Men's Basketball Hosts Washburn Sunday at 2 p.m.

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 05, 2011

  Andrew Fitzgerald
 Oklahoma (0-0) vs. Washburn (0-0)
 Date & Tip Time  Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2:07 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center | Seating Views
 Tickets  $5, $8 and $15; Free to OU students with valid OU I.D.
 OU Athletics Ticket Office
 TV  Sooner Sports Network
 COX 3 (703 HD) in Oklahoma City and Tulsa
 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Webcast All-Access
 Live Stats GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Oklahoma plays its second of two preseason exhibition games Sunday at 2 p.m. CT when its hosts NCAA Division II member Washburn at Lloyd Noble Center.  The Sooners are coming off an 85-51 win over Division II Northeastern State on Tuesday, the same night Washburn lost a hard-fought game at UNLV, 58-50.  Sunday'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 the Sooner Sports Network (Cox Cable 3 and 703 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa) with Chad McKee and Billy Tubbs calling the action.  A live webcast will be offered for free on

• Tickets are available for $5, $10 and $20 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office and online at  Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at noon on Sunday.
• OU students who present a valid school I.D. will be admitted to Sunday's game free of charge (lower north entrance).

Oklahoma made its exhibition debut under head coach Lon Kruger a triumphant one with its 85-51 win over Northeastern State Tuesday night.  The Sooners jumped out to a 17-2 lead and were up 48-22 at halftime after going 6-for-11 from 3-point range.  OU outscored the RiverHawks 37-29 after halftime and finished the game with a .509 field goal mark, a .444 3-point mark (8-for-18) and a .750 free throw figure (21-for-28).  Sophomore guard Cameron Clark led six Sooners in double figures with his game-high 18 points, 16 of them in the first half.  Clark was 5-for-8 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line while adding four rebounds.

Fellow sophomores Tyler Neal and Calvin Newell scored 12 each, and juniors Andrew Fitzgerald, Sam Grooms and Romero Osby all netted 10 in the 34-point victory. The 6-8, 232-pound Osby, who sat out last year after transferring from Mississippi State, paced the Sooners with eight rebounds, while junior Carl Blair came off the bench to record team highs of five assists and three steals.  OU posted a 38-32 rebounding advantage and held the RiverHawks to .321 field goal and .333 (9-for-27) 3-point marks.

Cameron Clark, who attempted more than four free throws just once last year (seven in home win over Oklahoma State), attempted six free throws against NSU (made all of them).
• OU forced 18 turnovers while committing 10 and outscored the RiverHawks 24-7 off those miscues.
• All 12 Sooners who were eligible to play saw action in the first half.  Junior guard Steven Pledger served a one-game team suspension.
• OU's 85 points were more than in any game last season.

Located in Topeka, Kan., NCAA Division II member Washburn University is a school of 7,500 students that competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.  Washburn finished 18-10 overall last year and posted a 15-7 conference record before losing in overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  The Ichabods, who feature 10 newcomers, return just one starter from a year ago in sophomore Jeff Reid.  A guard, Reid averaged 9.9 points and 3.7 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game.  He shot .508 from the field and .408 from 3-point range (42-for-103).  A starter two years who missed last season with a broken foot, junior guard William McNeill averaged 12.7 points and 3.8 boards per game in 2009-10, and earned all-MIAA defensive team honors.

Washburn lost its exhibition opener at UNLV on Tuesday, 58-50, despite leading 21-20 at halftime and being tied 47-47 with five minutes remaining.  The Ichabods held the Runnin' Rebels to .174 field goal shooting in the first half (4-of-23) and to a .313 figure for the game.  McNeill led Washburn with 21 points on 8-of-21 shooting and was the only Ichabod in double figures.

The Ichabods are under the direction of longtime head coach Bob Chipman, who was a college teammate of OU head coach Lon Kruger at Kansas State in the early 1970s (the pair helped the Wildcats to back-to-back Big Eight regular season titles in 1971-72 and 1972-73).  Chipman is in his 33rd season at Washburn, where he owns a 696-288 (.709) record.  He has racked up 11 regular season conference championships and won the 1987 NAIA national title.

 Sooner to Watch 

 Cameron Clark | So. | Guard
 • Led Sooners with 18 points in Tuesday's exhibition win (16 in first half)
 • Went 5-for-8 from the field and made all six of his free throw attempts
 • One of two Sooners to start all 32 games last season (Andrew Fitzgerald was the other)
 • Averaged 9.4 points and 4.5 rebounds as a freshman in 2010-11


Sunday's game will mark the third between Oklahoma and Washburn, but the first as an exhibition.  The Sooners won regular season meetings over the Ichabods in 1930-31 (30-27 in Topeka under head coach Hugh McDermott) and 1972-73 (79-55 in Norman under head coach John MacLeod).

Sunday's contest will also mark the eighth time for OU head coach Lon Kruger to face a Bob Chipman-coached Washburn team.  Kruger beat Washburn once while the head coach at Pan American and six times while the head coach at UNLV (five exhibitions and one regular season game).

With its victory over Northeastern State on Tuesday, Oklahoma has now compiled a 44-2 exhibition record over the last 23-plus years.  The last time OU lost an exhibition game was in November 2003 (89-82 to Athletes First).

• Thanks to the loss of just one senior from last season (guard Cade Davis), the Sooners return the bulk of their production in every statistical category for 2011-12.  That includes 76 percent of the team's points, 76 percent of its rebounds, 80 percent of its assists, 84 percent of its blocks and 79 percent of its steals.  OU also returns 63 percent of its 3-point field goal and 79 percent of its free throw production.
• Six of OU's top eight scorers last season were freshmen or sophomores.  Those six players accounted for 70 percent of the team's points and 63 percent of its rebounds last year, and all six return for the 2011-12 season.
• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald is the Sooners' leading returning scorer (12.6 ppg) and rebounder (5.0 rpg).  The 6-8, 247-pounder was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection and recorded at least 15 points 12 times.  He started all 32 games and led OU's regulars with his .486 field goal percentage.  He also paced the team with 34 steals and 21 blocks.
• The other three returning starters are guards: juniors Steven Pledger and Carl Blair, and sophomore Cameron Clark.  Pledger (6-4, 222) started 26 games and averaged 10.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists while making 62 treys and shooting a team-high .851 from the free throw line.  He scored 38 points at Iowa State, tied for the most by a Big 12 player in league action.  Clark (6-6, 197) started all 32 contests and averaged 9.3 points, 4.5 boards and 1.1 assists in 33.6 minutes per game (ranked eighth in the Big 12 in playing time).  He averaged 13.1 points in OU's wins.  Blair (6-2, 206) started 25 games at point guard, including each of the final 22, after transferring from New Orleans.  He averaged 7.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and a team-high 4.7 assists (ranked third in Big 12).  Blair scored in double figures 10 times and handed out at least five assists on 16 occasions.
• Also back are sophomore forward Tyler Neal (6-7, 224), sophomore guard Calvin Newell (6-1, 199), senior forward C.J. Washington (6-7, 228), senior forward Barry Honoré (6-7, 266) and senior guard T.J. Franklin (5-11, 177).  Neal and Newell averaged 4.2 and 3.5 points, respectively, with Neal also pulling down 2.3 rebounds per outing and Newell adding 1.5 assists.  Washington is the team's lone senior on scholarship and is coming off a rookie year in which he averaged 2.5 points and 3.1 boards in 11.8 minutes a contest.  Honoré contributed 1.2 points and 1.0 rebound a game while Franklin totaled four points and two assists in his 12 outings.

• The Sooners welcome six newcomers to the roster, with three of them expected to play significant roles in 2011-12.  Junior forward Romero Osby (6-8, 232) sat out last year after transferring from Mississippi State and, according to former head coach Jeff Capel, was OU's best player in practice last season.  In two years at MSU, Osby averaged 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in an average of 12.8 minutes a game.  Junior college transfer Sam Grooms (6-1, 203) is expected to share time at point guard.  The nation's third-best junior college player last year according to, Grooms averaged 11.1 points and 5.9 assists as a sophomore for national power Chipola College in Florida.  Fellow juco transfer Casey Arent (6-10, 227) is the tallest player on OU's roster.  He was rated the country's 22nd-best junior college player by after averaging 19.1 points and 11.4 rebounds as a sophomore for Sierra College in California.
• Also new to the team are Wyoming transfer Amath M'Baye (6-9, 214) and walk-on guards James Fraschilla (5-10, 142) and Jarrod Kruger (6-1, 174).  M'Baye, a forward who averaged 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore last year, has shined in early season practice but will sit out the 2011-12 campaign due to transfer rules.  Fraschilla is a freshman while Kruger is a sophomore.

The Sooners open the regular season against Idaho State on Friday at 7 p.m. CT.  The game will be televised by the Sooner Sports Network.  OU has won 31 of its last 32 home openers.




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.