bob Carpenter and Mike Houck announcing.  Monday's game versus Memphis will be televised on ESPN2 (Cox 28 in OKC; Cox 26 in Tulsa) with Dave O'Brien and Rick Majerus calling the action.  Oklahoma's game on Tuesday will be televised by ESPNU if it's the 12:30 p.m. game and by ESPN if it's played at 6 p.m.  Wednesday's final-round contest will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Monday, Nov. 20
Tip: 1:32 p.m. CST (9:32 a.m. Hawaii time)
  Stations: Cox 28 (OKC); Cox 26 (Tulsa)
Radio: Sooner Radio Network
  Flagship: KOKC 1520 AM (OKC)
Series: Memphis leads 4-0

Game Notes (PDF) | Schedule  

F  32  Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, So., 8.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg) 
C  30  Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 17.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) 
G  5   Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 16.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) 
G  15  David Godbold (6-5, 215, Jr., 9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) 
G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 11.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) 

F  2   Robert Dozier (6-9, 215, So., 13.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg)
F  32  Joey Dorsey (6-9, 260, Jr., 11.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg)
G  1   Willie Kemp (6-2, 165, Fr., 5.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
G  12  Antonio Anderson (6-6, 200, So., 12.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
G  14  Chris Douglas-Roberts (6-6, 190, So., 21.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg)

Longar Longar
The Sooners improved to 2-0 with a 74-48 home win over Liberty on Thursday.  Longar Longar registered his second straight double-figures scoring game with his team-high 21 points.  The junior center was 9-for-11 from the field and added six rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in 28 minutes.  Freshman guard Tony Crocker produced 18 points, six boards, a game-high three assists and three steals while senior forward Nate Carter came off the bench to supply 10 points and eight boards.  Sophomore forward Taylor Griffin netted nine points and pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds.

Oklahoma turned in a dominating defensive performance for the second straight game.  OU took a 29-12 lead to halftime while holding the Flames to a .174 first-half shooting performance (4-for-23).  For the game, Liberty shot just .302 from the floor and committed 17 turnovers (the Sooners committed just 10).  OU controlled the boards by a 48-29 count.

Through two games, the Sooners are averaging 86.5 points while surrendering only 42.0 (+44.5 margin).  OU is shooting .528 from the field and .412 from 3-point range while holding foes to .272 and .250 respective figures.

Oklahoma extended its non-conference home winning streak to 48 games, tied with Illinois for longest in the country.
Longar Longar's 21 points marked his second most as a collegian.  In his lone start as a freshman two years ago (in place of an injured Kevin Bookout), Longar netted 29 points against Florida A&M.
Liberty's Larry Blair, who averaged 22.6 points a game last year, was held to three in the first half on 1-for-12 shooting.  Blair scored 20 after the break to finish with 23.
The Sooners' three dunks all came from Tony Crocker.
One game after going 11-for-18 (.611) from 3-point territory, OU was 3-for-16 (.188) against Liberty.

Michael Neal
Senior guard Michael Neal will make his season debut Monday against Memphis after he was required to sit out Oklahoma's first two regular season contests due to a secondary violation involving a summer basketball league. 

"Unfortunately, Michael participated in a league that was outside of the 100-mile radius from his residence, as defined by the NCAA," said OU head coach Jeff Capel.

OU's chief long distance threat, Neal was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last season after averaging 12.4 points a game.  He led the Sooners with his 14.8 points a game in Big 12 play when he shot a league-best .495 from beyond the arc.  He made at least four treys in eight of the team's final 15 games and canned 26 3-pointers over a four-game span from mid to late February (six versus Baylor, seven at Colorado, eight versus Iowa State and five at Texas Tech).

Jeff Capel announced Nov. 9 that freshman guard Bobby Maze will miss four to six weeks with a broken bone in his right foot sustained during practice the previous day.  A 6-3, 175-pounder from Suitland, Md., Maze played a total of 29 minutes in OU's two exhibition games without scoring.  He averaged 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shot.

Memphis enters the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational with a 1-0 mark after disposing of Jackson State 111-69 on Thursday.  The Tigers made 15 3-pointers, outrebounded Jackson State 56-40 and forced JSU turnovers. 
Memphis is coming off a 33-4 season that saw it win Conference USA regular season and tournament titles and advance to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight.  It returns 11 lettermen and two starters from that squad, but lost its top three scorers (Rodney Carney averaged 17.2 points, Darius Washington 13.4 and Shawne Williams 13.2).

Sophomore guard Chris Douglas-Roberts is the team's leading returning scorer, averaging 8.3 points a year ago.  The 6-6, 190-pounder also contributed 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 22.6 minutes a game.  In Memphis' season opener, Douglas-Roberts had 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists in just 24 minutes.  Senior guard Jeremy Hunt, who missed the 2005-06 season due to injury, scored 16 points against Jackson State with the help of 3-for-5 3-point shooting.  He averaged 9.5 points a game as a junior in 2004-05.  Antonio Anderson, a sophomore guard, averaged 7.2 points a game last year and scored 12 points Thursday.  Junior forward Joey Dorsey averaged 6.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last year and finished with 11 points, 13 boards and four blocks against Jackson State.

John Calipari is in his seventh season as Memphis' head coach and owns a 149-59 (.716) record there.  He is in his 15th year as a collegiate head coach and sports a 342-130 (.725) career mark.  The former Kansas assistant also compiled a 72-112 (.391) record in two-plus years as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets.  

Memphis leads the all-time series against Oklahoma, 4-0.  The Tigers posted wins in 1983-84 (69-65 at Memphis), in the 1985 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight (63-61 in Dallas), in 1996-97 (61-47 in Memphis) and in 1997-98 (80-78 in Norman).

This marks OU's third trip to the Maui Invitational and 10th time it has participated in a tournament in the Aloha State.  The Sooners were runners-up in the 1988 Maui Invitational and finished fifth in 1992 (they went 2-1 both times).  They also competed in the Big Island Invitational in 1997 (1-2 record) and 2000 (3-0), the Chaminade Classic in 1984 (1-1) and 1987 (3-0), the Hawaii-Loa Tournament in 1985 (2-0) and the Rainbow Classic in 1982 (2-1) and 1994 (1-2).

Oklahoma's previous two Maui Invitational results are below.

Second place (2-1 record)
Head Coach: Billy Tubbs
Day 1: OU 97, Ohio State 93
Day 2: OU 83, UNLV 81
Day 3: Michigan 91, OU 80

Fifth place (2-1 record)
Head Coach: Billy Tubbs
Day 1: BYU 76, OU 75
Day 2: OU 105, Chaminade 88
Day 3: OU 108, DePaul 94

First-year Oklahoma men's basketball head coach Jeff Capel wasted no time in showcasing his ability to attract top talent to Norman.  Capel and his staff announced the signing of four high school seniors to national letters of intent Nov. 9.  Headlining the class, which is ranked 14th nationally by Rivals.com, is top-20 national recruit Blake Griffin.  Joining Griffin, a power forward from Oklahoma City (Oklahoma Christian School), as Sooners next year will be guard Cade Davis (Elk City, Okla./Elk City HS), wing Chris Early (Huntington, W. Va./Huntington HS) and combo guard Tony Neysmith (Norcross, Ga./Norcross HS).

"These four guys, first and foremost, are really good basketball players," said Capel.  "And they all come from traditions of winning.  A common thread with all four is that none of them are afraid to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  That's important to me.  All four want to be a part of what we're doing."

Cade Davis (G, 6-5, 205, Elk City, Okla.) 
Regarded as Oklahoma's second best senior

Chris Early (G, 6-6, 210, Huntington, W.Va.) 
Ranked No. 147 in nation by Rivals.com

Blake Griffin (F, 6-9, 240, Oklahoma City, Okla.) 
Ranked No. 20 in nation by Scout.com

Tony Neysmith (G, 6-5, 195, Norcross, Ga.) 
Ranked No. 84 in nation by Rivals.com

The 2006-07 season marks the 100th of varsity basketball at Oklahoma.  The Sooners began playing the sport during the 1907-08 season under head coach D.C. Hall (it was his lone year as OU's mentor).  Their first game was a 32-12 win over Epworth College on Nov. 26, 1907, at Convention Hall in Oklahoma City.  OU posted a 4-3 record that year with a two-game sweep of Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State).

The Sooners now own a 1,431-909 (.612) all-time record and a 400-65 (.860) mark at Lloyd Noble Center.  They have participated in 24 NCAA Tournaments, four Final Fours (1939, 1947, 1988 and 2002) and two national title games (1947 and 1988).  OU has won or shared 13 conference championships (the most recent was in 2005) and has claimed seven league tournament titles (the most recent was in 2003).

The Sooners boast a streak of nine straight 20-win seasons dating back to the 1997-98 campaign.  OU and Kansas are the only Big 12 schools who have won at least 20 games each of the last nine seasons.  Oklahoma State has eight 20-win seasons in the last nine years while Texas is next with seven.

Oklahoma made its 25th consecutive postseason appearance last year (20 NCAA and five NIT), good for the longest current streak among Division I programs.  The last time OU did not compete in the postseason was in 1980-81.  The Sooners have competed in the NCAA Tournament 11 times in the last 12 seasons.



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