Sooners Look to Rebound vs. Purdue

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

Oklahoma (2-1) meets Purdue (2-1) in the second round of the 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. CST (8:30 a.m. Hawaii time) at the Lahaina Civic Center.  Both teams lost their first-round matchups to ranked opponents Oklahoma fell 77-65 to No. 12 Memphis and Purdue went down to No. 19 Georgia Tech 79-61.

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.  Tuesday’s game versus Purdue will be televised on ESPNU with Dave O’Brien and Rick Majerus calling the action.  Wednesday’s final-round contest against either DePaul or tournament host Chaminade will be shown on ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Tuesday, Nov. 21
Tip: 12:30 p.m. CST (8:30 a.m. Hawaii time)
Radio: Sooner Radio Network
  Flagship: KOKC 1520 AM (OKC)
Series: Oklahoma leads 5-3

Game Notes (PDF) | Schedule  

F  32  Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, So., 11.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg) 
C  30  Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg) 
G  5   Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 13.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg) 
G  15  David Godbold (6-5, 215, Jr., 6.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) 
G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 10.3 ppg, 4.7 apg) 

F  1  Gordon Watt (6-6, 225, So., 8.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg)
F  14  Carl Landry (6-7, 252, Sr., 15.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
G  2  David Teague (6-1, 181, Sr., 11.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
G  3  Chris Kramer (6-3, 195, Fr., 6.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
G  12  Tarrance Crump (6-1, 181, Jr., 4.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg)

The Sooners lost for the first time of the Jeff Capel era when 12th-ranked Memphis handed them a 77-65 defeat Monday in Maui.  OU shot a season-low .356 from the field and committed a season-high 21 turnovers in falling to 2-1 on the young season.   Oklahoma, which trailed 39-32 at the break, got down by as many as 19 points (63-44) before a 9-0 run brought them to within 10 (63-53) at the 7:40 mark.  Missed shots and turnovers plagued OU for much of the rest of the way, however, and Memphis improved to 5-0 all-time against the Sooners.

Michael Neal played his first game of the season and came off the bench to supply a game-high 18 points and a career-high seven rebounds.  Sophomore forward Taylor Griffin registered his first career double-double with a career-high 16 points and 10 boards.  Neal and Griffin each were a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line and helped OU to an exceptional 19-for-20 effort.  Starters Longar Longar (who scored 21 points in OU’s previous game) and David Godbold were held to two points each.

Besides Neal’s one-game 18-point average, Oklahoma is led in scoring by freshman guard Tony Crocker and his 13.7 points a contest.  Longar averages 12.3 points and 5.7 boards a game, Griffin averages 11.0 and 9.7, and sophomore guard Austin Johnson adds 10.3 points and 4.7 assists.

Through three games, the Sooners are averaging 79.3 points while surrendering only 53.7 (+25.7 margin).  OU is shooting .473 from the field, .360 from 3-point range and .710 from the free throw line.  Opponents are shooting .339 from the floor and .302 from beyond the arc.

The Sooners’ largest lead was one point on four occasions in the first half.
OU entered the game shooting just .595 from the free throw line but went 19-for-20 at the charity stripe against the Tigers.
Austin Johnson scored OU’s first seven points of the game (he finished with nine).
Freshman forward Keith Clark was the only Sooner who shot .500 or better from the field (he was 1-for-1).
Every player from both teams who saw action committed at least one turnover.

Purdue enters Tuesday’s game with a 2-1 record after falling to No. 19 Georgia Tech on Monday.  The Boilermakers won home games against Northern Colorado (90-58) and Western Carolina (82-57) before flying to Maui.  They are coming off a 9-19 record last year, a season that saw them go 3-13 in the Big Ten Conference (11th place).

The Boilers are led by senior forward Carl Landry, who was granted a medical hardship last season after injuring his knee in the team’s fifth game of the year.  Landry, who was a second-team All-Big Ten pick as a junior when he averaged 18.2 points and 7.1 rebounds, is averaging a team-high 15.0 points and 6.3 boards in 24.7 minutes a game through three contests this season.   He posted 14 points and nine boards against Georgia Tech.  Fellow senior David Teague is the only other player who averages double figures in scoring (11.7 ppg).  The guard has made a team-high-tying eight 3-pointers on 21 attempts (.381) and also averages 3.7 rebounds.  Freshman guard Keaton Grant and sophomore guard Marcus Green both average 9.0 points off the bench while sopohomore forward Gordon Watt supplies 8.3 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds per outing.

A former Purdue guard (1989-93), Matt Painter is in his second season as the Boilermakers’ head coach and owns an 11-20 record (.355) record there.  He is in his third year as a collegiate head coach and sports a 36-25 (.590) career mark.  He coached Southern Illinois to a 25-5 record and an NCAA Tournament berth during the 2003-04 season.  

Oklahoma holds a 5-3 advantage against Purdue in a series that dates back to Dec. 21, 1962. OU is 3-0 against the Boilermakers in Norman, 2-2 in West Lafayette and 0-1 in neutral site competition.

The Sooners have won the last two meetings, 66-48 on Dec. 8, 2004, in West Lafayette and 47-45 on Dec. 11, 2003, in Norman. Purdue won 66-62 in the 2000 NCAA Tournament second round in Tucson, Ariz. On Dec. 21, 1996, OU beat the three-time defending Big Ten champ Boilers 82-58 in Norman.  In the fourth game of the 1995-96 season, Purdue posted a 77-63 home win.  Oklahoma’s other wins in the series came on Dec. 12, 1981 (80-77 in Norman) and Dec. 21, 1962 (80-79 in West Lafayette). Purdue’s other victory came on Dec. 11, 1980 (101-86 in West Lafayette).

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.

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, 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

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

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

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 1,431-910 (.611) 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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