Jeff Capel's OU men's basketball team (3-2) plays its first game in 10 days when it meets TCU (4-2) on Saturday at 1 p.m. inside Lloyd Noble Center and will look to extend its nation's-longest non-conference home winning streak (48 games). The contest will mark the first of five home games in December for the Sooners. OU is coming off a 72-57 win over Chaminade in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational after losing to No. 12 Memphis (77-65) and Purdue (74-71). The Horned Frogs lost at home to Texas Tech on Wednesday (70-60).
Saturday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC-AM 1520 in Oklahoma City) with Brian Brinkley and Mike Houck announcing. It will be televised on the Sooner Sports Network (KAUT Ch. 43/Cox 16 in OKC) with Toby Rowland and Charlie Spoonhour calling the action. The contest will also be available for viewing on ESPN Full Court. Additionally, an Internet webcast on SoonerSports.com will be available (an O-Zone subscription is required).
Tip: 1:08 p.m. CST
TV: Sooner Sports Network
Stations: KAUT Ch. 43, Cox 16 (OKC); KQCW Cox 12 (Tulsa); ESPN Full Court
Radio: Sooner Radio Network
Flagship: KOKC 1520 AM (OKC)
Webcast: O-Zone on SoonerSports.com
Series: OU leads 9-1
Upper-level reserved seats are available for $10 (north and south) and $20 (east and west) at the OU Athletics Ticket Office this week (800-456-4668). Lloyd Noble Center’s north and east ticket windows will open Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Family packs are available for Saturday’s game. For $10 per person, fans receive a game ticket, hot dog, soft drink and a coupon for a free t-shirt. A minimum purchase of four tickets is required and must be bought prior to the day of the game.
The first 250 OU students in the CrimZone floor sections will receive a free t-shirt.
TCU PROJECTED STARTERS (Season Averages)
F 12 Femi Ibikunle (6-9, 260, Sr., 2.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
F 32 Kevin Langford (6-8, 242, So., 11.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
G 2 Brent Hackett (6-2, 203, Jr., 8.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
G 5 Neiman Owens (6-3, 195, Jr., 6.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
G 13 Neil P. Dougherty (6-0, 195, Sr., 3.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS (Season Averages)
F 32 Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, So., 9.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg)
C 30 Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 14.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
G 2 Michael Neal (6-3, 198, Sr., 10.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
G 5 Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 8.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg)
G 20 Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 12.0 ppg, 5.0 apg)
The Sooners return home following a trip to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational that saw them go 1-2. Oklahoma lost 77-65 in the opening round to No. 12 Memphis, dropped a 74-71 decision to Purdue in the second round and rebounded to down host Chaminade 72-57 in the third round. OU shot just .416 from the field and .282 from 3-point range over the three games while also averaging 17.0 turnovers. A bright spot was the team’s free throw shooting, as OU posted a .880 mark at the line (44-for-50).
On the season, Oklahoma is shooting .463 from the field, .324 from 3-point range and .750 from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting .367 from the field, .309 from beyond the arc and .651 at the charity stripe. OU is outrebounding its foes by more than eight a game (40.2 to 31.8).
MAUI INVITATIONAL LEFTOVERS
David Godbold started against Memphis but was held to two points and four rebounds in 26 minutes. Coming off the bench against Purdue and Chaminade, though, the junior guard averaged 13.0 points and 8.5 boards in 28.5 minutes. His 17 points against Purdue were a career high and his nine boards in the game tied a career best.
Freshman guard Tony Crocker entered the Maui Invitational averaging 16.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, but was held to 3.7 points and 1.3 boards in three starts in Hawaii. He battled foul trouble and was limited to 16.3 minutes a game.
Eight of the nine Sooners who saw action in the tournament shot at least .800 from the free throw line.
Longar Longar was a combined 15-of-17 from the field (.882) against Purdue (3-of-4) and Chaminade (12-of-13). Thirteen of his 23 rebounds in the tournament were offensive.
The Sooners moved to 5-4 all-time in the Maui Invitational. They went 2-1 in each of their previous trips (1988 and 1992).
TCU enters Saturday’s game with a 4-2 record. The Horned Frogs own wins over Centenary (72-66), Stephen F. Austin (59-53), UT Arlington (97-89 in double overtime) and Grambling State (64-46), and have lost at St. Mary’s (Calif.) (74-53) and at home to Texas Tech (70-60). The game against Texas Tech was on Wednesday night. TCU is averaging 67.5 points a game while surrendering 66.3. It is shooting .426 from the field, .314 from 3-point range and .559 from the free throw line, and is outrebounding its opponents 37.7 to 35.3 a game.
The Horned Frogs are led in scoring by Ryan Wall, a junior guard who has come off the bench in all six games. The New Mexico transfer averages 11.5 points in 21.8 minutes per contest and is 36-for-42 (.857) from the free throw line (7.0 attempts a game). Wall is shooting .333 from 3-point range (7-for-21) and leads the squad with 13 steals. Sophomore forward Kevin Langford, another transfer (California), averages 11.0 points and 5.8 rebounds a game. The brother of former Kansas standout Keith Langford is shooting .558 from the field but just .250 from the free throw line (8-for-32). Junior guard Brent Hackett scores 8.5 points a game and has made a team-high 10 treys on 31 attempts (.323) while junior forward Alvardo Parker has supplied 8.3 points and 5.7 boards a game off the bench. The team’s leading rebounder is 6-3 junior guard Neiman Owens, who averages 6.5 boards to go along with 6.8 points a contest.
Neil Dougherty is in his fifth season as a collegiate head coach, all at TCU. He owns a 52-77 (.403) record in his fifth year.
Oklahoma owns a 9-1 record against TCU and is 3-0 in Norman (Saturday’s game will be the first of the series played at Lloyd Noble Center). The series dates back to the 1918-19 season when the Sooners notched a 91-34 home win. Eight of the series’ 10 games were played prior to the 1970s. TCU’s lone win against OU came during the 1986-87 season in the All-College Tournament championship game in Oklahoma City, 95-82. The teams have met one time since, with OU posting a 78-73 win during the 1991-92 campaign in another All-College title game.
TCU head coach Neil Dougherty earned his master’s degree (education) from OU in 1987 after receiving a bachelor’s degree (education) from Cameron University (Lawton, Okla.) in 1984.
Dougherty served as an assistant coach at Kansas (1995-96 through 2001-02) under Roy Williams and helped the Jayhawks to an 8-3 record against the Sooners. His last game with KU against Oklahoma was a 64-55 Sooners' win in the 2002 Big 12 Tournament title game when OU was ranked No. 4 in the nation and the Jayhawks were No. 1. Both teams advanced to the Final Four.
Former Oklahoma head coach Billy Tubbs preceded Dougherty as TCU’s head coach. Tubbs, who went 333-132 (.716) at OU from 1980-81 through 1993-94, posted a 156-95 (.622) record at TCU from 1994-95 through 2001-02.
Oklahoma’s top three scorers are a combined 28-for-30 (.933) from the free throw line. Longar Longar and Austin Johnson are each 9-for-10 while Michael Neal is 10-for-10.
Longar is eight points shy of last year’s season total of 79.
Half of Longar’s 36 rebounds this season have come on the offensive end of the floor.
The Sooners are 3-0 in games they’ve outrebounded their opponent and 0-2 when they’ve been outboarded.
Three Sooners rank in the top 20 of the Big 12 in rebounding. Taylor Griffin (8.2) is sixth, Longar (7.2) is ninth and David Godbold (6.2) is 19th.
Godbold is averaging 6.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.0 3-pointer in three games as a starter and 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 treys in two games coming off the bench.
The OU single-season record for free throw percentage is .767, set in 2001-02. This year’s team is shooting .750.
STACKING UP AGAINST THE BIG 12
Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with its .750 season free throw figure. The Sooners' .950 effort against Memphis (19-for-20) stands as the best by a league team this year.
OU ranks third in the Big 12 in rebounding margin (+8.4), third in field goal percentage defense (.367) and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.309).
Longar Longar ranks second in the conference in field goal percentage (.646), second in offensive rebounding (3.6), ninth in rebounding (7.2) and 13th in scoring (14.2). His .923 (12-for-13) field goal effort against Chaminade is the best by a league player this season while his 14 boards in the same game stand as the second most by a Big 12 player on the year.
Taylor Griffin ranks sixth in the Big 12 in rebounding (8.2) and second in defensive rebounding (6.4).
Austin Johnson’s 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the conference.
HOME COURT NON-CONFERENCE RULE
The Sooners have won 48 straight non-conference home games (and 56 of their last 58), giving them the longest current streak in the country. Cincinnati is the last non-conference opponent to hand Oklahoma a loss inside Lloyd Noble Center, a 72-57 outcome on Dec. 22, 1999.
Trailing Oklahoma in consecutive home non-conference wins are Duke (46), Utah State (38) and Sam Houston State (31).
HOME IS WHERE THE "W" IS
Lloyd Noble Center has been overly kind to the Sooners, as they have won 33 of the last 35 games and 81 of the last 87 in the building. Oklahoma finished 14-1 at home last year after also going 14-1 in 2004-05. OU is 400-65 (.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 2006-07 season marks the 100th 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 1,432-911 (.611) all-time record and a 400-65 (.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).
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.
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.