Dec. 14, 1999
NORMAN, Okla. - University of Oklahoma men's basketball players Eduardo Najera and J.R. Raymond were named Big 12 Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively, today by the conference office. The pair led the undefeated Sooners to a 66-52 win at Arkansas and an 80-56 victory versus Arkansas-Little Rock. The win at Arkansas was just the fourth by a Razorback non-conference opponent since Bud Walton Arena opened in 1993 (a span of 53 games).
Najera, a senior forward from Chihuahua, Mexico, averaged 16.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals in OU's two triumphs. In the 14-point win at Arkansas, the preseason All-American led the Sooners with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while adding a block and two steals. Versus Arkansas-Little Rock, Najera scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in 26 minutes of action. He is averaging 18.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this season, and has led the Sooners in rebounding in seven of their eight outings.
Raymond, a sophomore guard, averaged 19.5 points, 4.5 assists and 5.0 steals in OU's two games last week and shot .500 from the field (13-for-26), .545 from three-point land (6-for-11) and 1.000 from the free throw line (7-for-7). He scored 17 points against Arkansas and 22 versus Arkansas-Little Rock (18 in the second half). The Gastonia, N.C., native, who had recorded a total of seven steals in OU's first seven games, registered seven against the Trojans. Raymond leads the team in scoring (18.8 ppg), assists (3.3 apg), steals (1.8 spg) and minutes (35.5 mpg). He is shooting .519 from three-point land and is averaging 3.4 treys per game.
The Oklahoma sweep of the honors marks only the second time that a school has won both Big 12 player and rookie-of-the-week awards. Sooners Nate Erdmann and Najera were honored as player and rookie, respectively, on Feb. 3 of the 1996-97 season.
The 8-0 Sooners, now ranked 23rd in the AP poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today edition, host Georgia Southern this Saturday at 7 p.m. and then host No. 1 ranked Cincinnati Wednesday, Dec. 22, in a nationally televised ESPN game.