Men's Basketball Team Gunning For Big 12 Title

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 09, 2000

March 9, 2000

Tournament Information
Ranked 15th in the AP poll and 18th in the ESPN/USA Today version, Oklahoma (24-5 overall, 12-4 Big 12) finished tied with Oklahoma State for third place in the Big 12 race and, because of tiebreaker rules, has earned the No. 3 seed at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament. Iowa State, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the top four seeds, respectively, and will not play Thursday. The Sooners will take the court Friday at approximately 8:20 p.m. CST against the winner of Thursday's Missouri (sixth seed) versus Texas Tech (11th seed) contest. If the Sooners win on Friday, they will play a semifinal contest Saturday at approximately 3:20 p.m. Sunday's championship game is slated for a 2 p.m. start.

All of OU's Big 12 Tournament games will air on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOMA 1520 AM in Oklahoma City) with Bob Barry, Sr., (play-by-play) and Mark Mathew (analyst) calling the action. The Sooners' Friday contest will be televised by ESPN Regional (KOCB Channel 34 in OKC). Saturday's semifinal contests will also be televised by ESPN Regional (KFOR Channel 4 in OKC). Sunday's title contest will be shown nationally by ESPN. Ron Franklin (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) will announce on Sunday.

Oklahoma Update
The Sooners, fresh off a 59-56 comeback win at Oklahoma State Saturday, are playing perhaps their best basketball of the season. Oklahoma has won its last four games and 10 of its last 12 (the two losses were by a combined six points versus Oklahoma State and at Kansas). The team's 12-4 Big 12 record is its best since the conference was formed four years ago.


F21Eduardo Najera (6-8, 240, Sr.)
C33Renzi Stone (6-10, 250, Sr.)
G5Nolan Johnson (6-4, 215, Jr.)
G10Hollis Price (6-1, 165, Fr.)
G11J.R. Raymond (6-2, 175, So.)


G14Tim Heskett (6-1, 185, Jr.)
G20Kelley Newton (6-2, 190, Jr.)
C32Victor Avila (6-10, 255, Sr.)
F34Jameel Heywood (6-6, 220, Jr.)

All-America candidate Eduardo Najera leads Oklahoma in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots. The senior ranks second in the league in scoring (18.5 ppg), second in rebounding (9.5 rpg) and sixth in steals (1.9 spg). He is the only player to rank in the top 10 in all three categories. In league games, he averaged 17.9 points (ranked fourth), 10.3 rebounds (first) and 2.3 steals (fourth). He and Ryan Minor are the only two Sooners in history to rank in the top 10 in career points (Najera ranks eighth), rebounds (fifth), steals (fourth) and blocked shots (sixth) at OU.

Junior college transfer Nolan Johnson, who poured in a career-high 21 points at Oklahoma State Saturday, has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games. He is averaging 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds, and is shooting .619 from the field during the span. The guard has posted a .500-or-better field goal percentage in 10 of the last 11 games and shot .627 in conference games.

True freshman Hollis Price has provided a huge lift recently. The guard, who has seen more and more time at the point lately, is averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals during the team's four-game winning streak. He has 97 assists and just 41 turnovers this year for a clean 2.4 ratio. He has led the team in assists in seven of the last eight games and owns a 3.5 assist/turnover ratio during the span. Price has also made 20 of his last 22 free throw attempts (.909).

Recapping Saturday's Oklahoma State Contest
Oklahoma won for the second straight year in Stillwater, rebounding from a 13-point second-half deficit to claim a 59-56 victory Saturday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Nolan Johnson keyed a strong Sooner second half by scoring 15 points after intermission, when OU shot .583 from the field. The Sooners trailed 46-33 with 11 minutes remaining but outscored the Cowboys 26-10 the rest of the game. Johnson, who finished with a game and career-high 21 points, Hollis Price and Kelley Newton accounted for the team's final 26 points. Price finished the contest with 13 points while Newton contributed 11 with the help of a trio of three-pointers. Johnson was also terrific on the defensive end, limiting Big 12 Player-of-the-Year candidate Desmond Mason to just six points, all from the free throw line. Mason was 0-for-8 from the field. Brian Montonati led OSU with 15 points while Joe Adkins added 12. Eduardo Najera was held to nine points but produced game highs in rebounds (eight) and steals (five). The loss for OSU was its first in 15 home games this season.

Oklahoma in the Conference Tournament
The Sooners are 27-19 (.587) in conference postseason action (4-3 in three seasons of the Big 12 format). Oklahoma has participated in eight tournament championship games and has won four crowns. The program's last tournament championship was recorded in 1990 when OU beat Colorado, 92-80. Oklahoma also earned titles in 1979, 1985 and 1988. Head coach Kelvin Sampson is 5-5 in five previous tournament appearances and guided his squad to the championship game two years ago.

Last Year in Kansas City
Oklahoma earned a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed last year in Kansas City and faced No. 5 seed Oklahoma State on Friday afternoon. After sweeping the regular season series against the Cowboys, OU suffered a 60-57 defeat after leading 28-24 at halftime in a tournament quarterfinal contest. Eric Martin led four Sooners in double figures in points with 14 while Eduardo Najera recorded nine rebounds. Oklahoma State advanced to the championship game against Kansas after beating Texas in semifinal action, but dropped a 53-37 decision to the Jayhawks.

Sooners Racking Up the Victories
Oklahoma fashions a 24-5 record heading into the league tournament and has attained its highest ranking (15th in the AP poll) under sixth-year head coach Kelvin Sampson. The 24 victories are already the most by the Sooners under Sampson (OU finished 23-9 in 1994-95, Sampson's first year). They also represent the most regular season wins since the 1988-89 team won 26 prior to the postseason. Iowa State (26) is the only Big 12 team with more victories than the Sooners this season.

Road Work
The Sooners sport an 18-8 (.692) record in their past 26 Big 12 road contests. OU, which went 6-2 in conference road games last year, finished 5-3 this season with wins over Baylor, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. The average margin of victory in this year's five wins was 11.0 points.

Shooting Tells the Story
Oklahoma is shooting .462 from the field this season (ranks fourth in Big 12), .394 from three-point land (first) and .702 from the free throw line (second). The Sooners are shooting significantly better in their wins than in their losses:

Category24 Wins5 Losses
Field Goal Percentage.481 (677-1408).379 (118-311)
3-Point Percentage.409 (199-486).324 (36-111)
Free Throw Percentage.723 (310-429).598 (52-87)

Shooting Improved
Oklahoma enters the Big 12 Tournament with a .462 season field goal percentage. The Sooners have posted a higher mark just once in the previous seven campaigns (.471 in 1994-95). Last year, OU posted a .421 season field goal mark and shot .500 or better in just three games. The squad has recorded a .500 mark or better 10 times already this year.

OU's Big 12 History
The Sooners now boast a 43-21 (.672) Big 12 record in the league's four years, second only to Kansas' 52-12 (.813) mark. OU finished 9-7 (fifth place) in 1996-97 and 11-5 (tied for second) in each of the last two years. Kelvin Sampson's Big 12 squads have posted a 24-8 league record at home and a 19-13 mark on the road.

Sooner Guards Shooting .417 From Beyond Arc
Historically an excellent three-point shooting team under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson, Oklahoma has done nothing to jeopardize that label this season. Through 29 games, the Sooners have made 235-of-597 trey attempts for a Big 12-leading .394 mark. Sooner guards are shooting a stout .417 on the year. Here's a look at the statistics of OU's four three-point shooting guards:

J.R. Raymond86206.4173.0
Tim Heskett69166.4162.4
Kelley Newton4094.4261.5
Hollis Price2254.4070.8

Turnovers Few and Far Between
The Sooners have done a superb job of handling the basketball this season, as evidenced by their 12.5 turnovers per game, the lowest average in the Big 12 (Missouri ranks second with 13.4). Oklahoma has committed more turnovers than its opponents in just three of 29 games this year. OU also owns the second best assist-turnover ratio in the conference (1.3).

OU's Free Throw Attempts Down

Oklahoma is averaging just 17.8 free throw attempts per game this season to rank 11th in the Big 12 (Kansas State averages 17.7), and averaged just 16.8 in league games. The Sooners have averaged fewer charity tries just once in the past 20 years (17.3 in 1995-96).

Najera Nearing End of Stellar Collegiate Career
Eduardo Najera has had a superb senior season and is wrapping up one of the most productive careers in Sooner basketball history...

  • Ranks third in the Big 12 (all games) in scoring (18.5 ppg), second in rebounding (9.5 rpg) and sixth in steals (1.9 spg). He is the only player to rank in the top 10 in all three categories.

  • Ranked fourth in Big 12 games in scoring (17.9 ppg), led the league in rebounding (10.3 rpg) and ranked fourth in steals (2.3 spg).

  • Boasted eight double-doubles in conference action.

  • Has 13 double-doubles this year and has recorded seven in the last 13 games.

  • Averaged a team-high 35.5 minutes in Big 12 games.

  • Has scored in double figures in 27 of 29 games this year.

  • Has led the team in scoring and rebounding in the same game 11 times.

  • Has recorded three or more assists 10 times this season and three or more steals on nine occasions.

  • Has started in 61 consecutive games.

  • His 9.5 rebound average is the second highest at OU in the last 11 years (Ernie Abercrombie averaged 10.1 in 1995-96).

  • Ranks eighth in career scoring at OU (1,558 points), fifth in rebounding (871), fourth in steals (189) and sixth in blocked shots (86). Only he and Ryan Minor rank in the school's all-time top 10 in the four categories.

  • Was named Top of the World Classic and All-College Tournament MVP this year and was named to the Sooner Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team.

  • Earned Big 12 Player-of-the-Week acclaim Dec. 14 and Feb. 7.

  • Was featured in the Feb. 7 issue of ESPN The Magazine and the Jan. 24 issue of Sports Illustrated. He was also featured on ESPN's "SportsCenter" this week.

  • "Najera has solidified his position as a first-round pick. Scouts love his toughness and ability to get to the basket. He will be a pick and a favorite on any roster." ESPN's Andy Katz

    Najera Fourth In CBS' Wooden Award Watch
    Eduardo Najera rated as the fourth-leading candidate to win the 2000 John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation's most outstanding player, according to CBS SportsLine ( on Feb. 25. He was the Big 12's highest rated player on the list.

    1. Kenyon MartinCincinnati
    2. Troy MurphyNotre Dame
    3. Chris CarrawellDuke
    4. Eduardo NajeraOklahoma
    5. Marcus FizerIowa State
    6. Chris MihmTexas
    7. Mateen CleavesMichigan State
    8. Khalid El-AminConnecticut
    9. Desmond MasonOklahoma State
    10. Loren WoodsArizona

    Johnson's Production Increases with Minutes
    Guard Nolan Johnson, a junior college transfer who didn't play basketball last season because he was wrapping up academic requirements, has appeared as comfortable on the court over the last several games as he has all year. Johnson, who is coming off a career-high 21-point performance against Oklahoma State, is averaging 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in OU's last 10 contests and has upped his season averages to 9.2 and 4.8, respectively. During the 10-game span, Johnson is also averaging 31.1 minutes per outing. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he is shooting .794 from the free throw line this season and .575 from the field (shot .627 in Big 12 action).

    Raymond One of League's Top Newcomers
    Sophomore point guard J.R. Raymond, who sat out his freshman season as a partial qualifier, ranks 11th in the Big 12 in scoring (14.4 ppg). He also averages 3.0 three-pointers per game (ranks second), leads the team in assists (3.8 apg) and is third in steals (1.4 spg). A starter in each game, he has made 86 three-pointers on 206 attempts (.417) and has scored in double digits in 23 of 29 outings (scored nine three times).

    In his collegiate debut versus Montana State Nov. 19 in Fairbanks, Alaska, Raymond made 9-of-16 field goal attempts, including 5-of-9 three-point tries, and finished with a game-high 29 points. He also contributed six rebounds and five assists in the 91-76 victory and went on to earn Top of the World Classic all-tournament team honors. Raymond's 29-point outburst is believed to be the second-highest scoring total by a Sooner in his collegiate debut. In 1972, center Alvan Adams scored 38 points and collected a school-record 28 rebounds against Indiana State in his first-ever game.

    Raymond has also been named this year's Sooner Holiday Classic MVP and to the All-College Tournament all-tourney squad.

    This Price is Right
    Freshman guard Hollis Price, who started in 15 of 16 league games for OU, is developing into a steady player on both ends of the floor. Price scored a career-high 20 points versus Texas Tech Feb. 23 and has totaled 15 points three other times in Big 12 play. At Texas A&M last Wednesday, Price contributed 15 points, seven assists and five steals. In OU's last four games, all victories, he is averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting .595 from the field.

    The New Orleans, La., native owns the Big 12's third-best assist/turnover ratio (2.4) and has recorded three or more assists 15 times on the year (he has led OU in the category in seven of the last eight games). On the season, Price averages 3.3 assists per game. The last Sooner freshman to average more than 3.0 assists was Terry Evans (4.4) in 1989-90. Lightning quick, Price also averages 1.6 steals per outing and has 14 multiple-steal games to his credit. He is averaging 33.4 minutes over OU's last six contests.

    Stone Effective From the Field
    Senior forward/center Renzi Stone shot .638 from the field in Big 12 games and sports a .574 season mark. The lone Oklahoman on the OU roster, the Tulsa native owns a .514 career field goal percentage. He has started all 29 games this season and has missed just one game during his four-year career. Stone was recently named to the second squad of the Academic All-Big 12 Team. It marked the fourth straight year the history major has made the all-league team.

    Target Practice
    Junior Tim Heskett, OU's career leader in three-point percentage (.419), is shooting .416 from beyond the arc this season. Dave Sieger (.405) is the only other Sooner to ever post a career three-point mark above .400. Heskett, who set the single-season school record with a .473 three-point mark last year, ranks second on the OU career charts in three-point makes (177) and ranks fifth in attempts (422). Terry Evans owns the school record with 259 career conversions.

    Heskett Dependable with the Ball
    Tim Heskett, who averages 21.0 minutes per game, has committed just 15 turnovers this season. That's an average of one turnover every 41 minutes. The junior guard leads the Big 12 with a 2.9 assist/turnover ratio and also ranks ninth with 2.4 three-point makes per contest. Heskett averages 8.0 points per game to rank fourth on the team.

    OU Miscellany

  • OU's No. 15 AP ranking is the highest in either poll under sixth-year head coach Kelvin Sampson, who was named Big 12 Coach of the Year by College Hoops Insider.

  • This marks the third straight year that Oklahoma has earned a first-round bye in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament. OU was the No. 4 seed last year and the No. 3 seed in 1998 when it advanced to the championship game.

  • Kelley Newton, who is shooting .426 from three-point range, had missed 14 straight trey attempts before making five of his last seven in OU's last two games.

  • Oklahoma, which shot .500 or better just three times all of last season, has made at least half of its field goal attempts 10 times this year.

  • Nolan Johnson, who is shooting .575 on the season, ranked third in Big 12 games with a .627 mark (69-for-110). Renzi Stone shot .638 (30-for-47) in league play.

  • Three players (Eduardo Najera, J.R. Raymond and Renzi Stone) have each started all 29 games. Hollis Price and Nolan Johnson started 15 of 16 Big 12 contests (they were replaced by Victor Avila and Oleg Reztsov on Senior Night Feb. 26).

  • The Sooners are 20-0 when leading at halftime.

  • J.R. Raymond (86) and Tim Heskett (69) have combined to make 155three-pointers on the year, the most by any Big 12 duo.

  • Sixty-nine of Tim Heskett's 73 field goal conversions (95 percent) have been three-pointers while 40 of Kelley Newton's 55 field goal makes (73 percent) have been treys. Newton's first 17 baskets this year were three-pointers.

  • Eduardo Najera leads the Sooners in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals, and ranks third in assists.

  • In five-plus years under Coach Sampson, the Sooners are 72-9 (.889)when scoring 80 or more points and are 58-2 (.967) when scoring at least 80 points at home.

  • Entering the week, the Big 12 is one of two conferences that boast five teams with 20 or more wins. The SEC also boasts five squads.

  • Oklahoma has been outrebounded just eight times in its 29 games and has committed more turnovers than its opponents in just three games.

  • The Sooners are averaging 8.1 three-point makes per game. Last season, OU set a school record with its 8.6 treys per outing.

  • Four Sooners (Tim Heskett, Kelley Newton, Hollis Price and J.R. Raymond) are shooting .400 or better from three-point range.

  • OU has held each of its last 12 opponents to sub-.500 field goal shooting. In fact, seven of those 12 foes have failed to shoot .400 from the field.

  • Oklahoma and Texas were the only two schools to rank in the top half in 12 of the 13 team statistical categories maintained by the conference office.

    OU Boasts Nation's Fourth-Longest Postseason Streak
    Oklahoma has made 18 consecutive postseason appearances (14 NCAA and four NIT), the fourth-longest streak among Division I programs. Only North Carolina, Georgetown and Indiana own longer postseason streaks. The last time Oklahoma did not compete in the postseason was in 1980-81. The four longest current postseason streaks are as follows:

    TeamStreakNCAANIT Started
    North Carolina332941966-67

    Model of Consistency
    Oklahoma has registered a winning record in 23 of its last 24 seasons. No other Big 12 team can boast as many winning campaigns since the 1975-76 season as the Sooners. Including this season, OU has posted a 528-237 (.690) record over the span.

    Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
    Now in his 17th year as a collegiate head coach, Kelvin Sampson is in his sixth year at the Oklahoma helm. He has averaged 20.6 wins per season at OU and is one of two Big 12 coaches Kansas' Roy Williams is the other to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament each of the last five seasons.

    Sampson began his head coaching career in 1980 at Montana Tech when he was hired as the program's interim head coach. He recorded a 73-45 mark in four seasons and was inducted into the school's sports hall of fame two years ago.

    In 1988, Sampson was named head coach at Washington State and compiled an even 103-103 record over seven years, including two 20-win campaigns.

    Hired by Oklahoma on April 25, 1994, he has guided the Sooners to a 127-60 (.679) record and a 75-15 (.833) home mark. In 1997-98, OU finished tied for second place in the Big 12 Conference and played in the league's postseason tournament championship game. Last year, he directed OU to another second-place league finish and an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance.

    Sampson was named the 1995 national coach of the year by the Associated Press, the USBWA and Basketball Times.

    Sampson year by Year

    YearSchoolRecord (Pct.)
    1981-82Montana Tech7-20 (.259)
    1982-83Montana Tech22-9 (.710)
    1983-84Montana Tech22-7 (.759)
    1984-85Montana Tech22-9 (.710)
    1987-88Washington State13-16 (.448)
    1988-89Washington State10-19 (.345)
    1989-90Washington State7-22 (.241)
    1990-91Washington State16-12 (.571)
    1991-92Washington State22-11 (.667)
    1992-93Washington State15-12 (.556)
    1993-94Washington State20-11 (.645)
    1994-95Oklahoma23-9 (.719)
    1995-96Oklahoma17-13 (.567)
    1996-97Oklahoma19-11 (.633)
    1997-98Oklahoma22-11 (.667)
    1998-99Oklahoma22-11 (.667)
    1999-00Oklahoma24-5 (.828)
    Totals303-208 (.593)

    Coach Sampson on Television
    This season, Oklahoma basketball fans can catch Head Coach Kelvin Sampson on television twice a week with "Inside Sooner Basketball with Kelvin Sampson" and "Sooner Basketball 2000." The shows will give viewers an insider's look at the OU program and feature highlights, interviews and Coach Sampson's insights.

    Inside Sooner Basketball with Kelvin Sampson
    Hosted by veteran Oklahoma City television sports anchor Bill Teegins, "Inside Sooner Basketball with Kelvin Sampson" airs Fridays at 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest. The half-hour show can be seen in Oklahoma City on KWTV Channel 9 Saturdays at 11 a.m. and in Tulsa on TCI Cablevision Channel 9 Fridays at 6 p.m.

    Sooner Basketball 2000
    "Sooner Basketball 2000" is hosted by Steve Neumann, director of broadcasting at OU. The one-hour show airs in Oklahoma City Sundays at 7 p.m. on NewsNow 53 and later that night at 1:45 a.m. on KWTV Channel 9.

    1999-00 Big 12 Standings
    (Final Regular Season)

    Big 12Overall
    Iowa State142.875264.867
    Okla. State124.750235.821
    Texas A&M412.250819.296
    Texas Tech313.1881215.444
    Kan. State214.125918.333

    Player Profiles

    3MICHAEL CANO (6-1, 170, SO., GUARD)

  • A walk-on who has played in 12 games this season.

  • Scored his first career points with a last-minute basket against Arkansas-Little Rock Dec. 11.

    5NOLAN JOHNSON (6-4, 215, JR., GUARD)

  • Has started in 26 of 29 games and is averaging 9.2 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting .575 from the field.

  • Shot .627 in Big 12 games to rank third in league.

  • Earned second-team junior college All-America honors as a sophomore two years ago.

  • Played at Kilgore (Texas) Junior College but graduated from Garden City (Kan.) Community College.

  • Named Brooklyn (N.Y.) Player of the Year as a high school senior.

    10HOLLIS PRICE (6-1, 165, FR., GUARD)<

  • Scored a career-high 20 points Feb. 23 versus Texas Tech.

  • Averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals in last four games.

  • A starter in 15 of 16 Big 12 contests.

  • Regarded as one of the country's 50 best high school seniors last year at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.

  • Earned first-team All-State and New Orleans Metro Player-of-the-Year honors as a senior when he averaged 25.6 points.

  • Hit game-winning shot in 1998 17-and-under AAU national championship game and was named tournament MVP.

    11J.R. RAYMOND (6-2, 175, SO., GUARD)

  • Poured in 29 points in first collegiate game Nov. 19.

  • Ranks first on team in minutes (34.6 mpg) and assists (3.8 apg), and second in scoring (14.4 ppg).

  • Ranks second in Big 12 with 3.0 three-pointers per game and is shooting .417 from beyond the arc.

  • Earned Big 12 Rookie-of-the-Week honor Dec. 14.

  • Named Sooner Holiday Classic MVP and to Top of the World Classic and All-College all-tourney teams.

  • Practiced with the team under "partial qualifier" label last year, but was not allowed to play in games.

    14TIM HESKETT (6-1, 185, JR., GUARD)

  • Averages just 0.5 turnovers per game and leads the Big 12 with his 2.9 assist/turnover ratio.

  • Shooting .416 from three-point range and has made at least two treys in 21 of 29 games.

  • Averaging 2.4 three-point makes per game (ranks ninth in Big 12).

  • Set single-season OU record with his .473 three-point mark last year and is the career leader in three-point percentage (.419).

    20KELLEY NEWTON(6-2, 190, JR., GUARD)

  • Ranks fifth in Big 12 in three-point percentage (.426).

  • Has scored at least 18 points four times this year.

  • Made 5-of-6 three-pointers and finished with a career-high 19 points versus Texas A&M in league opener.

  • Tore ACL and MCL in his left knee during Oct. 31, 1998, scrimmage and missed the entire season (had surgery Nov. 20).

    21EDUARDO NAJERA(6-8, 240, SR., FORWARD)

  • Averaging 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals.

  • Led Big 12 in league games with his 10.3 rebounds per contest.

  • Named Big 12 Player of the Week twice this season.

  • A preseason Playboy All-American who was named Top of the World Classic and All-College Tournament MVP and to the Sooner Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team.

  • Has 13 double-doubles and 11 in the last 20 games.

  • Ranks eighth on OU's all-time scoring list with 1,558 points and fifth on the career rebounding chart with 871 boards.

  • Averaged 18.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in first two NCAA Tournament rounds to lead OU to Sweet 16 last year.

    22OLEG REZTSOV(7-2, 230, SR., CENTER)

  • Made first career start Feb. 26 versus Missouri.

  • Played a career-high 10 minutes versus Mount St. Mary's.

  • Has scored four points this season in 12 games.

  • Is the tallest player in school history.

  • Maintains his own web site (

    30JARRETT HART(6-3, 210, FR., GUARD)

  • A first-team All-State selection at Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., last year.

  • Averaged 17.4 points, 8.5 boards and 7.3 assists as a senior.

  • Helped his AAU team to national title last summer.

    32VICTOR AVILA(6-10, 255, SR., CENTER)

  • Scored 13 points Feb. 23 versus Texas Tech.

  • Averaging 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

  • Has recorded two double-doubles this season.

  • Tied career highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds versus Georgia Southern Dec. 18 and had career-high four assists.

  • A second-team junior college All-American in 1997-98.


  • Has started all 29 games and is averaging 4.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per outing.

  • Shooting .574 overall and shot .638 in Big 12 play.

  • A starter in 18 games a year ago who averaged 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting a team-high .531 from the field.

  • Grabbed at least four rebounds 17 times last year.

  • One of seven OU students nominated this past September for a Rhodes Scholarship.

  • Has missed just one game during his Sooner career.

    34JAMEEL HEYWOOD(6-6, 220, JR., FORWARD)

  • Shooting team-high .600 from field and averaging 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per contest.

  • Grabbed a career-high 12 boards vs. Texas A&M in 17 minutes.

  • Transferred from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.

  • A second-team All-Jayhawk Conference selection as a freshman and sophomore (averaged 17.0 points both seasons).

  • Named the 1995 Bronx (N.Y.) Player of the Year as a junior at Evander Childs High School.

  • Voted 1996 New England Player of the Year at Salisbury (Conn.) Prep School.



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