Sooners Host Texas Tech Wednesday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 22, 2000

Feb. 22, 2000

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NORMAN, Okla. - Ranked 20th in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, Oklahoma (20-5 overall, 8-4 Big 12) hosts Texas Tech (11-12, 2-10) Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Lloyd Noble Center. The game will air on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOMA 1520 AM in Oklahoma City) with Bob Barry, Sr., (play-by-play) and Mark Mathew (analyst) calling the action. The contest will be televised locally by ESPN Regional (KOCB Channel 34 in Oklahoma City and KJRH Channel 2 in Tulsa). Fred White (play-by-play) and Rolando Blackman (analyst) will announce.

Oklahoma Update
The Sooners have lost two of their last three games, both by three points. OU lost to Oklahoma State (74-71) in Norman, rebounded for a victory at Nebraska (62-54) and is coming off a 53-50 defeat at Kansas Sunday. Oklahoma is tied for fifth place in the Big 12 with the Jayhawks at 8-4.

All-America candidate Eduardo Najera has been held to a combined 18 points the past two games but still ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring (18.6 ppg), second in rebounding (9.6 rpg) and ninth in steals (1.7 spg). In league games, he is averaging 17.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals. He is one of only two Sooners in school history (Ryan Minor is the other) to rank in the top 10 in career points (10th), rebounds (fifth), steals (sixth) and blocked shots (sixth).

Junior college transfer Nolan Johnson has made hefty contributions of late, as evidenced by his 12.2 scoring and 6.2 rebounding averages over the last six contests (he is averaging 8.6 points and 4.8 boards per game on the season). The guard is shooting .564 from the field on the year and boasts a .630 mark in Big 12 games.

True freshman Hollis Price has been seeing more time at point guard recently and has responded positively. Price, who has 73 assists and 34 turnovers on the season (2.1 ratio), has led the team in assists in each of the last four contests (5.3 average).

About Texas Tech
After dropping its first nine Big 12 games this year, Texas Tech has won two of its last three. The Red Raiders have sandwiched wins versus Baylor (79-68) and Texas A&M (76-64) around a loss to Missouri (86-76). Tech stands in 11th place in the league.

Senior guard Rayford Young leads available Red Raiders with a 16.9 points-per-game scoring average (sophomore forward Andy Ellis averaged 16.9 points per outing before sustaining a season-ending dislocated shoulder at Nebraska Jan. 19). Young is followed by senior forward Mario Layne (13.3 ppg) and fellow senior guard James Ware (11.3 ppg). Young is the 13th-leading scorer in Texas Tech history with 1,397 career points. Senior forward Brodney Kennard leads available players with his 6.7 rebounds per game (Ellis averaged 8.9) and is followed by Layne (5.5 rpg).

Head Coach James Dickey is in his ninth year at Texas Tech where he owns a 156-101 (.607) record.


F21Eduardo Najera (6-8, 240, Sr.)
C33Renzi Stone (6-10, 250, Sr.)
G5Nolan Johnson (6-4, 215, Jr.)
G10Hollis Price (6-1, 165, Fr.)
G11J.R. Raymond (6-2, 175, So.)


F14Mario Layne (6-7, 195, Sr.)
F33Brodney Kennard (6-8, 210, Sr.)
G3Rayford Young (5-11, 180, Sr.)
G5James Ware (6-5, 210, Sr.)
G12Ronald Hobbs (6-6, 180, Fr.)

Series with Texas Tech
Oklahoma leads the overall series with Texas Tech, 14-10, and has won the last four contests, including a 78-61 decision Jan. 29 in Lubbock. OU is 8-4 against the Red Raiders in Norman, but has won just one of its last four contests against them at Lloyd Noble Center. Kelvin Sampson is 5-3 against Texas Tech as OU's head coach.

Earlier this year in Lubbock, Oklahoma topped the .500 mark from the field for the first time in 10 games in its 17-point win. Eduardo Najera, who sustained a severely-sprained left hand in practice the night before, recorded his third straight double-double with game highs in points (20) and rebounds (13). He also added four assists. Kelley Newton came off the bench to score 18 points, one shy of a career high, while point guard J.R. Raymond added 14 points and a team-high six assists. Rayford Young registered 16 points and seven assists for Texas Tech. The win was OU's fourth straight in Lubbock.

Oklahoma/Texas Tech Statistical Comparison

20-5Overall Record11-12
75.0Points Average71.1
62.0Opponent Points Average69.9
37.0Rebounds Average36.6
33.1Opponent Rebounding Average39.1
.455Field Goal Percentage.447
.413Opponent Field Goal Percentage.400
.3933-Pt. Percentage.347
.334Opponent 3-Pt. Percentage.343
.701Free Throw Percentage.708
18.6Personal Fouls Average16.5
15.2Assists Average13.9
12.6Turnovers Average14.8
2.6Blocked Shots Average4.9
7.2Steals Average6.6

Recapping the Kansas Contest
The Sooners received season-low point totals from Eduardo Najera (eight) and J.R. Raymond (five) in a narrow 53-50 loss at 24th-ranked Kansas Sunday. The pair combined to shoot a meager .185 (5-for-27) from the field. Despite the shooting woes, Oklahoma led by three, 45-42, with 8:39 left in the game. A Drew Gooden bucket vaulted the Jayhawks back on top, 46-45, just over a minute later and then KU extended its lead to four with 4:20 remaining. Nolan Johnson's layup with 3:56 to go cut the margin to two, 52-50, but a Kirk Hinrich free throw with 14 seconds left was the lone point scored by either team the rest of the way. Two three-point tries by the Sooners in the waning seconds were off the mark. Johnson paced OU with a game-high 14 points and added eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Despite not scoring in double figures for the first time this year, Najera collected a game-high 10 rebounds. The Sooners shot .328 from the field and .227 from beyond the arc while limiting Kansas to .364 and .333 respective figures. The Jayhawks dominated the glass by grabbing 50 rebounds to OU's 36. The Oklahoma defense forced 18 KU turnovers.

Coming Up
Oklahoma plays its final home game of the season against Missouri on Saturday (ESPN) before winding up its regular season at Texas A&M Wednesday, March 1 (no television) and at Oklahoma State Saturday, March 4 (ESPN).

Sampson Seeks No. 300
Head Coach Kelvin Sampson will pocket his 300th career victory with OU's next win. Sampson, who is in his 17th year as a collegiate head coach, owns a 299-208 (.590) career record and is 123-59 (.676) in his sixth campaign at Oklahoma.

Shooting Figures Down in Five Losses
Oklahoma is shooting .455 from the field this season (ranks fifth in Big 12), .393 from three-point land (first) and .701 from the free throw line (third). In its five defeats, however, the team owns .379 field goal, .281 three-point and .598 respective marks.

OU's Big 12 History
The Sooners now boast a 39-21 (.650) Big 12 record, second only to Kansas' 49-11 (.817) mark. OU finished 9-7 (fifth place) in 1996-97 and 11-5 (tied for second) in each of the last two years. Kelvin Sampson's Big 12 squads have posted a 22-8 league record at home and a 17-13 mark on the road.

Eduardo Najera: The Big 12's Best?
Is Eduardo Najera the best player in the Big 12 Conference? He has certainly made a case for himself...

  • Ranks third in Big 12 games in scoring (17.8 ppg), leads the league in rebounding (10.8 rpg) and ranks fifth in steals (2.0 spg).

  • Boasts a league-best seven double-doubles in conference action.

  • Has 12 double-doubles this year and has recorded six in the last nine games.

  • Ranks third in the Big 12 (all games) in scoring (18.6 ppg), second in rebounding (9.6 rpg) and ninth in steals (1.7 spg). He is the only player to rank in the top 10 in all three categories.

  • Averaging 38.0 minutes over the last 10 games.

  • Has scored in double figures in 24 of 25 games this year.

  • Has led the team in scoring and rebounding in the same game nine times.

  • Has recorded three or more assists nine times this season and three or more steals on seven occasions.

  • Has started in 57 consecutive games.

  • Ranks 10th in career scoring at OU (1,485 points), fifth in rebounding (837), sixth in steals (177) and sixth in blocked shots (84). Only he and Ryan Minor rank in the school's all-time top 10 in the four categories.

  • Was named Top of the World Classic and All-College Tournament MVP this year and was named to the Sooner Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team.

  • Earned Big 12 Player-of-the-Week acclaim Dec. 14 and Feb. 7.

  • Was featured in the Feb. 7 issue of ESPN The Magazine and the Jan. 24 issue of Sports Illustrated.

  • "Najera has solidified his position as a first-round pick. Scouts love his toughness and ability to get to the basket. He will be a pick and a favorite on any roster."'s Andy Katz.

Najera Third In CBS' Wooden Award Watch
Eduardo Najera currently rates as the third-leading candidate to win the 2000 John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation's most outstanding player, according to CBS SportsLine ( He is the Big 12's highest rated player on the list.

1. Kenyon MartinCincinnati
2. Chris CarrawellDuke
3. Eduardo NajeraOklahoma
4. Marcus FizerIowa State
5. Chris MihmTexas
6. Troy MurphyNotre Dame
7. Mateen CleavesMichigan State
8. Khalid El-AminConnecticut
9. Desmond MasonOklahoma State
10. Loren WoodsArizona

Johnson's Production Increases with Minutes
Guard Nolan Johnson, a junior college transfer who didn't play basketball last season because he was wrapping up academic requirements, has appeared as comfortable on the court over the last several games as he has all year. He is averaging 12.5 points and 7.2 rebounds in OU's last six contests and has upped his season averages to 8.6 and 4.8, respectively. During the six-game span, Johnson is also averaging 32.8 minutes per outing. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he is shooting .783 from the free throw line this season and .564 from the field (.630 in Big 12 action).

Raymond Vies For Newcomer of the Year
Sophomore point guard J.R. Raymond, who sat out his freshman season as a partial qualifier, ranks 11th in the Big 12 in scoring (15.2 ppg). He also averages 3.1 three-pointers per game (ranks second), leads the team in assists (3.7 apg) and is second in steals (1.4 spg). Raymond has made a league-high 77 three-pointers on 183 attempts (.421) and has scored in double digits in all but four games (scored nine three times).

In his collegiate debut versus Montana State Nov. 19 in Fairbanks, Alaska, Raymond made 9-of-16 field goal attempts, including 5-of-9 three-point tries, and finished with a game-high 29 points. He also contributed six rebounds and five assists in the 91-76 victory and went on to earn Top of the World Classic All-Tournament Team honors. Raymond's 29-point outburst is believed to be the second-highest scoring total by a Sooner in his collegiate debut. In 1972, center Alvan Adams scored 38 points and collected a school-record 28 rebounds against Indiana State in his first-ever game.

Raymond has also been named this year's Sooner Holiday Classic MVP and to the All-College Tournament all-tourney squad.

Target Practice
Junior Tim Heskett, OU's career leader in three-point percentage (.423), is shooting .424 from beyond the arc this season. Dave Sieger (.405) is the only other Sooner to ever post a career three-point mark above .400. Heskett, who set the single-season school record with a .473 three-point mark last year, ranks second on the OU career charts in three-point makes (172) and ranks fifth in attempts (407). Terry Evans owns the school record with 259 career conversions.

This Price is Right
Freshman guard Hollis Price, who has started all 12 league games for OU, is developing into a steady player on both ends of the floor. Price has scored a career-high-tying 15 points twice in Big 12 play (versus Baylor and at Colorado). The New Orleans, La., product owns a healthy 2.1 assist/turnover ratio and has recorded three or more assists 12 times (he has led OU in the category the last four games). Lightning quick, Price also has 11 multiple-steals games to his credit.

Sooner Guards Shooting .420 From Beyond Arc
Historically an excellent three-point shooting team under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson, Oklahoma has done nothing to jeopardize that label so far this season. Through 25 games, the Sooners have made 205-of-521 trey attempts for a Big 12-leading .393 mark. Sooner guards are shooting a stout .420 on the year. Here's a look at the statistics of OU's four three-point shooting guards:

J.R. Raymond77183.4213.1
Tim Heskett64151.4242.6
Kelley Newton3581.4321.4
Hollis Price1642.3810.6

Turnovers Few and Far Between
OU averages a Big 12-low 12.6 turnovers per outing (Missouri ranks second with 13.4). The Sooners also own the second best assist/turnover ratio in the conference (1.2).

Heskett Dependable with the Ball
Tim Heskett, who averages 22.4 minutes per game, has committed just 14 turnovers this season. That's an average of one turnover every 40 minutes. The junior guard leads the Big 12 with a 2.8 assist/turnover ratio and also ranks sixth in the league with 2.6 three-point makes per contest. Heskett averages 8.7 points per game to rank third on the team.

OU Miscellany
The Big 12 is one of two conferences that boasts three teams (OU, Oklahoma State and Iowa State) with 20 or more wins. The Southeastern Conference has four.

Nolan Johnson, who is shooting .564 on the season, sports a .630 mark (46-for-73) in conference action. Renzi Stone is shooting .656 (21-for-32) in league play.

Eduardo Najera recorded a 0.7 assist/turnover ratio in non-conference play but sports a 1.4 ratio in Big 12 games.

Three players (Eduardo Najera, J.R. Raymond and Renzi Stone) have each started all 25 games.

The Sooners are 17-0 when leading at halftime.

J.R. Raymond (77) and Tim Heskett (64) have combined to make a Big 12-leading 141 three-pointers on the year. The Missouri duo of Clarence Gilbert (67) and Keyon Dooling (55) ranks second in the Big 12 with 122 conversions.

Eduardo Najera leads the Sooners in scoring, rebounding and steals, and ranks second in blocked shots and third in assists.

Renzi Stone, who has shot better than .500 from the field each of the past two seasons, sports a .570 mark this year. The senior has missed just one game during his career.

In five-plus years under Coach Sampson, the Sooners are 70-9 (.886)when scoring 80 or more points and are 56-2 (.966) when scoring at least 80 points at home.

Oklahoma has been outrebounded just six times in its 25 games.

The Sooners have committed more turnovers than their opponents in just three games (vs. George Washington, at Colorado and at Baylor). Oklahoma is averaging a Big 12-low 12.6 turnovers per outing.

Sixty-four of Tim Heskett's 68 field goal conversions (94 percent) have been three-pointers while 35 of Kelley Newton's 48 field goal makes (73 percent) have been treys. Newton's first 17 baskets this year were three-pointers.

The Sooners are averaging 8.2 three-point makes per game. Last season, OU set a school record with its 8.6 treys per outing.

OU Boasts Nation's Fourth-Longest Postseason Streak
Oklahoma has made 18 consecutive postseason appearances (14 NCAA and four NIT), the fourth-longest streak among Division I programs. Only North Carolina, Georgetown and Indiana own longer postseason streaks. The last time Oklahoma did not compete in the postseason was in 1980-81. The four longest current postseason streaks are as follows:

TeamStreakNCAANIT Started
North Carolina332941966-67

Model of Consistency
Oklahoma has registered a winning record in 22 of its last 23 seasons. No other Big 12 team can boast as many winning campaigns since the 1975-76 season as the Sooners. Entering the year, OU had posted a 504-232 (.685) record over the span.

Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
Now in his 17th year as a collegiate head coach, Kelvin Sampson is in his sixth year at the Oklahoma helm. He has averaged 20.6 wins per season at OU and is one of two Big 12 coaches - Kansas' Roy Williams is the other - to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament each of the last five seasons.

Sampson began his head coaching career in 1980 at Montana Tech when he was hired as the program's interim head coach. He recorded a 73-45 mark in four seasons and was inducted into the school's sports hall of fame two years ago.

In 1988, Sampson was named head coach at Washington State and compiled an even 103-103 record over seven years, including two 20-win campaigns.

Hired by Oklahoma on April 25, 1994, he has guided the Sooners to a 123-60 (.672) record and a 73-15 (.830) home mark. In 1997-98, OU finished tied for second place in the Big 12 Conference and played in the league's postseason tournament championship game. Last year, he directed OU to another second-place league finish and an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance.

Sampson was named the 1995 national coach of the year by the Associated Press, the USBWA and Basketball Times.

Sampson year by Year

YearSchoolRecord (Pct.)
1981-82Montana Tech7-20 (.259)
1982-83Montana Tech22-9 (.710)
1983-84Montana Tech22-7 (.759)
1984-85Montana Tech22-9 (.710)
1987-88Washington State13-16 (.448)
1988-89Washington State10-19 (.345)
1989-90Washington State7-22 (.241)
1990-91Washington State16-12 (.571)
1991-92Washington State22-11 (.667)
1992-93Washington State15-12 (.556)
1993-94Washington State20-11 (.645)
1994-95Oklahoma23-9 (.719)
1995-96Oklahoma17-13 (.567)
1996-97Oklahoma19-11 (.633)
1997-98Oklahoma22-11 (.667)
1998-99Oklahoma22-11 (.667)
1999-00Oklahoma20-5 (.800)
Totals299-208 (.590)

Coach Sampson on Television
This season, Oklahoma basketball fans can catch Head Coach Kelvin Sampson on television twice a week with "Inside Sooner Basketball with Kelvin Sampson" and "Sooner Basketball 2000." The shows will give viewers an insider's look at the OU program and feature highlights, interviews and Coach Sampson's insights.

Inside Sooner Basketball with Kelvin Sampson
Hosted by veteran Oklahoma City television sports anchor Bill Teegins, "Inside Sooner Basketball with Kelvin Sampson" airs Fridays at 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest. The half-hour show can be seen in Oklahoma City on KWTV Channel 9 Saturdays at 11 a.m. and in Tulsa on TCI Cablevision Channel 9 Fridays at 6 p.m.

Sooner Basketball 2000
"Sooner Basketball 2000" is hosted by Steve Neumann, director of broadcasting at OU. The one-hour show airs in Oklahoma City Sundays at 7 p.m. on NewsNow 53 and later that night at 1:45 a.m. on KWTV Channel 9.

1999-00 Big 12 Standings
(Through Monday, Feb. 21)

Okla. State112.846223.880
Iowa State102.833224.846
Texas A&M39.250716.304
Texas Tech210.1671112.478
Kan. State111.083815.348

Player Profiles

3MICHAEL CANO (6-1, 170, SO., GUARD)

  • A walk-on who has played in 10 games this season.
  • Scored his first career points with a last-minute basket against Arkansas-Little Rock Dec. 11.

  • Has started in 23 of 25 games and is averaging 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting .564 from the field.
  • Shooting .630 in Big 12 games (46-for-73).
  • Earned second-team junior college All-America honors as a sophomore two years ago.
  • Played at Kilgore (Texas) Junior College but graduated from Garden City (Kan.) Community College.
  • Named Brooklyn (N.Y.) Player of the Year as a high school senior.

10HOLLIS PRICE (6-1, 165, FR., GUARD)
  • Averaging 5.5 points, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
  • A starter in all 12 Big 12 contests.
  • Regarded as one of the country's 50 best high school seniors last year at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.
  • Earned first-team All-State and New Orleans Metro Player-of-the-Year honors as a senior when he averaged 25.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
  • Hit game-winning shot in 1998 17-and-under AAU national championship game and was named tournament MVP.

11J.R. RAYMOND (6-2, 175, SO., GUARD)
  • Poured in 29 points in first collegiate game Nov. 19.
  • Ranks first on team in minutes (35.3 mpg) and assists (3.7 apg), and second in scoring (15.2 ppg).
  • Ranks second in Big 12 with 3.1 three-pointers per game and is shooting .421 from beyond the arc.
  • Earned Big 12 Rookie-of-the-Week honor Dec. 14.
  • Named Sooner Holiday Classic MVP and to Top of the World Classic and All-College all-tourney teams.
  • Practiced with the team under "partial qualifier" label last year, but was not allowed to play in games.

14TIM HESKETT (6-1, 185, JR., GUARD)
  • Shooting .424 from three-point range and has made at least two treys in 20 of 25 games.
  • Averaging 2.6 three-point makes per game (ranks sixth in Big 12) and just 0.6 turnovers per outing.
  • Set single-season OU record with his .473 three-point mark last year and is the career leader in three-point percentage (.423).
  • Ranked second in the Big 12 in three-point percentage and in three-pointers per game (2.5) last year.

20KELLEY NEWTON (6-2, 190, JR., GUARD)
  • Ranks sixth in Big 12 in three-point percentage (.432).
  • Has scored at least 18 points four times this year.
  • Made 5-of-6 three-pointers and finished with a career-high 19 points versus Texas A&M in league opener.
  • Thirty-five of his 48 baskets have been three-pointers.
  • Tore ACL and MCL in his left knee during Oct. 31, 1998, scrimmage and missed the entire season (had surgery Nov. 20).

  • Averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 steals.
  • Ranks third in Big 12 (league games) in scoring and leads in rebounding with 17.8 and 10.8 respective averages.
  • Named Big 12 Player of the Week twice this season.
  • A preseason Playboy All-American who was named Top of the World Classic and All-College Tournament MVP and to the Sooner Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team.
  • Has 12 double-doubles and 10 in the last 16 games.
  • Ranks 10th on OU's all-time scoring list with 1,485 points and fifth on the career rebounding chart with 837 boards.
  • Averaged 18.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in first two NCAA Tournament rounds to lead OU to Sweet 16 last year.

22OLEG REZTSOV (7-2, 230, SR., CENTER)
  • Played a career-high 10 minutes versus Mount St. Mary's.
  • Has scored three points this season in 10 games.
  • Is the tallest player in school history.
  • Maintains his own web site (

30JARRETT HART (6-3, 210, FR., GUARD)
  • A first-team All-State selection at Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., last year.
  • Averaged 17.4 points, 8.5 boards and 7.3 assists as a senior.
  • Helped Arkansas Hawks AAU team to national last summer.

32VICTOR AVILA (6-10, 255, SR., CENTER)
  • Scored 13 points in 83-59 win over No. 16 Texas Jan. 31.
  • Averaging 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
  • Has recorded two double-doubles this season.
  • Tied career highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds versusGeorgia Southern Dec. 18 and had career-high four assists.
  • A second-team junior college All-American who averaged 23.7 points, 15.3 boards and 2.8 blocks per contest in 1997-98.

  • Has started all 25 games and is averaging 4.6 points, 3.8rebounds and 1.4 assists per outing.
  • Shooting .566 overall and .655 in Big 12 play.
  • A starter in 18 games a year ago who averaged 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting a team-high .531 from the field.
  • Grabbed at least four rebounds 17 times last year.
  • One of seven OU students nominated this past September for a Rhodes Scholarship.
  • Has missed just one game during his Sooner career.

  • Shooting team-high .585 from field and averaging 3.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per contest.
  • Grabbed a career-high 12 boards vs. Texas A&M in 17 minutes.
  • Transferred from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
  • A second-team All-Jayhawk Conference selection as a freshman and sophomore (averaged 17.0 points both seasons).
  • Named the 1995 Bronx (N.Y.) Player of the Year as a junior at Evander Childs High School.
  • Voted 1996 New England Player of the Year at Salisbury (Conn.) Prep School.



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