Sooners at No. 8 Kansas Wednesday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 31, 2012

  Sam Grooms has 25 assists and just three turnovers over the last four games.
 Oklahoma (13-7, 3-5) at No. 8/8 Kansas (17-4, 4-1)
 Date & Tip Time  Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 8:05 p.m. CT
 Location  Lawrence, Kan. | Allen Fieldhouse
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office


 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Oklahoma takes on its sixth ranked opponent in nine games to start the Big 12 season when it plays at No. 8/8 Kansas on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.  The Sooners (13-7, 3-5) are coming off a 63-60 road win over No. 22/24 Kansas State on Saturday, while the Jayhawks (17-4, 7-1) lost for the first time in Big 12 play the same day, 72-64 at Iowa State.  Kansas has won 17 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse.

Wednesday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing.  The game will be televised by ESPNU (televised in 3D where available) with Mitch Holthus and Miles Simon calling the action.

• Kansas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against Oklahoma.  The Sooners are 64-137 all-time against KU and have lost 10 straight in Lawrence (last win in Allen Fieldhouse was in 1993).

• In the season's first meeting between OU and Kansas on Jan. 7, the Sooners held a 34-33 halftime lead before allowing KU to shoot .600 from the field in the second half.  OU shot .296 after halftime and lost 72-61.

• Including Wednesday's game vs. Kansas, six of OU's first nine conference contests will have been played against ranked opponents.  Only two of the Sooners' final nine league games are against teams currently ranked in the AP top 25 (vs. Missouri and at Baylor).

• OU is the only school in the Big 12 that has three players ranked in the top 15 in scoring in league play.  Steven Pledger averages 16.5 points a game (ranks sixth) and is followed by fellow juniors Romero Osby (13.6; ranks 14th) and Andrew Fitzgerald (13.5; ranks 15th).  The trio has combined for 349 of the team's 524 points (67 percent) in conference play.

• In Big 12 games, Oklahoma ranks second in the league with its +3.2 average turnover margin.  OU averages just 11.4 turnovers while opponents average 14.6.  The Sooners have outscored league foes 141-106 off turnovers in Big 12 play.

• Oklahoma has been superb at the free throw line in Big 12 play with its .763 mark.  Pledger (24-for-24) and Carl Blair (18-for-21) are a combined 42-for-45 (.933) at the stripe.  Pledger has missed one free throw since Dec. 10 (41 for his last 42).

 Sooner to Watch 

 Steven Pledger | Jr. | Guard
 • Coming off a 30-point game at Kansas State in which he went 11-for-17 from field
 • Ranks second in Big 12 in scoring (17.8) and first in 3-pointers per game (2.7)
 • Ranks seventh nationally with his .906 free throw percentage (24-for-24 in Big 12 play)
 • Has six 20+ scoring games this year after recording three all of last season


• Ranked No. 8 in both the AP and coaches' polls, Kansas is coming off its first loss of the Big 12 season on Saturday.  The Jayhawks (17-4 overall, 7-1 Big 12) fell 72-64 at unranked Iowa State, their first defeat in 11 games.  They hold a half-game lead over Missouri (7-2) for the top spot in the league race.

• Kansas is 11-0 at home and has won 17 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse.  It has won its four Big 12 home games by an average of 13.8 points (over Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and Texas A&M).

• In Big 12 play, the Jayhawks average 73.9 points per game (rank third in league) and are shooting .480 from the field (second), .331 from 3-point distance (fifth) and .684 from the free throw line (seventh).  They rank second in rebounding margin (+3.8 per game).

• Junior forward Thomas Robinson, a teammate of OU's Andrew Fitzgerald at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, ranks fourth in the Big 12 (all games) in scoring (17.5 ppg) and first in rebounding (11.8 rpg; ranks No. 2 nationally).  Robinson's 14 double-doubles are eight more than the league's second-highest total (six by OU's Romero Osby and Iowa State's Royce White).  The three-time Big 12 Player of the Week is averaging 16.0 points and 8.7 rebounds the last three games.

• Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor averages 16.5 points and a team-high 5.2 assists per game (ranks fifth in league).  A career .360 3-point shooter entering the season, Taylor has made 33 of his 73 attempts this season for a .452 mark.

• Junior guards Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson average 9.7 and 9.2 points per game, respectively.  Releford, who scored a career-high 28 points vs. OU on Jan. 7, is shooting .518 from the field.  Johnson, meanwhile, also averages 3.6 assists and has made a team-high 34 3-pointers (shooting .298 from behind the arc).

Bill Self is in his ninth year as Kansas' head coach and owns a 254-50 record.  He's in his 19th year overalls.

Kansas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against Oklahoma.  The Jayhawks own a 137-64 series advantage and are 69-16 vs. OU in Lawrence.  The Sooners had won three of five overall meetings in the series and four of seven prior to Kansas' current seven-game victory streak.  OU is 4-16 against the Jayhawks since the formation of the Big 12 Conference.  The Sooners have lost 10 straight games in Lawrence.  Their last win there came as an unranked team in 1993 (80-77 over the No. 6 Jayhawks).

• Oklahoma led 34-33 at halftime but was outscored 39-27 afterward in a 72-61 home loss to No. 14 Kansas on Jan. 7.  After shooting .424 from the field in the first half, the Jayhawks posted a .600 mark in the second.  OU shot .478 in the first half but just .296 afterward.

• The Sooners committed 17 turnovers (one shy of their season high), which led to 20 Kansas points.  The Jayhawks also outscored OU 16-2 via the fast break and racked up 48 points in the paint to OU's 16.

• The Big 12's top two rebounding teams at the time tied each other on the glass, 34-34.

• Junior guard Steven Pledger scored a team-high 14 points but was held to 4-for-12 shooting.  He made all five of his free throw attempts and two of the team's three 3-pointers.

• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald scored 11 points for his ninth straight double-digit game and added seven rebounds. 

• Junior guard Carl Blair recorded 11 points (his most since the season opener) and three assists in 12 minutes off the bench.  He was 6-for-6 at the free throw line.

• Kansas junior guard Travis Releford scored a career-high 28 points on 9-for-13 field goal shooting.  Releford's previous career high was 16 points.  Junior forward Thomas Robinson added 18 points and nine rebounds.

Oklahoma returns home to host Iowa State on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT (televised by ESPN2).



Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications and Tyler Media, LLC.


Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.