OU-Texas Men's Basketball Preview

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 28, 2012

  Sam Grooms had 10 assists against Texas in Norman two weeks ago.
 Oklahoma (14-14, 4-12) at Texas (18-11, 8-8)
 Date & Tip Time  Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 8:05 p.m. CT
 Location  Austin, Texas | Erwin Center
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office


 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Sirius 91
 XM 91
 Webcast  watchespn.com
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Playing its final Big 12 road game of the season, Oklahoma (14-14, 4-12) takes on Texas (18-11, 8-8) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT in Austin.  The Sooners, coming off a 70-60 loss at Baylor on Saturday, are 1-7 in Big 12 road games (lone win at Kansas State).  The Longhorns, who won 71-67 at Texas Tech in overtime on Saturday, are 5-3 in conference home games.

Wednesday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 91; XM 91) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing.  The game will be televised by ESPN2 with Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla calling the action.

• Oklahoma holds a 47-33 all-time advantage over Texas and is 16-17 against the Longhorns in Austin. However, the Sooners have lost each of the last six seasons there (66-46 last year).
• Texas posted a 69-58 win over OU in Norman on Feb. 14. The Sooners led 33-28 at halftime but were outscored 41-25 after the break. The Longhorns went 24-for-29 from the free throw line while OU was 5-for-8.
• In its four Big 12 wins, Oklahoma has held opponents to .376 field goal shooting. In OU's 12 Big 12 losses, opponents are shooting .487 from the field.
• OU has actually made more field goals than its opponent in five of its Big 12 losses, including in two of its last three defeats (24-20 vs. Texas and 23-21 at Baylor). In those five losses, the Sooners have been outscored by 66 points from 3-point range and by 39 points at the free throw line.
• After combining to average 7.8 points over OU's first 12 conference games, the sophomore duo of Cameron Clark (13.8) and Tyler Neal (7.3) is averaging 21.1 points over the last four outings on combined .523 shooting.

 Sooner to Watch 

 Steven Pledger | Jr. | Guard
 • Recorded 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists Feb. 14 vs. Texas in Norman
 • Ranks fifth in Big 12 in scoring (17.0) and fourth in 3-pointers per game (2.5)
 • Has 18 games of at least 15 points this season (eight with at least 20)
 • Needs just six points to become the 38th player in school history to score 1,000


• In sixth place in the Big 12 at 8-8, Texas has won five of its last seven games after enduring a stretch of five losses in six contests.  The Longhorns, 18-11 overall, are 5-3 in conference road games, with their losses coming to Kansas (69-66), Missouri (67-66) and Baylor (77-72).  Eight of their 11 losses have come by six points or fewer, or in overtime.
• Texas is coming off a 71-67 overtime win at Texas Tech on Saturday, a game in which it turned 20 Red Raider turnovers into 23 points.
• In conference play, Texas ranks fifth in scoring (69.8 ppg), seventh in field goal percentage (.421), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (.336) and fourth in free throw percentage (.742).
• Junior guard J'Covan Brown leads the Big 12 in scoring with his 19.5 season average.  He has led the team in scoring 19 times in 29 games (nine times in the last 13 outings) and has tallied at least 20 points on a league-high 15 occasions.  Brown has three games of at least 30 points this season, including a 34-point performance at Missouri when he went 6-for-7 from 3-point range.
• Freshman guard Sheldon McClellan ranks second on the team with his 11.2 points per contest.  Coming off the bench in 22 of 29 games, he has made 26 treys (shooting .299) and 84 free throws (.757).  He has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games.
• Freshman point guard Myck Kabongo averages 10.4 points per game and ranks fourth in the Big 12 with his 5.1 assists per outing.  He leads the team with his 164 free throw attempts on the year and is averaging 14.4 points over the last five games.
Rick Barnes is in his 14th year as Texas' head coach and owns a 340-134 record there.

Oklahoma owns a 47-33 series lead against Texas despite losing each of the last five and 12 of the last 14 meetings.  OU is 16-17 against the Longhorns in Austin but has lost the last six meetings there.  Since the start of the Big 12 in 1996-97, OU is 18-20 against Texas (5-10 in Austin).  UT won 66-46 last year at the Erwin Center.

• Oklahoma led 33-28 at halftime but was outscored 41-25 after the break in a 69-58 home loss to Texas on Feb. 14.
• OU made four more field goals than the Longhorns (24-20), but was outscored by 19 at the free throw line.  Texas was 24-for-29 at the charity stripe while OU was 5-for-8.
• The Sooners were outscored 21-5 off turnovers.  After committing just three turnovers in the first half that led to only two Texas points, OU racked up 10 turnovers after halftime that resulted in 19 points.
• Texas' .385 field goal percentage was the second worst against OU in Big 12 play this year and second worst by an opponent in victory the entire season.
• A .380 field goal shooter entering the game, guard Cameron Clark went 6-for-9 and finished with 13 points (his most in 16 games) and a team-high seven rebounds.  Guard Steven Pledger netted 18 points while forward Romero Osby contributed 13.  Point guard Sam Grooms was scoreless but tied a career high with 10 assists, and forward Tyler Neal's eight points were his most in Big 12 play.

After averaging 8.6 points and shooting .386 from the field and .345 from 3-point range over his first two seasons, junior guard Steven Pledger is averaging 17.0 points this year while shooting .471 from the field and .416 from long distance.  Pledger ranks fourth in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game (2.5), fifth in scoring and field goal percentage, and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage (.837).
• The Dec. 19 and Jan. 30 Big 12 Player of the Week, Pledger has scored in double figures in 24 of his 27 outings.  He has scored at least 20 points eight times after doing it three times all of last year, and has netted at least 15 points on 10 other occasions.
• Pledger has already made 48 more field goals (160) in 27 games this year than he did in 32 games last season (112).  He has played 103 fewer minutes this season than last.
• Pledger needs just six points to become the 38th player in OU history to score 1,000 in a career.  Only 28 players in school history reached 1,000 points prior to their fourth playing year.  He already ranks sixth at OU in career 3-point makes with 173.

• Sophomore guard Cameron Clark has had his four best offensive performances in Big 12 play the last four games, registering 13 points Feb. 14 vs. Texas, 16 points (his most in 19 games) Feb. 18 at Iowa State, 14 points last Wednesday at Oklahoma State and 12 points Saturday at Baylor.  Clark, who had been held to single-digit scoring in nine of OU's first 12 league games, is averaging 13.8 points on 25-for-43 (.581) shooting during the four-game stretch.  He is also averaging 5.3 rebounds in those outings.  A starter in 57 of his 60 career games, Clark is averaging 8.5 points on .417 shooting this season after averaging 9.3 points on .474 shooting last year. 

• Junior point guard Sam Grooms leads the Big 12 in assists (6.1 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.1; ranks fourth nationally).  No other player in the Big 12 owns an assist-to-turnover ratio greater than 2.5.  Grooms has been on a tear of late, averaging 7.4 assists and just 1.8 turnovers (4.1 ratio) over the last 11 games.  He has recorded at least five assists and no more than three turnovers in all 11 of those outings.  Grooms, who has also scored in double figures three times over the last six games (he was held to single digits in his previous 10 games), has registered two or fewer turnovers 19 times in 28 contests, including 10 of the last 12 outings.  Only one Sooner in the last 15 years averaged more assists for an entire season than Grooms' current 6.1 average (6.9 by Terrell Everett in 2005-06).

• Junior forward Romero Osby ranks second in the Big 12 with his 2.8 offensive rebounds per game and third with his 7.7 overall boards per outing.  He also ranks third with seven double-doubles.  He has recorded at least 10 rebounds on nine occasions this year (his career high entering the season was eight rebounds).  Osby, who turned in a 16-point, 13-rebound effort against Oklahoma State last Wednesday, is averaging 14.4 points over the last 14 games and has scored at least nine points in all 14 (including a career-high 19 points at No. 8 Kansas on Feb. 1).  His scoring surge can be partially attributed to his ability to get to the free throw line.  Osby has 75 free throw attempts over the last 14 games (5.4 average), almost twice as many as the next highest total on the team during the span (40 attempts by Steven Pledger).

• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald has scored in double figures in 18 of the last 23 games but not in any of the last four.  After averaging 14.7 points on .506 shooting over a 19-game stretch, he is averaging 5.8 points on .273 (9-for-33) shooting the last four outings against Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Baylor.  Fitzgerald, who poured in a career-high 27 points Feb. 4 against Iowa State when he drained a career-high 11 field goals on 19 attempts, ranks second on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.0 rpg).  He has the same number of offensive boards (70) as defensive.

OU closes the regular season at home against Texas A&M on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.  The game will be televised by the Big 12 Network.  It will be the last home game for seniors T.J. Franklin, Barry Honoré and C.J. Washington.



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