Feb. 4, 2000

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NORMAN, Okla. - Ranked 18th in the AP poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today version, Oklahoma (17-3 overall, 5-2 Big 12) faces Baylor (11-8, 2-6) Saturday at 12:45 p.m. at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. 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 on ESPN Regional (KFOR Channel 4 in Oklahoma City and KJRH Channel 2 in Tulsa). Bill Doleman (play-by-play) and Rolando Blackman (analyst) will announce.

OKLAHOMA PROBABLE STARTERS

PPGRPGAPG
F21Eduardo Najera (6-8, 240, Sr.)19.59.32.3
C33Renzi Stone (6-10, 250, Sr.)4.84.11.5
G5Nolan Johnson (6-4, 215, Jr.)7.54.41.6
G10Hollis Price (6-1, 165, Fr.)5.61.72.5
G11J.R. Raymond (6-2, 175, So.)16.03.64.1

BAYLOR PROBABLE STARTERS

PPGRPGAPG
F21Jamie Kendrick (6-8, 210, Sr.)8.75.70.8
F24Terry Black (6-5, 215, Jr.)13.78.93.3
C54Ben Echols (6-11, 240, Sr.)7.47.00.5
G3Tevis Stukes (5-11, 185, Sr.)17.42.52.0
G23DeMarcus Minor (6-4, 210, Jr.)12.04.56.1

Oklahoma Update
Oklahoma has won three consecutive games and is coming off perhaps its best performance of the season, an 83-59 thumping of No. 16 Texas Monday night in Norman. The Sooners have shot .495 during the three-game streak while limiting foes to a .396 figure.

John R. Wooden Award candidate Eduardo Najera registered his 10th double-double of the season and eighth in the last 11 outings by producing 18 points and 16 rebounds versus the Longhorns. The senior forward ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring (19.5 ppg), third in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and 10th in steals (1.7 spg). He also leads OU in blocked shots (0.9 bpg) and is third in assists (2.3 apg). Over OU's last four games, Najera is averaging 20.0 points and 14.3 rebounds. He ranks 11th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,411 points and eighth on the all-time rebounding chart with 782 boards.

OU has been terrific from three-point territory, shooting a Big 12-leading .407 on the season and .417 in seven league games. Kelley Newton leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally with his .517 mark and is followed by Tim Heskett (.426), J.R. Raymond (.426) and Hollis Price (.387).

About Baylor
Despite owning just a pair of victories in Big 12 action, Baylor has won two of its last three games, the most recent an 81-75 triumph at Texas A&M Wednesday. The Bears' other league victory was a 71-57 home win versus Texas Tech Jan. 26. BU is 9-4 at home this season.

Senior guard Tevis Stukes leads the team and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with his 17.4 scoring average, and also leads the conference by averaging 3.4 three-point makes per outing. Junior forward Terry Black averages 13.7 points (ranks 13th), 8.9 rebounds (ranks fourth) and 2.7 steals (ranks second) per game, while junior guard DeMarcus Minor averages 12.0 points and 6.1 assists (ranks third) per outing. As a team, Baylor ranks second in the league in steals (9.1 spg).

In his first year as Baylor head coach is former Sooner mentor Dave Bliss. Bliss, who began his head coaching career at Oklahoma in 1975, racked up a 77-62 record in Norman and was named Big Eight Coach of the Year in two of his five seasons (1976-77 and 1978-79). He guided the Sooners to the 1979 NCAA Tournament, their first appearance since 1947. Bliss, who also posted a 142-101 mark in eight seasons at SMU and a 246-108 record in 11 years at New Mexico, is 476-279 (.630) in his career.

Series with Baylor
Oklahoma owns a 16-5 series lead over Baylor and has won the last 11 games versus the Bears. The Sooners are 6-2 versus BU in Waco, 8-2 in Norman and 2-1 at neutral sites. OU has won the last six games in Waco, four of them by three or fewer points. The last two contests at the Ferrell Center have been decided by one point.

OU recorded a 59-58 victory in Waco Feb. 3 last year as guard Eric Martin drained a 15-foot baseline jumper with 23 seconds left for the game-winning basket. He scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed eight boards. Baylor pulled ahead by one with 1:23 left in the game thanks to a 15-1 run but failed to hold the lead.

In the teams' meeting earlier this year, Oklahoma led from start to finish in its 76-43 win in Norman Jan. 11. J.R. Raymond canned 6-of-9 three-pointers and tallied a game-high 20 points while Eduardo Najera registered 18 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six steals. OU didn't allow a Baylor field goal until the 13:34 mark of the first half and held the Bears to .318 field goal and .133 three-point marks in Dave Bliss' return to Norman.

Oklahoma/Baylor Statistical Comparison

OKLAHOMACATEGORYBAYLOR
17-3Overall Record11-8
77.0Points Average69.1
62.3Opponent Points Average66.2
36.8Rebounds Average37.5
31.8Opponent Rebounding Average35.6
.468Field Goal Percentage.436
.420Opponent Field Goal Percentage.429
.4073-Pt. Percentage.316
.338Opponent 3-Pt. Percentage.327
.704Free Throw Percentage.648
18.7Personal Fouls Average17.0
15.3Assists Average15.4
12.7Turnovers Average18.3
2.6Blocked Shots Average3.7
7.7Steals Average9.1

Recapping the Texas Contest
The Sooners avenged an earlier season loss at Texas by defeating the 16th-ranked Longhorns Monday night at home in front of a national ESPN audience, 83-59. Eduardo Najera produced his fourth straight double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds, one board shy of his career high, while J.R. Raymond poured in 25 points and handed out six assists for Oklahoma. The Sooners, who shot better than .500 for the second game in a row, outshot Texas, .534 to .344, and outboarded the Horns, 42-35. Victor Avila came off the bench to score 13 points and grab four rebounds in one of his best games as a Sooner. Nolan Johnson also played well, registering 10 points, six rebounds and three assists in a career-high 37 minutes. Texas' frontline trio of Chris Mihm, Gabe Muoneke and Chris Owens was limited to 11-of-32 (.344) field goal shooting. Mihm paced the squad with 21 points and 12 boards while Muoneke, who was 12-of-14 from the floor and scored 30 points in the first meeting this year, was held to 2-for-8 shooting and six points Monday. The Sooners improved to 35-16 all-time versus Texas and 8-1 in their last nine versus UT in Norman.

Coming Up
Oklahoma hosts Kansas State Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a game televised by the Sooner Sports Network and then hosts Oklahoma State next Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN Regional.

OU's Big 12 History
The Sooners now boast a 36-19 (.655) Big 12 record, second only to Kansas' 46-9 (.836) 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 21-7 league record at home and a 15-12 mark on the road.

Eduardo Najera: The Big 12's Best?

  • Ranks second in Big 12 games in scoring (20.0 ppg), leads the league in rebounding (10.7 rpg) and ranks fifth in steals (2.1 spg).
  • Boasts a league-best five double-doubles in conference action.
  • Has 10 double-doubles this year and has recorded four straight and eight in his last 11 games.
  • Ranks second in the Big 12 (all games) in scoring (19.5 ppg), third in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and 10th in steals (1.7 spg).
  • Is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and steals.
  • Has attempted an average of 6.6 free throws per game, fourth most in the Big 12.
  • Is the only Sooner to score in double figures in all 20 games this year.
  • Has led the team in both scoring and rebounding eight times on the season.
  • Has recorded three or more assists eight times this season and three or more steals on five occasions.
  • Has started in 52 consecutive games.
  • Ranks 11th in career scoring at OU (1,411 points), eighth in rebounding (782), seventh in steals (168) and fifth in blocked shots (82). Only Ryan Minor ranks 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.
  • Is featured in the Feb. 7 issue of ESPN The Magazine and the Jan. 24 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Raymond One of Big 12's Top Newcomers
Sophomore point guard J.R. Raymond, who sat out his freshman season as a partial qualifier, ranks second on the team and 10th in the Big 12 in scoring (16.0 ppg). He also averages 3.0 three-pointers per game (ranks second in league), leads the team in assists (4.0 apg) and is tied for second in steals (1.6 spg). Raymond has made a team-high 60 three-pointers on 141 attempts (.426) and has scored in double digits in all but two games (scored nine both 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 .426 from beyond the arc this season and, despite going 1-for-8 over the last two games, has drained 14 of his last 26 attempts (.538) over the team's last five contests. 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 fifth on the OU career charts in three-point makes (160) and attempts (378). The Lexington, S.C., native needs just 11 treys to move into second place on the career list. Terry Evans owns the school record with 259 career conversions.

This Price is Right
Freshman guard Hollis Price, who has started all seven 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 in two of the last six contests (versus Baylor and Colorado). The New Orleans, La., product owns a healthy 1.9 assist/turnover ratio this season and has recorded three or more assists eight times. His shooting percentages are also more than adequate for a guard (.444 from the field, .387 from three-point land and .771 from the foul line). Lightning quick, Price has 11 multiple-steals games to his credit.

Turnovers Few and Far Between
OU averages a Big 12-low 12.7 turnovers per outing (Missouri ranks second with 13.7) while forcing half of its last 10 opponents into 20 or more turnovers. The Sooners also own the second best assist/turnover ratio in the conference (1.2).

Sooner Guards Shooting .438 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 19 games, the Sooners have made 166-of-408 trey attempts for a Big 12-leading .407 mark. Sooner guards are shooting a stout .438 on the year. Here's a look at the statistics of OU's four three-point shooting guards:

Player3FG3FGAPct.3FG/G
J.R. Raymond60141.4263.0
Tim Heskett52122.4262.6
Kelley Newton3160.5171.7
Hollis Price1231.3870.6

Newton Fifth on Division I Three-point Shooting Chart
Junior guard Kelley Newton, who sat out last year while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ranks fifth in three-point percentage in the Feb. 1 NCAA Division I statistics report with a .517 mark (31-of-60). He trails only Montana State's Pete Conway (.564), Syracuse's Preston Shumpert (.525), Utah's Alex Jensen (.521) and Central Florida's Jason Thornton (.519). Newton owns the Big 12's top two three-point performances this year with a 6-for-7 (.857) effort versus Georgia Southern and a 5-for-6 (.833) game against Texas A&M.

Heskett Dependable with the Ball
Tim Heskett, who averages 23.8 minutes per game, has committed just 13 turnovers this season. That's an average of one turnover every 37 minutes. The junior guard leads the team with a 2.6 assist/turnover ratio and ranks fifth in the league with 2.6 three-point makes per contest. Heskett averages 8.8 points per game to rank third on the squad.

OU Miscellany
Three players (Eduardo Najera, J.R. Raymond and Renzi Stone) have each started all 20 games.

J.R. Raymond (60) and Tim Heskett (52) have combined to make 112 three-pointers on the year. The Kansas State duo of Galen Morrison (55) and Cortez Groves (44) ranks second in the Big 12 with 99 conversions.

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

Renzi Stone, who has shot better than .500 from the field each of the past two seasons, sports a .554 mark this year. The senior has missed just one game during his career.

J.R. Raymond recorded seven steals versus Arkansas-Little Rock, the second most by a Big 12 player this year, but is averaging 1.3 steals in the team's other 19 contests.

In five-plus years under Coach Sampson, the Sooners are 69-9 (.885)when scoring 80 or more points and are 55-2 (.965) when scoring at least 80 points at home.

Oklahoma has been outrebounded just four times in its 20 games.

The Sooners have committed the same or fewer turnovers than their opponents in all but two games (George Washington and Colorado). Oklahoma is averaging a Big 12-low 12.7 turnovers per outing.

Fifty-two of Tim Heskett's 55 field goal conversions (95 percent) have been three-pointers while 31 of Kelley Newton's 43 field goal makes (72 percent) have been treys. Newton's first 17 baskets this year were three-pointers.

The Sooners are averaging 8.3 three-point makes per game. Last season, OU set a school record with its 8.6 treys per outing.

Oklahoma ranks 10th in the Big 12 in free throw attempts per game (19.3).

J.R. Raymond has led OU in assists in each of the last nine games.

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 (North Carolina and Indiana made last year's NCAA field while Georgetown competed in the NIT). 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
Georgetown252051974-75
ndiana222021977-78
Oklahoma181441981-82

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 120-58 (.674) record and a 72-14 (.837) 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)
1999-00Oklahoma17-3 (.850)
Totals296-206 (.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 Thursday, Feb. 3)

Big12Overall
TeamWLPct.WLPct.
Iowa State71.875193.864
Okla. State61.857172.895
Missouri61.857136.684
Texas62.750146.700
Oklahoma52.714173.850
Kansas52.714165.762
Nebraska34.4291010.500
Baylor26.250118.579
Colorado26.250119.550
Texas A&M26.250613.316
Kan. State17.125811.421
Texas Tech07.00099.500

Player Profiles

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

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

    5NOLAN JOHNSON (6-4, 215, JR., GUARD)

  • Has started in 18 of 20 games and is averaging 7.5 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting .545 from the field.
  • Earned second-team junior college All-America honors as a sophomore two years ago.
  • Played at Kilgore (Texas) Junior College but wrapped up academic requirements at 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 5.6 points, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
  • A starter in all seven 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 (35.2 mpg) and assists (4.0 apg), and second in scoring (16.0 ppg).
  • Ranks second in Big 12 with 3.0 three-pointers per game and is shooting .426 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 .426 from three-point range and has made at least two treys in 15 of 20 games.
  • Averaging 2.6 three-point makes per game (ranks sixth in Big 12) and just 0.7 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)

  • Leads Big 12 in three-point percentage (.517).
  • 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-one of his 43 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).

    21EDUARDO NAJERA (6-8, 240, SR., FORWARD)

  • Averaging 19.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals.
  • Ranks second in Big 12 (league games) in scoring and leads in rebounding with 20.0 and 10.7 respective averages.
  • Has played 204 out of 210 minutes in last five games.
  • 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 10 double-doubles and eight in the last 11 games.
  • Ranks 11th on OU's all-time scoring list with 1,411 points and eighth on the career rebounding chart with 782 boards.
  • Averaged 18.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in first two NCAA Tournament rounds to lead OU to Sweet 16.

    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 nine games.
  • Is the tallest player in school history.
  • Maintains his own web site (http://i.am/sooner).

    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)

  • Had 13 points in 83-59 win over No. 16 Texas Monday.
  • Averaging 5.2 points and 4.0 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.

    33RENZI STONE (6-10, 250, SR., FORWARD/CENTER)

  • Has started all 20 games and is averaging 4.8 points, 4.1rebounds and 1.5 assists per outing.
  • A starter in 18 games a year ago who averaged 3.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per contest 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.

    34JAMEEL HEYWOOD (6-6, 220, JR., FORWARD)

  • Shooting team-high .619 from field and averaging 3.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12.8 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.