Oklahoma (8-5, 0-1) plays its first Big 12 home game of the season when it hosts Colorado (4-7, 0-1) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CST inside Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners return home after losing consecutive road games against Alabama (70-55) and Texas Tech (68-54). They are 6-1 in Norman this year. Colorado is 1-2 in road games this season and is coming off a 102-78 home loss to Texas on Saturday in its league opener.
Wednesday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KRXO-FM 107.7 in Oklahoma City) with Bob Barry Sr. and Mike Houck announcing. It will be televised by Fox Sports Net Southwest (Cox 37 in OKC) with Drew Goodman and Marty Fletcher calling the action.
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 10
Tip: 7:07 p.m. CST
TV: Fox Sports Net Southwest (Cox 37 in OKC; Cox 27 in Tulsa)
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (Flagship KRXO 107.7 FM in OKC)
Series: OU leads 84-47
OU has won its last 21 home games against Colorado and 42 of the last 47 meetings overall.
Oklahoma ranks sixth in the country in field goal percentage defense (.370), 11th in scoring defense (56.1 ppg) and 13th in rebounding margin (+8.7).
In its eight wins, OU is holding its foes to a .315 field goal mark. None of those eight opponents has shot better than .370.
Junior center Longar Longar already has more points through 13 games this year (161) than he scored in 50 games over his first two seasons combined (127).
Tony Crocker (10.8 ppg) is looking to become just the second OU true freshman in the last 23 years to average double figures in scoring.
All eight of the Sooners’ wins have been by double digits.
COLORADO PROJECTED STARTERS
F 31 Jermyl Jackson-Wilson (6-6, 220, So., 8.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
F 32 Marcus King-Stockton (6-9, 230, Jr., 4.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
G 11 Dominique Coleman (6-3, 180, Sr., 11.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
G 13 Xavier Silas (6-5, 195, Fr., 10.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
G 23 Richard Roby (6-6, 205, Jr., 19.0 ppg, 5.2 apg)
OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS
F 32 Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, So., 6.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
C 30 Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 12.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
G 2 Michael Neal (6-3, 198, Sr., 9.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
G 5 Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 10.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
G 20 Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 9.4 ppg, 3.5 apg)
The Sooners shot a season-low .345 from the field, .200 from 3-point range and .579 from the free throw line in a 68-54 Big-12-season-opening loss at Texas Tech on Saturday. OU, which trailed 26-23 at halftime, commited 10 turnovers after the break when the Red Raiders shot .500 from the field. Freshman guard Bobby Maze and senior forward Nate Carter came off the bench to supply a combined 30 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners. Maze finished with a team-high 17 points and five rebounds (both career highs) while Carter tallied 13 points and nine boards (both season highs).
OU’s leading scorer (12.4 ppg) and rebounder (7.4 rpg) on the year, junior center Longar Longar managed just two points and two boards Saturday in 16 foul-plagued minutes of action. Longar was 1-of-4 from the field against the Red Raiders and has averaged 4.0 points and 5.5 rebounds over the last two outings. He ranks fourth in the Big 12 with his .580 field goal percentage and ninth with his 1.4 blocks per game. In OU’s eight wins, Longar averages 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds. Guard Tony Crocker, one of the Big 12’s top freshmen, scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed a career-high eight boards against Alabama on New Year’s Day, and is averaging 10.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals on the year. He is shooting .505 from the field, among the best by league guards. Crocker has been especially effective over the past seven games, averaging 13.3 points (most by an OU player during the span), 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Sophomore guard Austin Johnson averages 9.4 points a game and leads the team with his 3.5 assists. Johnson also leads the squad with his .400 season 3-point percentage (20-for-50). Senior guard Michael Neal is averaging 9.1 points, 3.2 boards and 2.0 assists per outing while shooting .857 from the free throw line. Neal, who shot .495 from 3-point range in Big 12 games last season when he was league newcomer of the year, has been held to a .206 3-point mark this season and is 0-for-11 from long range over the last two games. Another guard, junior David Godbold averages 7.5 points a game and ranks 18th in the Big 12 with his 5.6 rebounds per contest. Godbold has come off the bench in each of the last five games but is tied for the team lead with his 28.2 minutes per outing.
Sophomore forward Taylor Griffin, who has started 12 of 13 games, contributes 6.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shot a contest. He has at least one block in each of the last seven games.
Oklahoma is outscoring its opponents by 11.9 points a game on the season and boasts a +8.7 rebounding advantage per contest, best in the Big 12 Conference.
TEXAS TECH LEFTOVERS
Oklahoma outrebounded Texas Tech by a 44-32 count and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to the Red Raiders’ five.
OU’s starting five recorded just 19 points on 6-for-26 field goal shooting and was outscored by the bench by 16 points.
Senior Nate Carter’s nine rebounds were his most in an OU uniform while his 13 points were his second most. His 27 minutes were a season high.
Bobby Maze played a career-high 27 minutes and was the only Sooner who shot better than .500 from the field (7-for-12). He is shooting .655 in his five games (19-for-29).
Colorado enters Wednesday’s game a loser of three of its last four contests, all at home. The Buffaloes fell in their Big 12 opener to Texas on Saturday by a 102-78 score in Boulder. CU trailed by just three at the half, 51-48. Colorado is averaging 70.9 points a game on the season while surrendering 80.1. It is getting outrebounded on the year, 38.9 to 37.0 per game.
Junior guard Richard Roby, a first-team All-Big 12 selection last year, leads Colorado with his 19.0 points a game and ranks third by averaging 5.2 rebounds. Roby is coming off a 30-point effort against Texas and is averaging 24.0 points over the team’s last four outings. Earlier this year he became the 24th member of the 1,000-point club at CU (he now ranks 16th with 1,199 career points). Senior guard Dominique Coleman averages 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and a team-high 3.6 assists while shooting .505 from the field. Freshman guard Xavier Silas also averages double figures in scoring with his 10.4 points a game while sophomore forward Jermyl Jackson-Wilson contributes 8.8 points and team highs in rebounds (7.2 rpg) and blocked shots (1.7 bpg). Jackson-Wilson originally attended Ohio State.
Ricardo Patton is in his 11th year as a collegiate head coach, all at Colorado. He owns a 181-147 (.552) record and is 3-9 against OU.
OKLAHOMA-COLORADO SERIES HISTORY
Oklahoma owns an 84-47 series lead against Colorado (44-12 in Norman) and has won 42 of the last 47 meetings. Oklahoma has won its last 21 home games against CU with the Buffaloes’ last victory in Norman coming on Feb. 9, 1980 (60-59). The Sooners are 9-3 against Colorado since the inception of the Big 12 Conference and have won their five home games during the period by an average of 20.6 points.
Michael Neal’s seven 3-pointers and 26 points weren’t enough for the Sooners as they dropped an 84-75 decision at Colorado last season on Feb. 15. The victory was Colorado’s third in its last four games against OU in Boulder. Richard Roby scored a game-high 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Buffs while Chris Copeland added 18 points, four boards and five assists. Neal, who tied a school record with 3-point makes on six straight attempts (he was 6-for-7 in the first half), finished 7-for-14 from long range for the game. Terrell Everett scored 18 points and handed out seven assists for OU while Taj Gray contributed 11 points and eight rebounds. Nate Carter added 10 points and four rebounds. The Sooners were outboarded 41-32, marking one of just five games all season they were outrebounded. The box score can be found on page 23 of these game notes.
KEITH CLARK OUT FOR YEAR WITH KNEE INJURY
Freshman Keith Clark sustained torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee during first-half action against SMU on Dec. 28 and will miss the rest of the season. The 6-8, 245-pound forward from Oklahoma City came off the bench in all of his 11 games this year and averaged 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.2 minutes a contest. He scored a season-high nine points against Purdue on Nov. 21 and pulled down a season-high four rebounds twice. Clark will have surgery this week and will be sidelined four to six months.
Ranked the No. 57 player in the 2006 national recruiting class by Rivals.com, Clark led Putnam City High School to the Class 6A state title last year by averaging 14.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists for the season. He was named City Player of the Year by The Oklahoman.
"This is a huge blow to our team," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "First of all, it’s a big blow to Keith. He was just starting to play really well. I thought he had his best game of the year against Tulsa (Dec. 21) and played very well against SMU before he got hurt. He was making the jump to becoming a good college basketball player and I hate to see this happen to him. Keith’s injury will give other players on our team an opportunity to step up and I’m sure they’re looking forward to that challenge."
OU IN BIG 12 HOME OPENERS
Oklahoma is 7-3 in Big 12 home openers. This marks the third time in the last six years that OU has opened its home conference slate against Colorado (the Sooners won 69-54 on Jan. 11, 2003, and 85-55 on Jan. 8, 2005).
Oklahoma leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks 13th in the nation with its +8.7 rebounding margin per game. The importance of rebounding is illustrated in the fact that OU is 8-2 when it has outboarded its opponents and 0-3 when it hasn’t. In their victories, the Sooners have outrebounded their foes by 13.1 a game (41.4 to 28.3). In its last two games, OU outboarded Alabama 40-31 (the Crimson Tide entered the contest outrebounding its opponents by an average of 10.6 a game) and Texas Tech 44-32.
LONGAR CAPITALIZING ON OPPORTUNITY
After playing limited minutes the last two years behind All-Big 12 big men Taj Gray and Kevin Bookout, junior center Longar Longar is making the most of his opportunity this year. The 6-11, 228-pounder averaged 2.9 points in 7.9 minutes a game as a freshman and 2.1 points in 7.2 minutes a contest last year. This season, Longar leads OU with his 12.4 points per game, 7.4 rebounds (ranks eighth in Big 12) and 1.4 blocks (ranks ninth), as well as with his .580 field goal mark (ranks fourth).
Longar turned in a 20-point, career-high 15-rebound game against SMU on Dec. 28, his third double-double of his career (all this season). He also recorded a 24-point, 14-rebound performance against Chaminade in the third round of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Nov. 22, and a 15-point, 11-rebound game against Coppin State on Dec. 9. Additionally, he scored 21 points against Liberty in the second game of the season (Nov. 16).
Longar, who was born in Sudan and also lived in Egypt before coming to the United States, attended high school in Rochester, Minn., and one year of prep school in Laurinburg, N.C. He already has 34 more points this year (161) than he scored over his first two seasons combined (127).
CROCKER AMONG BIG 12’S TOP FRESHMEN
Tony Crocker is having one of the more memorable freshman campaigns in recent OU memory. The true freshman is one of two Sooners (Longar Longar is the other) who has started every game and owns season averages of 10.8 points, (ranks second on team) 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals (in 25.1 minutes a game) while shooting .505 from the field and .789 from the free throw line. He ranks seventh among Big 12 freshmen in scoring.
Crocker, who has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 13.3 points and 5.1 boards during the stretch, is looking to become just the second true freshman since guard Tim McCalister in 1983-84 to average double figures in scoring. McCalister averaged 16.1 points that season while freshman guard Drew Lavender averaged 11.3 points in 2003-04.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Following are some notes about Oklahoma through seven games of play at Lloyd Noble Center this year...
Oklahoma is holding opponents to 47.9 points a contest (five foes have scored less than 50 points). It is outscoring its opponents 72.7 to 47.9 at Lloyd Noble Center (a margin of 24.8 points a game).
The Sooners are shooting .506 at home while opponents have shot .334.
OU is outboarding visiting foes by a 40.0 to 28.4 count (+11.6).
Longar Longar is averaging 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting .630 from the field.
Five of Tony Crocker’s seven double-digit scoring games have come at Lloyd Noble (he also has a nine-point game). He is averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists at home while shooting .550 from the field. He scored 15 points against Norfolk State, 18 versus Liberty, 19 against Villanova, 18 versus UT Arlington and 14 against SMU.
Austin Johnson is shooting .500 from 3-point range (15-for-30).
Opponents have racked up 123 turnovers to just 57 assists.
HOME IS WHERE THE "W" IS
Lloyd Noble Center has been overly kind to the Sooners, as they have won 37 of the last 40 games and 85 of the last 92 in the building. Oklahoma finished 14-1 at home last year after also going 14-1 in 2004-05. OU is 404-66 (.860) in the building since it opened for the 1975-76 campaign. The Sooners have posted home winning streaks of 51 games (1987-90) and 37 games (2001-03). The 37-game streak is a Big 12 Conference record.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND LOSING
The following notes compare Oklahoma’s stats in wins and losses this year...
In its eight wins this year OU is outrebounding its opponents by 13.1 a game. In its five losses it is outboarding its foes by 1.6.
OU is shooting .498 from the field in its wins but only .388 in its defeats.
Opponents are shooting just .315 from the field in OU’s wins while they are shooting .457 in OU’s losses.
OU’s assist-to-turnover ratio in its victories is +1.2 (129 assists and 111 turnovers). The ratio in losses is -1.7 (54 and 94).
Longar Longar is averaging 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds in the Sooners’ wins but just 6.4 points and 5.2 boards in their defeats.
Interestingly, OU is shooting .637 from the free throw line in its wins compared to .701 in its losses.
STACKING UP AGAINST THE BIG 12
OU ranks first in the Big 12 in rebounding margin (+8.7), second in scoring defense (56.1 ppg), second in field goal percentage defense (.370) and fifth in blocked shots (4.9 bpg).
Longar Longar ranks fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.580), eighth in rebounding (7.4), fourth in offensive rebounding (3.2) and ninth in blocked shots (1.4).
Taylor Griffin (10th) and David Godbold (18th) rank in the top 20 in rebounding with their 7.0 and 5.6 respective averages. Griffin also ranks seventh in the league with his 4.9 defensive boards a contest.
Austin Johnson’s 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks eighth in the conference.
The 2006-07 season marks the 100th year 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 1,437-914 (.611) all-time record and a 404-66 (.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).
NATION’S LONGEST POSTSEASON STREAK
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.
NINE STRAIGHT 20-WIN CAMPAIGNS
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.