Jan. 20, 2003
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Ranked fifth in the current AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, Oklahoma (11-3 overall, 2-1 Big 12) will host Texas Tech (11-2, 1-1) on Monday at 8 p.m. CST inside Lloyd Noble Center. Tech is ranked 25th in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The first of two regular season meetings between the teams will air live on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOMA 1520 AM in Oklahoma City, KFAQ 1170 AM in Tulsa) with Bob Barry, Sr. (play-by-play) and Mike Houck (analyst) calling the action. The matcup will be televised nationally by ESPN with Ron Franklin (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) announcing.
A limited number of upper-level tickets are still available for $20 apiece.
AVERAGES TEXAS TECH PROJECTED STARTERS PPG RPG F 22 Kasib Powell (6-7, 215, Sr.) 16.5 5.4 F 55 Robert Tomaszek (6-9, 240, Jr.) 8.8 4.7 G 10 Will Chavis (5-10,190, Sr.) 6.8 2.8 G 23 Mikey Marshall (6-4, 228, Jr.) 3.2 1.7 G 24 Ronald Ross (6-2, 195, So.) 5.1 1.8
OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS PPG RPG F 34 Kevin Bookout (6-8, 260, Fr.) 9.1 5.9 C 21 Jabahri Brown (6-10, 210, Jr.) 6.9 6.0 G 2 Ebi Ere (6-5, 215, Sr.) 16.6 5.6 G 4 Quannas White (6-1, 190, Sr.) 6.6 3.6 G 10 Hollis Price (6-1, 170, Sr.) 18.5 2.4
STATISTICAL COMPARISON Category Oklahoma Texas Tech Overall Record 11-3 11-2 Points Per Game 72.8 80.1 Opponent Points Per Game 58.6 65.4 Rebounds Per Game 38.6 36.5 Opponent Rebounds Per Game 32.5 35.6 Field Goal Pct. .440 .494 Opponent Field Goal Pct. .405 .424 3-Point Pct. .358 .281 Opponent 3-Point Pct. .364 .311 Free Throw Pct. .734 .655 Personal Fouls Per Game 18.4 16.4 Assists Per Game 14.5 18.1 Turnovers Per Game 11.7 12.3 Blocked Shots Per Game 3.4 2.8 Steals Per Game 8.9 10.7
The Sooners rebounded from their controversial two-point defeat at Oklahoma State by picking up a 70-60 road win against Iowa State on Saturday. Hollis Price scorched the nets for 31 points (22 after halftime) thanks to a career-high nine three-pointers on 15 attempts. Kevin Bookout was 6-for-7 from the field and scored 16 points (one shy of his career high) while Quannas White contributed 11 points and five assists without a turnover. OU, which led by as many as 16, forced 16 Cyclone turnovers while committing just 11.
Price, the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, moved into 11th place on OU's career scoring list (1,468 points) with his outburst against Iowa State. He ranks fourth in the league with his 18.5 points per outing and also averages 2.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals. Price leads the league with his .922 free throw figure and upped his season three-point mark to .388 (38-for-98). Following back-to-back single-digit scoring efforts (six and five points), fellow senior guard Ebi Ere's scoring average has dropped from 18.5 before the Oklahoma State game to 16.6 now. He is 3-for-20 from the field over the last two games but still ranks 11th in the conference in scoring. Quannas White, the team's third starting senior guard, is averaging 6.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He leads the Big 12 with a 3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio and averages just 1.0 turnover per game. White has scored in double figures the past two games (10 against Oklahoma State and 11 versus Iowa State).
In the frontcourt, Bookout averages 9.1 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting a team-best .576 from the field. In OU's two games last week, the freshman forward was 13-for-18 from the field and averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 boards. Junior center Jabahri Brown averages 6.9 points and a team-high 6.0 boards per game. Brown has blocked 19 shots over the last eight games (2.4 average). He scored just four points at Iowa State on Saturday but had nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH
In its Big 12 home opener on Saturday, Texas Tech shot .523 from the field and forced 23 turnovers in an 80-64 win over Baylor. It improved the team's league mark to 1-1 as the Red Raiders turned in their worst performance of the season the previous Saturday in a 68-44 loss at Kansas State. Tech's other lone loss came at Wyoming on Dec. 14, 67-62. Bob Knight's squad, which has yet to play ranked opponent, leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (8.1) and ranks second in scoring offense (80.1 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (.494). However, Tech ranks last in three-pointers per game (3.0), three-point field goal percentage (.281), and field goal percentage defense (.424), and 11th in free throw percentage (.655).
Junior guard Andre Emmett ranked third in the league in scoring last year (18.7 ppg) and leads this year with his 21.4 points per outing. He also averages 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.1 steals, and is shooting .545 from the field. Emmett, who did not start Saturday, has scored in double figures in every game and went for 31 versus New Mexico and New Mexico State. Senior forward Kasib Powell averages 16.5 points, 5.4 boards and 3.9 assists per game while junior forward Robert Tomaszek averages 8.8 points and 4.7 boards.
In his second year at Texas Tech, Knight owns a 798-300 career mark. He was 102-50 in six seasons at Army, 662-239 in 29 years at Indiana and is 34-11 at Tech.
TEXAS TECH SERIES HISTORY
Oklahoma leads the overall series with Texas Tech, 17-12, and owns an 11-4 advantage in Norman. Kelvin Sampson is 8-5 against the Red Raiders as OU's head coach and is 4-3 at Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners have won seven of the last nine meetings, but the teams split last year with the home squad victorious each game. The Sooners posted an impressive 98-72 win in Norman Jan. 12 as Hollis Price scored a season-high 27 points on 6-for-7 three-point shooting and Ebi Ere recorded 25 points and eight boards. The pair combined to make 18-of-27 field goal tries. OU limited Tech to .355 field goal shooting and forced 20 Red Raider turnovers while committing 12. In the rematch two weeks later, Price again scored 27 points but they weren't enough as Tech handed the Sooners their most lopsided loss of the season, 92-79. The Red Raiders shot .567 from the field (.655 after halftime) and Andre Emmett's 26 points led five Tech players in double figures. Emmett also had 10 rebounds. Kasib Powell scored 19 points and Andy Ellis added 18.
IOWA STATE LEFTOVERS
600 FOR SAMPSON
While Texas Tech coach Bob Knight approaches career win No. 800 (he has 798), Monday's game will mark the 600th for OU's Kelvin Sampson as a collegiate coach. In his 20th year as a head coach, Sampson sports a 374-225 (.624) record. At Oklahoma, he is 198-77 (.720) in his ninth season.
Oklahoma has played 14 games this season and, remarkably, only one opponent has registered more assists than turnovers. Princeton (13 assists, 10 turnovers) did it in the third game of the season on Nov. 23. OU foes have recorded 79 more turnovers than assists this season (difference of 5.6 per game). Opponents sport a 0.64 assist-to-turnover ratio while the Sooners own a considerably-more lavish 1.24 figure.
Alabama opened the season with 68 points against the Sooners, the highest figure surrendered by OU this year. Oklahoma has held two opponents to point totals in the 40s, four in the 50s and eight in the 60s. The last time OU held 14 straight opponents to 68 points or less in a single season was the 1950-51 campaign (first 22 games of the year). In the last 10 games, Sooner foes are averaging a mere 56.2 points.
In the last 10 games, Oklahoma has limited Hartford, Coppin State, Georgia State, Mississippi State, UNC Asheville, Michigan State, Connecticut, Colorado, Oklahoma State and Iowa State to a collective .377 field goal mark (200-for-531), dropping the team's field goal percentage defense figure from .480 prior to the Hartford game to .405 now. Also, OU averaged just 1.0 blocked shot in its first four contests but is averaging 4.3 over its last 10 games.
Senior Hollis Price attempted 99 free throws last year (2.8 per game). This year, however, Price has already attempted 77 foul shots (5.5 per game). He has made 31-of-33 free throws over the last five games and had a streak of 27 consecutive makes snapped at Oklahoma State last Monday (Ryan Minor holds the school record with 30 consecutive makes during the 1995-96 season). Price leads the Big 12 with his .922 season free throw mark and ranks second on the OU career free throw percentage chart with an .847 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
If Oklahoma is ranked in the new AP poll's top 10 on Monday, it will mark 22 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.
OU's starting guard trio of Ebi Ere, Hollis Price and Quannas White undoubtedly forms one of the nation's top backcourts. The threesome has accounted for 57 percent of the team's points, 64 percent of its assists and 47 percent of its steals. The three guards have also made 76 percent of OU's three-pointers on the year and 66 percent of its free throws.
HEAVY IN THE BACK(COURT)
Sooner backcourt members have scored 696 of the team's 1,019 points this year. That means 68 percent of OU's scoring has come from its guards. The guards have also registered 167 of the team's 203 assists (82 percent).
OU BOARDING SCHOOL
Since being outrebounded by Alabama (38-32) and UC Irvine (31-29) in their first two games of the year, the Sooners have outboarded their last 12 opponents by an average of 7.8 caroms per contest. Oklahoma registered a season-high 52 boards against Colorado Jan. 11. Against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 30, OU posted a 50-25 rebounding advantage (including a 27-1 margin in offensive rebounds). On the season, Oklahoma is outrebounding its opponents by a 6.1 margin per game.
Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson has long stressed protecting the basketball 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 last Monday against Oklahoma State (its fewest since commiting five vs. Arizona in last year's Sweet 16) rank first in the Big 12 this season with only 11.7 turnovers per game. Also, OU has committed the same or fewer turnovers than its foes in 12 of 14 games.
One of the best guards to ever wear an Oklahoma uniform, senior Hollis Price is averaging 15.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game this season. He has already passed 11 players (Corey Brewer, Bobby Jack, Garfield Heard, David Little, Aaron Curry, Al Beal, Mookie Blaylock, David Johnson, Terry Evans, Harvey Grant and Chucky Barnett) on the school's all-time scoring chart this season. Price now stands 11th on the career list with 1,468 points and needs 39 points to tie John McCullough for 10th. If he duplicates last year's 577-point performance this season, Price will wind up seventh on the career scoring list. The New Orleans native also ranks second in career free throw percentage (.847), third in three-point field goals (185), third in three-point field goal attempts (495), fifth in minutes played (3,596), fifth in steals (191), seventh in assists (413) and ninth in steals per game (1.7).
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.
Said OU head coach Kelvin Sampson, "To me, he's our heart and soul. Hollis embodies what we want in a Sooner basketball player. The way he practices, the way he carries himself off the court, the way he performs in the classroom, his effort and his pride are impressive. There are very few things in the future that I dread, but I can honestly tell you that I'm really, really dreading senior night. I'm going to really enjoy every minute I'm with Hollis this year because I don't know when I'll get another one like him."
ERE COOLS AFTER HOT START
Guard Ebi Ere had a stellar start to his senior season but has cooled the last two games. The 6-5, 215-pounder led the Sooners in scoring in eight of the first 12 games and boasted a 18.4 scoring average after those first 12 contests. Over the past two games at Oklahoma State and Iowa State, however, Ere has averaged 5.5 points on a combined 3-for-20 (.150) field goal shooting. He has also made 1-of-6 three-point tries over the past two games. Despite the drought, Ere still ranks 11th in the league with his 16.6 scoring average. He also averages 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals per outing. Against Princeton in the Sooner Invitational championship game, he registered 27 points (two shy of his then-career high), seven rebounds, a career-high six assists, a blocked shot and two steals. Versus Hartford, he set a career high with 33 points and added eight boards, three assists and a steal in 28 minutes.
THE BOOK ON BOOKOUT
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 12.0 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds while shooting .615 in OU's three conference games. Over the past two games, Bookout has averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting a remarkable .722 (13-for-18). He has started all 14 games and is averaging 9.1 points and 5.9 rebounds on the season, and boasts a .576 mark from the field in 28.1 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).
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 9-0 this season, is 350-59 (.856) inside the building since it opened for the 1975-76 campaign. The Sooners are 113-16 (.876) at home under ninth-year head coach Kelvin Sampson and have won 31 straight. The 31-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 second longest current streak (BYU has won 44 straight).
In eight-plus years under Kelvin Sampson, the Sooners sport a 107-10 record (.915) when scoring at least 80 points. OU was 15-0 under the circumstance last year and is 5-0 this season. The Sooners have won 46 of their last 48 games (.958) when scoring 80 or more.
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 great free throw shooting start this season. Through 14 games, the Sooners own a .734 free throw mark, second best in the Big 12.
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)
1. Duke (95-13)
2. Cincinnati (85-18)
2. Tulsa (85-23)
4. Oklahoma (84-19)
UNDER KELVIN SAMPSON ENTERING 2002-03...