Feb. 28, 2003

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GAME INFORMATION
Ranked third in this week's AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, Oklahoma (19-5 overall, 10-3 Big 12) will travel to College Station, Texas, to face the unranked Texas A&M Aggies (13-11, 5-8) on Saturday at 3 p.m. CST inside Reed Arena. The second of two regular season matchups between the teams will air live on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KRXO 107.7 FM in Oklahoma City, KFAQ 1170 AM in Tulsa) with Bob Barry, Sr. (play-by-play) and Mike Houck (analyst) calling the action. The game will be televised regionally by ESPN Plus (KOCB Ch. 34 in OKC, KJRH Ch. 2 in Tulsa) with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Reid Gettys (analyst) announcing.

                                       AVERAGES
TEXAS A&M PROJECTED STARTERS           PPG  RPG
F 2  Keith Bean (6-8, 265, Sr.)        6.3  5.1
F 14 Tomas Ress (7-0, 230, Jr.)        5.6  3.7
G 21 Antoine Wright (6-7, 195, Fr.)   15.3  6.8
G 24 Bradley Jackson (5-11, 185, Sr.)  4.5  1.6
G 32 Bernard King (6-5, 195, Sr.)     17.5  4.3

OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS PPG RPG F 34 Kevin Bookout (6-8, 260, Fr.) 9.6 6.1 C 21 Jabahri Brown (6-10, 210, Jr.) 6.1 5.3 G 2 Ebi Ere (6-5, 215, Sr.) 14.2 5.0 G 4 Quannas White (6-1, 190, Sr.) 8.7 3.9 G 10 Hollis Price (6-1, 170, Sr.) 19.2 2.8

STATISTICAL COMPARISON
Category                    Oklahoma   Texas A&M
Overall Record                19-5      13-11
Big 12 Record                 10-3        5-8
Points Per Game               72.0       72.9
Opponent Points Per Game      60.3       72.8
Rebounds Per Game             37.4       36.8
Opponent Rebounds Per Game    32.7       39.8
Field Goal Pct.               .446       .430
Opponent Field Goal Pct.      .402       .432
3-Point Pct.                  .384       .374
Opponent 3-Point Pct.         .343       .325
Free Throw Pct.               .722       .699
Personal Fouls Per Game       18.6       19.8
Assists Per Game              13.8       16.1
Turnovers Per Game            11.5       15.2
Blocked Shots Per Game         3.8        2.1
Steals Per Game                7.3        6.1

OKLAHOMA UPDATE
Oklahoma, which entered the week No. 1 in the CollegeRPI.com rankings with the help of wins over Oklahoma State and Kansas last week, is coming off a disappointing 67-52 loss at Missouri on Wednesday. The Sooners shot a season-low .273 from the field and posted just a .217 mark from three-point range in suffering just their fifth defeat of the year. The loss dropped OU to 10-3 in the Big 12 and into a second-place tie with Texas, one game behind 11-2 Kansas. Hollis Price led the way for the Sooners against Missouri with 16 points. He was the only OU player who reached double digits.

Price, the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, ranks second in the league with his 19.2 points per game, first in free throw percentage (.932) and third in three-pointers per game (2.8). In league games, he ranks second in scoring (19.8 ppg), first in free throw percentage (.943), first in treys per game (3.3) and second in three-point percentage (.478). He stands in eighth place on OU's career scoring list (1,669 points) and currently ranks as the school's career leader in free throw percentage (.858). In addition to his 19.2 points per contest, he also averages 2.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals.

Ebi Ere ranks second on the team with his 14.2 points per outing, but has failed to reach double digits in six of the last 12 games and is coming off a five-point performance against Missouri. The senior, who returned to the starting lineup the last two games after coming off the bench for two contests, is averaging 9.9 points on .281 shooting over those 12 games. Point guard Quannas White is averaging 8.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and a team-high 3.7 assists. He has been especially hot over the last seven games, averaging 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting .559 from the field (33-for-59) and .563 from three-point range (18-for-32). White leads the Big 12 with a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio and has 30 turnovers in 24 games. In Big 12 play, he leads the conference with his .488 (21-for-43) three-point shooting. White scored in double figures just twice in the first 12 games but has done it in eight of the last 12 outings.

In the frontcourt, Kevin Bookout has emerged as one of the conference's better big men. The freshman forward averages 9.6 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting a Big 12-best .579 from the field. In league games, he's averaging 10.7 points and 6.7 boards while shooting a conference-best .590. Jabahri Brown, a junior center who has started in 18 of his 22 games, averages 6.1 points, 5.3 boards and 1.4 rejections per outing.

ABOUT TEXAS A&M
Despite losing three of its last four games and five of its last seven, eighth-place Texas A&M has put together one of its most successful seasons in recent memory. One more regular season victory will assure the Aggies of their first .500 season since the 1994-95 campaign. A&M, which is 9-3 at Reed Arena this year (4-2 in Big 12 play at home), averages 72.9 points per game (sixth most in league) while giving up 72.8 (most in league). Melvin Watkins' team has shot .482 from the field in home games and has outscored visiting opponents by an average of 8.7 points. The Aggies are coming off an 85-45 loss at Kansas on Wednesday in a game that saw no A&M player score in double digits. Kansas held Texas A&M to .262 field goal and .235 three-point shooting for the night.

The top scorer in school and Big 12 Conference history (1,933 points), senior guard Bernard King ranks seventh in the league with his 17.5 points per contest. The lefty also averages 4.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.2 steals. King gets to the foul line for 6.7 attempts per outing and is shooting .752 from the charity stripe. Guard/forward Antoine Wright is one of the nation's top freshmen and averages 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals while making a team-high 61 three-pointers. Junior guard Kevin Turner comes off the bench to supply 7.9 points per game (37 treys on the year) while senior forward Keith Bean averages 6.3 points and 5.1 boards.

In his fifth season at Texas A&M, Watkins is 52-88 (.371). He coached UNC Charlotte to a 42-20 (.677) record in two years prior to moving to A&M. Watkins owns a 1-8 record against Oklahoma.

TEXAS A&M SERIES HISTORY
Oklahoma leads the overall series with Texas A&M, 18-1, and holds a 6-1 advantage in College Station. OU has won the series' last seven games. Kelvin Sampson is 13-1 against the Aggies as OU's head coach and is 5-1 on A&M's home floor. The Aggies' lone victory over Oklahoma came on a buzzer-beater in the 1998-99 season, 74-72. In the teams' first meeting this year (Jan. 28), Hollis Price was 4-for-7 from three-point range and 6-for-6 from the foul line en route to a game-high 24 points in OU's 75-68 home triumph. Ebi Ere snapped out of a four-game single-digit scoring streak by netting 18 points while the freshman tandem of Kevin Bookout (nine points and seven boards) and De'Angelo Alexander (11 and four) combined for 20 points and 11 rebounds. The Sooners shot .500 from the field in the first half but just .310 afterwards as A&M trimmed a 19-point deficit to seven. Bernard King led the Aggies with 21 points and became the school's career scoring leader. He also contributed eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. Freshman Antoine Wright had 13 points, nine boards and a pair of steals. The Aggies shot .364 from the field and .263 from three-point range, but knocked down 23-of-27 free throws to stay in the contest.

MISSOURI LEFTOVERS

  • The Sooners' .273 field goal effort was their worst since shooting .265 against Kansas on Feb. 20, 1999 (a span of 133 games).
  • The Sooners went 5-for-23 from three-point range to snap a six-game streak of shooting .500 or better.
  • Starting guards Ebi Ere, Hollis Price and Quannas White combined to go 7-for-35 from the field (.200). Add De'Angelo Alexander's and Blake Johnston's 0-for-7 combined effort and OU's entire backcourt was 7-for-42 from the floor (.167).
  • White's four turnovers matched a career high.

    SAMPSON A NAISMITH AWARD FINALIST
    Last year's NABC and CBS/Chevrolet National Coach of the Year, Kelvin Sampson was named one of 25 finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award on Wednesday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Other Big 12 coaches on the list are Rick Barnes (Texas), Eddie Sutton (Oklahoma State) and Roy Williams (Kansas). The winner will be honored in Atlanta on April 11. Sampson also earned national coach of the year honors in 1994-95, his first season at OU, from the AP, USBWA and Basketball Times.

    SOONERS THIS CENTURY
    Over the past four seasons (games through Wednesday), Oklahoma has posted the second-best winning percentage in NCAA Division I ...

  • Duke115-17(.871)
  • Oklahoma103-24(.811)
  • Stanford99-23(.811)
  • Kansas104-27(.794)
  • Cincinnati100-26(.794)

    LOSING TRENDS
    In Oklahoma's five losses this season (to Alabama, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Missouri)...

  • The Sooners have averaged 53.2 points and shot .349 from the field and .289 from three-point range.
  • Quannas White has recorded 14 assists and 14 turnovers (he has a 4.6 ratio in OU's wins). The Sooners have 40 assists and 66 turnovers in their five defeats.
  • Ebi Ere has scored in single digits four times and has shot a combined .286 (18-for-63) from the field, .190 (4-for-21) from beyond the arc and .625 (10-for-16) from the free throw line.
  • The Sooners have been outrebounded, 37.6-36.2.

    ROAD RULE
    Oklahoma has had its share of success on the road under Kelvin Sampson with a 36-22 (.621) record in its last 58 true away contests. In Big 12 play, OU is 32-17 (.653) in its last 49 road contests. The Sooners have finished 5-3 in four of the last five seasons in conference road play and went 6-2 in 1998-99. Kansas (40-14), Oklahoma (33-22) and Texas (30-24) are the only schools with a winning road record since the Big 12 was formed.

    SAMPSON'S SUCCESS VS. STATE OF TEXAS
    Oklahoma owns an impressive 68-10 (.870) record against teams from the state of Texas under Kelvin Sampson. Against Big 12 foes Baylor (16-0), Texas (15-4), Texas A&M (13-1) and Texas Tech (10-5), OU is 54-10 (.844) under Sampson. The Sooners are 6-1 against Texas schools this year with the lone loss coming at Texas, 67-61, on Feb. 10.

    LONG-RANGE BOMBING
    Oklahoma's .217 (5-for-23) three-point field goal performance at Missouri on Wednesday snapped a six-game streak in which it had shot .500 or better from three-point territory (OU was 54-for-100 during the six games for a .540 figure). No other OU team had ever recorded a .500-or-better mark from three-point range in four straight games. In its first 17 games, OU shot .348 from beyond the arc. The team's season three-point mark now stands at .384, second best in the Big 12. In conference games, OU leads the league with a .418 figure. Quannas White has gone 18-for-32 (.563) from long range over the last seven games while Hollis Price has drained 26-of-51 (.510) attempts over the past eight outings.

    BIG 12 DOMINANCE
    Oklahoma has won 19 of its last 22 games against Big 12 opponents. The Sooners won their final five regular season games last season, earned three victories at the Big 12 Tournament, knocked off Missouri to go to the Final Four, and have started 10-3 in league play this year. OU's only three losses in the last 22 outings versus league competition were a 48-46 decision at then-No. 24 Oklahoma State on Jan. 13, a 67-61 defeat at then-No. 6 Texas on Feb. 10 and a 67-52 loss at Missouri on Feb. 26.

    STREAKING SOONERS
    OU owns winning streaks against eight of the Big 12's other 11 teams. The Sooners have won 18 straight against Baylor, seven over Texas A&M, five against Kansas State, three versus Nebraska, three versus Colorado, two against Iowa State, two against Texas Tech and two versus Kansas. OU has also won nine of its last 10 against Missouri, eight of its last nine versus Texas and three of its last five with Oklahoma State.

    102 AND COUNTING FOR PRICE
    Senior guard Hollis Price picked up his 102nd win in an OU uniform on Sunday against Kansas. Since he became a Sooner, OU owns a 103-24 (.811) record. Price missed last year's Texas Southern game, an Oklahoma win, so Oklahoma is 102-24 (.810) in games in which he's played. Darryl "Choo" Kennedy (1984-87) holds the school record for most victories by an individual player with 107. Tim McCalister (also 1984-87) won 106 games as a Sooner.

    LATE SEASON SUCCESS
    Since Kelvin Sampson became OU's head coach prior to the 1994-95 season, the Sooners are 56-21 (.727) in February and March regular season games. Oklahoma is 33-9 (.786) in those two months over the last four-plus seasons (5-2 this year). Last season, OU posted an 8-1 regular season mark in February and March with its only loss coming in overtime at Oklahoma State.

    NO ASSIST(ANCE)
    Oklahoma has played 24 games this season and, remarkably, only four opponents have registered more assists than turnovers. Princeton (13 assists, 10 turnovers), Texas Tech (12 assists, 9 turnovers in first meeting) , Kansas State (16 assists, 10 turnovers) and Missouri (14 assists, 5 turnovers) all did it. OU foes have recorded 77 more turnovers than assists this season.

    GETTING DEFENSIVE
    Oklahoma limited Baylor to 42 points Feb. 8, the fewest by an OU opponent since the Sooners beat Mount St. Mary's 94-41 in 1999-2000 (span of 111 games). Oklahoma has held four opponents to point totals in the 40s, five in the 50s and 12 in the 60s. The Sooners held their first 17 opponents to 68 points or less. The last time OU held 17 straight opponents to 68 or fewer points in a single season was the 1950-51 campaign (first 22 games of the year). On the season, OU is holding opponents to 60.3 points per game, fewest in the Big 12. The last time OU held opponents to 60.3 points per game over the course of an entire season was 1977-78 (58.2 under head coach Dave Bliss). The lowest opponent scoring average by Kelvin Sampson's Sooners was 61.9 in 1998-99, a year in which OU went to the NCAA Sweet 16.

    PRICE LINE
    Senior Hollis Price attempted 99 free throws last year (2.8 per game). This year, however, Price has already attempted 118 foul shots (4.9 per game). The guard saw his school-record streak of 36 makes without a miss come to a halt Sunday versus Kansas when he went 0-for-2. He bounced back with a 6-for-6 performance at Missouri on Wednesday and has now made 69 of his last 72 tries. In addition to his streak of 36 straight makes, Price also made 27 in a row earlier in the year. He ranks first on the OU career free throw percentage chart with an .858 figure (Bo Overton shot .852 from 1980 to 1983). John Ontjes holds the OU single-season record (.867 in 1993-94).

    A TOP-10 HIT
    Oklahoma is ranked third in this week's AP poll. That makes 27 consecutive weeks that OU has appeared in the poll's top 10 (dating back to Jan. 5 last year). The Sooners were ranked No. 3 in last season's final edition and debuted in the same spot this year.

    TERRIFIC TRIO
    OU's starting guard trio of Ebi Ere, Hollis Price and Quannas White undoubtedly forms one of the nation's top backcourts. The senior threesome has accounted for 58 percent of the team's points, 64 percent of its assists and 51 percent of its steals. The three guards have also made 78 percent of OU's three-pointers on the year and 65 percent of its free throws.

    HEAVY IN THE BACK(COURT)
    Sooner backcourt members have scored 1,215 of the team's 1,729 points this year. That means 70 percent of OU's scoring has come from its guards. The guards have also registered 265 of the team's 332 assists (80 percent).

    PREACHING PROTECTION
    Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson has long stressed protecting the ball and his OU squads have heeded his words over the years. The Sooners ranked second in the Big 12 last year by averaging just 11.9 turnovers per game. OU led the league in 2000-01 and 1999-00 by averaging just 12.7 and 12.8 miscues per outing, respectively. The Sooners, who only had six turnovers Jan. 13 against Oklahoma State (their fewest since committing five vs. Arizona in last year's Sweet 16) and just seven Feb. 8 versus Baylor, rank second in the Big 12 this season with only 11.5 turnovers per game. Also, OU has committed the same or fewer turnovers than its foes in 16 of 24 games this year and in 28 of the last 37 games dating back to last season.

    PRICE-LESS
    One of the best guards to ever wear an Oklahoma uniform, senior Hollis Price is averaging 19.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game this year. He has already passed 14 players (Corey Brewer, Bobby Jack, Garfield Heard, David Little, Aaron Curry, Al Beal, Mookie Blaylock, David Johnson, Terry Evans, Harvey Grant, Chucky Barnett, John McCullough, Don Sidle and Eduardo Najera) on the school's all-time scoring chart this season. Price now stands eighth on the career list with 1,669 points and needs 38 points to tie Alvan Adams for seventh. The New Orleans native also ranks first in career free throw percentage (.858), second in three-point field goal attempts (558), third in three-point field goals (215), third in minutes played (3,953), fourth in steals (204), seventh in assists (436), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.385) and 10th in steals per game (1.6).

    Price was named Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year by league coaches and media and is also a candidate for the Wooden and Naismith Awards. Additionally, he picked up preseason All-America honors from Playboy. Price averaged 16.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game last year to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors, as well as third-team All-America recognition from The Sporting News. He concluded the season by earning Big 12 Tournament and NCAA West Regional MVP honors.

    EBI'S ROLLERCOASTER RIDE
    Guard Ebi Ere had a stellar first 12 games of his senior season but has been up and down since. The 6-5, 215-pounder led the Sooners in scoring in eight of the first 12 outings and boasted an 18.4 scoring average after those 12 contests. Ere has failed to reach double figures in six of the last 12 games, however, and is averaging 9.9 points on .281 (38-for-135) field goal and .271 (13-for-48) three-point shooting during the 12-game stretch. Ere, who scored a season-low-tying five points Wednesday at Missouri, now averages 14.2 points (10.7 in Big 12 play), 5.0 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steal per outing.

    THE BOOK ON BOOKOUT
    True freshman Kevin Bookout was thrown to the wolves in the non-conference season, facing noted big men Erwin Dudley (Alabama), Mario Austin (Mississippi State), Aloysius Anagonye (Michigan State) and Emeka Okafor (Connecticut). The experience has seemed to pay off for the 6-8, 260-pound forward as he is averaging 10.7 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds while shooting .590 in OU's 13 conference games. He has started all 24 games and is averaging 9.6 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds on the season, and boasts a league-best .579 mark from the field in 29.3 minutes per contest. A second-team Parade All-American last year, Bookout became just the second freshman under ninth-year OU coach Kelvin Sampson to start the first game of a season (guard Prince Fowler was the other in 1994-95).

    MORE ON BOOKOUT
    Kevin Bookout's 9.6 points per game marks the highest scoring average by an OU freshman since Jeff Webster's 18.3 in 1990-91. His 6.1 rebounds per outing are the most by a frosh since Ryan Humphrey's 6.5 in 1997-98 and second most since David Johnson's 6.2 in 1983-84. Bookout's scoring and rebounding numbers compare favorably to freshman figures of some of OU's top players over the last decade. Ryan Minor averaged 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 1992-93, Eduardo Najera averaged 7.0 and 5.6 in 1996-97 and Hollis Price averaged 7.2 and 2.2 in 1999-2000.

    HOME IS WHERE THE "W" IS
    Lloyd Noble Center has always been extremely kind to the Sooners. Oklahoma, which posted a perfect 16-0 mark at home last year and is 14-0 this season, is 355-59 (.857) inside the building since it opened for the 1975-76 campaign. The Sooners are 118-16 (.881) at home under ninth-year head coach Kelvin Sampson and have won 36 straight. The 36-game home winning streak is OU's longest since winning 51 in a row in the late 1980s and early 1990s and is the nation's longest current streak. It also stands as the longest in Big 12 Conference history (Kansas held the previous league record with 33 straight home wins).

    A CHARITY CASE
    Oklahoma has traditionally been a sound free throw shooting team under Kelvin Sampson as seven of his previous eight squads have finished first or second in the conference in the category. Last year, the Sooners, who finished seventh nationally in free throw shooting, led the Big 12 with a .767 season mark (they shot an amazing .798 in league games) and broke the school record of .755 set in 1985-86. OU is again off to a solid free throw shooting start this season. Through 24 games, the Sooners own a .722 free throw mark, second best in the Big 12.

    OU SECURES BEST PRESEASON AP RANKING
    OU's No. 3 preseason AP ranking marked its highest ever to start a season. The Sooners' previous best AP ranking heading into a season was No. 5, in both 1984-85 and 1988-89. Oklahoma finished both of those seasons ranked No. 4 in the AP poll under head coach Billy Tubbs.

    QUICK TIPS

  • Oklahoma has not lost back-to-back games in a season in more than two years (Jan. 13 and 16, 2001, to Kansas and Texas Tech). It is the longest current stretch in the Big 12.
  • OU has shot a combined .478 from three-point range over the last seven games (59-for-123).
  • Quannas White (.488) and Hollis Price (.478) rank first and second in the Big 12 (league games) in three-point percentage.
  • Price has attempted 36 free throws in six league home games but just 17 in seven Big 12 road games.
  • Price has made 69 of his last 72 attempts free throw attempts (.958).
  • Price went 1-for-6 from long range against Oklahoma State but is 42-for-84 (.500) in OU's other 12 conference games. Included was a 9-for-16 effort at Iowa State.
  • Price is averaging 3.3 three-point makes per Big 12 game to lead the conference.
  • Price's 33 points against UConn and Ebi Ere's 33 against Hartford are the second most in the Big 12 this year. Price also poured in 31 against Iowa State.
  • White leads the Big 12 with a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio and owns a 4.6 ratio in OU's wins.
  • OU's 11.5 turnover average marks its second-lowest under Kelvin Sampson (10.3 in 1995-96).
  • The Sooners have committed the same or fewer turnovers than their foes in 16 of 24 games this year and in 28 of their last 37 dating back to last season.
  • The Big 12's top five teams are a combined 32-2 in league home games this year. OU is 6-0.
  • In eight-plus years under Kelvin Sampson, the Sooners sport a 109-10 record (.916) when scoring at least 80 points. They have won 48 of their last 50 games (.960) under the circumstance.
  • Oklahoma is 15-8 in overtime games under Kelvin Sampson and has won nine of its last 11.

    SAMPSON SIGNS STELLAR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS
    Oklahoma signed four high-schoolers to national letters of intent Nov. 13. The class, which includes point guard Andrew Lavender, swingman Brandon Foust, combo guard Lawrence McKenzie and post Longar Longar, has been rated as one of the nation's 10 best.

    Lavender is a 5-7, 155-pounder from Brookhaven (Ohio) High School who averaged 11.0 points and 10.8 assists per game last year in leading his team to a state title. He is generally regarded as one of the country's top two or three point guards and is a top-20 national recruit. Lavender's teammate, Brandon Foust, is a 6-6, 200-pounder who averaged 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a junior. Foust is considered one of the nation's top 60 players. The duo led Brookhaven to a 27-1 record last year.

    McKenzie, 6-1 and 165, has won three state titles at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, Minn. The former teammate of current Sooner Johnnie Gilbert averaged 15.0 points, 8.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last year. He is regarded as a top-75 national recruit and appears on some analysts' top-50 lists.

    Longar, a 6-10, 210-pounder originally from Sudan, averaged 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks last year at John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn. He is considered a top-50 recruit by most analysts.

    "I've never been into recruiting rankings," said OU head coach Kelvin Sampson. "I look at how the players a team recruits fill the needs of that team. We will lose three starting guards after this season in Quannas White, Hollis Price and Ebi Ere. Lavender, Foust and McKenzie will not only form a great backcourt, but they're all freshmen. And Longar will be a freshman in the frontcourt. He's an investment who possesses two things you can't teach -- size and athleticism. These kids all come from great high school programs and learn from great coaches."

    OU SECURES BEST PRESEASON AP RANKING
    OU's No. 3 preseason AP ranking marked its highest ever to start a season. The Sooners' previous best AP ranking heading into a season was No. 5, in both 1984-85 and 1988-89. Oklahoma finished both of those seasons ranked No. 4 in the AP poll under head coach Billy Tubbs.

    OU RANKED NO. 1 BY ESPN.COM
    ESPN.com ranked the Sooners No. 1 in the nation in its preseason power poll Nov. 13. Oklahoma is in front of No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Kansas, No. 4 Pittsburgh and No. 5 Florida. Said ESPN.com's Jay Bilas, "The Sooners are the toughest and hardest nosed team in the nation. Kelvin Sampson has a durable and resilient group that is deep and athletic, and has embraced Sampson's style of playing smashmouth basketball on both ends of the floor. Oklahoma sends four athletes to the offensive glass, rebounds the ball with ferocity, gets into your chest and defends with an aggressive and physical demeanor, and has the mental make-up to win the national championship."

    OU BOASTS NATION'S SECOND-LONGEST POSTSEASON STREAK
    OU has participated in either the NCAA Tournament or National Invitation Tournament in each of the last 21 seasons. During that stretch the Sooners have made the NCAA field 17 times and have played in the NIT on four occasions. The 21-year streak is the second longest in the nation. OU trails only Indiana, which has made 25 straight postseason appearances.

    EIGHT STRAIGHT...AND COUNTING
    Oklahoma has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of Kelvin Sampson's eight years in Norman. Only eight other schools have made the "Big Dance" each of the past eight seasons (Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Stanford and UCLA).

    MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
    Oklahoma has registered a winning record in 25 of its last 26 seasons. No other Big 12 team can boast as many winning campaigns since the 1975-76 season as the Sooners. OU has posted a 588-251 (.701) record over the past 26 years.

    THE LAST THREE YEARS
    Over the last three seasons, Oklahoma has amassed an 84-19 (.816) record, good for the nation's fourth best winning percentage and fourth most wins during the span:

    By Winning Percentage
    1. Duke (.880)
    2. Cincinnati (.825)
    3. Stanford (.821)
    4. Oklahoma (.816)

    By Victories
    1. Duke (95-13)
    2. Cincinnati (85-18)
    2. Tulsa (85-23)
    4. Oklahoma (84-19)

    UNDER KELVIN SAMPSON ENTERING 2002-03...

  • Oklahoma has posted an 84-19 (.816) record over the last three years, good for an average of 28.0 wins per season during the span.
  • Oklahoma has recorded five consecutive 20-win seasons.
  • Oklahoma owns a 68-28 (.708) Big 12 Conference record.
  • Oklahoma has won the last two Big 12 Tournament championships.
  • Oklahoma has competed in each of the last eight NCAA Tournaments.
  • Oklahoma has won its last 22 home games (sixth-longest current streak in NCAA Division I).
  • Oklahoma has finished 12th (2000), 13th (2001) and third (2002) in the last three final AP polls.