Feb. 10, 2000
PDF Formatted Notes
Ranked 16th in the AP poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today version, Oklahoma (19-3 overall, 7-2 Big 12) hosts rival Oklahoma State (19-2, 8-1, ranked 14th and 13th) Saturday at 3 p.m. at Lloyd Noble Center. The game 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 contest will be televised by ESPN Regional (KFOR Channel 4 in Oklahoma City and KJRH Channel 2 in Tulsa). Bill Doleman (play-by-play) and Chris Piper (analyst) will announce.
The winner of five consecutive games, Oklahoma is coming off an 85-64 home victory over Kansas State Tuesday night. The Sooners have not lost since dropping an 88-80 decision at Colorado Jan. 19. Since then, OU has won home games with Iowa State, Texas and Kansas State, and road games versus Texas Tech and Baylor.
Reigning Big 12 Player of the Week Eduardo Najera fell one rebound shy of his 12th double-double of the season when he finished with 15 points and nine boards against the Wildcats. The senior forward has five double-doubles in the last six games and nine in the last 13. He ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring (19.3 ppg), second in rebounding (9.5 rpg) and eighth in steals (1.8 spg). Over OU's last six games, Najera is averaging 19.2 points and 13.7 rebounds. He ranks 11th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,446 points and eighth on the all-time rebounding chart with 807 boards.
In Big 12 games, Oklahoma leads the league in both three-point percentage (.421) and three-point percentage defense (.259). J.R. Raymond leads the Big 12 (league games only) with 3.9 three-point makes per contest while Tim Heskett ranks eighth with 2.6 per outing. Raymond is shooting .467 from beyond the arc in conference action (ranks fourth) and Heskett boasts a .434 mark (ranks eighth). The Sooners, who ranked fourth nationally in three-point percentage at the start of the week, have made at least 10 treys in four of their last five games.
About Oklahoma State
Like the Sooners, Oklahoma State has won five consecutive games. Its most recent victory was an 86-53 thumping of 20th-ranked Kansas Monday in Stillwater in which All-Big 12 candidate Desmond Mason scored 31 points. The team's only two defeats this year came versus LSU (63-53 Dec. 30) and at Texas A&M (64-59 Jan. 22).
The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in several statistical categories, including scoring defense (59.9 ppg), scoring margin (+19.3 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.373), three-point field goal percentage defense (.293) and assists (20.0 apg).
Senior forward Mason ranks third in the Big 12 with his 19.3 points-per-game average and 12th in rebounding (7.2 rpg). He has also made 45 three-pointers and ranks third in the leaugue in three-point percentage (.469). Also a senior forward, Brian Montonati leads the team in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and ranks second in scoring (12.5 ppg). Senior point guard Doug Gottlieb, who has started 18 of the team's 21 games but now comes off the bench, leads the nation in assists (9.3 apg).
Head Coach Eddie Sutton has compiled a 221-90 (.711) record in nine-plus years at Oklahoma State. In his 30th year as a head coach, he holds a 651-254 (.719) career record.
Series with Oklahoma State
Oklahoma swept the regular season series with Oklahoma State last season before falling to the Cowboys in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. The Sooners now lead the overall series, 113-81, and lead in Norman, 69-24. OU has won four of the last five meetings in Norman and 16 of the last 19. Kelvin Sampson is 5-7 against Oklahoma State and 4-1 against OSU at Lloyd Noble Center.
In the teams' first meeting last year, OU notched a 53-43 victory in Stillwater as OSU failed to produce a double-digit scorer. The Sooners held the Cowboys to .283 field goal and .276 three-point shooting and limited Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Adrian Peterson to two points. OSU's 43 points were the fewest allowed by OU in a road game since 1959. In Norman a month later, Oklahoma led from start to finish for the second straight meeting and posted a 72-65 victory. Eduardo Najera, who registered 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, amassed 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime. At the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, the fifth-seeded Cowboys posted a 60-57 win over fourth-seeded OU despite receiving just three points from Peterson. Glendon Alexander drained 6-of-10 three-point attempts and finished with a game-high 22 points for OSU. The Sooners led 28-24 at halftime and had a chance to tie at the buzzer, but Michael Johnson's three-point attempt rimmed out.
OKLAHOMA PROBABLE STARTERS
|F||21 Eduardo Najera (6-8, 240, Sr.)||19.3||9.5||2.3|
|C||33 Renzi Stone (6-10, 250, Sr.)||4.5||3.8||1.5|
|G||5 Nolan Johnson (6-4, 215, Jr.)||7.8||4.6||1.6|
|G||10 Hollis Price (6-1, 165, Fr.)||5.7||1.7||2.6|
|G||11 J.R. Raymond (6-2, 175, So.)||16.0||3.4||4.0|
OKLAHOMA STATE PROBABLE STARTERS
|F||30||Brian Montonati (6-10, 220, Sr.)||12.5||7.7||1.5|
|F||34||Desmond Mason (6-5, 215, Sr.)||19.3||7.2||1.8|
|C||12||Fredrik Jonzen (6-10, 230, So.)||8.9||5.9||0.7|
|G||4||Glendon Alexander (6-3, 220, Sr.)||12.1||2.3||1.0|
|G||35||Joe Adkins (6-1, 190, Sr.)||9.6||4.0||4.5|
Oklahoma/Oklahoma State Statistical Comparison
|62.2||Opponent Points Average||59.9|
|32.1||Opponent Rebounding Average||34.6|
|.468||Field Goal Percentage||.490|
|.415||Opponent Field Goal Percentage||.373|
|.326||Opponent 3-Pt. Percentage||.293|
|.714||Free Throw Percentage||.700|
|18.4||Personal Fouls Average||16.3|
|2.6||Blocked Shots Average||3.9|
Recapping the Kansas State Contest
Oklahoma used a 31-10 second-half run to turn a 43-40 lead into a 74-50 advantage Tuesday in its 85-64 victory at Lloyd Noble Center. J.R. Raymond was 5-for-9 from three-point land for OU and finished with a game-high 17 points. Eduardo Najera contributed 15 points, nine rebounds and four steals in 26 minutes, his least court time since Dec. 29. Nolan Johnson notched his first career double-double with 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, while Hollis Price totaled nine points and handed out a team-high six assists, breaking a streak of 10 games in which Raymond had led the squad in the category. Tim Heskett drained 3-of-7 three-pointers and finished with 11 points while Jameel Heywood, who saw his most action since Dec. 22, scored 10 points in 18 minutes. Tony Kitt, Kelvin Howell and Cortez Groves all scored 12 points for the Wildcats, who lost their ninth straight contest.
This is a First
Since the Associated Press poll debuted Jan. 20, 1949, Saturday's game will mark the first time that Oklahoma (ranked 16th) and Oklahoma State (ranked 14th) have met each other with both teams ranked as highly as they are.
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Saturday's contest will mark the furthest into the calendar year (Feb. 12) that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have met for the first time in a season since the 1968-69 campaign when they faced each other Feb. 15 and March 1. In 1973-74, the teams didn't face each other in Big Eight play until Feb. 16, but they squared off in the conference holiday tournament Dec. 29 in Kansas City, Mo.
Oklahoma hits the road for its next two games. The Sooners travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face Nebraska Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 before heading to Lawrence, Kan., to take on Kansas next Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.
OU's Big 12 History
The Sooners now boast a 38-19 (.667) Big 12 record, second only to Kansas' 47-10 (.825) 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 22-7 league record at home and a 16-12 mark on the road.
Eduardo Najera: The Big 12's Best?
Is Eduardo Najera the best player in the Big 12 Conference? He's certainly making a case for himself, especially lately...
- Ranks second in Big 12 games in scoring (19.4 ppg), leads the league in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and ranks third in steals (2.0 spg).
- Boasts a league-best six double-doubles in conference action.
- Has 11 double-doubles this year and has recorded five in the last six games.
- Ranks second in the Big 12 (all games) in scoring (19.3 ppg), second in rebounding (9.6 rpg) and eighth in steals (1.7 spg). He is the only player to rank in the top 10 in all three categories.
- Has attempted an average of 6.7 free throws per game, fourth most in the Big 12.
- Is the only Sooner to score in double figures in all 22 games this year.
- Has led the team in both scoring and rebounding nine times on the season.
- Has recorded three or more assists nine times this season and three or more steals on six occasions.
- Has started in 54 consecutive games.
- Ranks 11th in career scoring at OU (1,446 points), eighth in rebounding (807), seventh in steals (173) and fifth in blocked shots (82). Only Ryan Minor ranks 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.
- "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.com's Andy Katz.
Najera Fifth In CBS' Wooden Award Watch
Eduardo Najera currently rates as the fifth-leading candidate to win the 2000 John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation's most outstanding player, according to CBS SportsLine (www.cbssportsline.com). He is the Big 12's highest rated player on the list.
|1. Kenyon Martin||Cincinnati|
|2. Troy Murphy||Notre Dame|
|3. Chris Carrawell||Duke|
|4. Mateen Cleaves||Michigan State|
|5. Eduardo Najera||Oklahoma|
|6. Chris Mihm||Texas|
|7. Khalid El-Amin||Connecticut|
|8. Quentin Richardson||DePaul|
|9. Courtney Alexander||Fresno State|
|10. Marcus Fizer||Iowa State|
Raymond Vies For Newcomer of the Year
Sophomore point guard J.R. Raymond, who sat out his freshman season as a partial qualifier, ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring (16.0 ppg). He also averages 3.2 three-pointers per game (ranks second), leads the team in assists (4.0 apg) and is second in steals (1.5 spg). Raymond has made a league-high 70 three-pointers on 157 attempts (.446) and has scored in double digits in all but two games (scored nine both 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.
Junior Tim Heskett, OU's career leader in three-point percentage (.422), is shooting .422 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 fifth on the OU career charts in three-point makes (165) and attempts (391). The Lexington, S.C., native needs just six treys to move into second place on the career list. Terry Evans owns the school record with 259 career conversions.
This Price is Right
Freshman guard Hollis Price, who has started all nine league games for OU, is developing into a steady player on both ends of the floor. Price has scored a career-high-tying 15 points twice in Big 12 play (versus Baylor and at Colorado). The New Orleans, La., product owns a healthy 2.0 assist/turnover ratio this season and has recorded three or more assists nine times. His shooting percentages are also more than adequate for a guard (.435 from the field, .389 from three-point land and .795 from the foul line). Lightning quick, Price has 11 multiple-steals games to his credit.
Fine at the Line
The Sooners lead the Big 12 with a .714 season free throw percentage. That fact should come as no surprise, as Kelvin Sampson's Oklahoma teams have finished first or second in the conference in the category in four of his previous five seasons as head coach. OU won the conference free throw shooting title in 1995-96 (.708) and finished second in 1994-95 (.744), 1996-97 (.724) and 1997-98 (.701).
Turnovers Few and Far Between
OU averages a Big 12-low 12.6 turnovers per outing (Missouri ranks second with 13.7). The Sooners also own the second best assist/turnover ratio in the conference (1.2).
Sooner Guards Shooting .438 From Beyond Arc
Historically an excellent three-point shooting team under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson, Oklahoma has done nothing to jeopardize that label so far this season. Through 22 games, the Sooners have made 186-of-454 trey attempts for a Big 12-leading .410 mark. Sooner guards are shooting a stout .438 on the year. Here's a look at the statistics of OU's four three-point shooting guards:
Heskett Dependable with the Ball
Tim Heskett, who averages 23.5 minutes per game, has committed just 13 turnovers this season. That's an average of one turnover every 40 minutes. The junior guard leads the Big 12 with a 2.9 assist/turnover ratio and also ranks sixth in the league with 2.6 three-point makes per contest. Heskett averages 8.7 points per game to rank third on the team.
- In Big 12 games, Oklahoma ranks in the top half of 11 of the 13 statistical categories maintained by the league office.
- Oklahoma has shot .500 (113-for-226) from the field over its last four games.
- Nolan Johnson, who is shooting .558 on the season, sports a .659 mark (29-for-44) in conference action. Renzi Stone is shooting .636 (14-for-22) in league play.
- Three players (Eduardo Najera, J.R. Raymond and Renzi Stone) have each started all 22 games.
- J.R. Raymond (70) and Tim Heskett (57) have combined to make a Big 12-leading 127 three-pointers on the year. The Kansas State duo of Galen Morrison (62) and Cortez Groves (46) ranks second in the Big 12 with 108 conversions.
- Eduardo Najera leads the Sooners in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots. He also ranks third in assists.
- Renzi Stone, who has shot better than .500 from the field each of the past two seasons, sports a .551 mark this year. The senior has missed just one game during his career.
- In five-plus years under Coach Sampson, the Sooners are 70-9 (.886) when scoring 80 or more points and are 56-2 (.966) when scoring at least 80 points at home.
- Oklahoma has been outrebounded just five times in its 22 games.
- The Sooners have committed more turnovers than their opponents in just three games (vs. George Washington, at Colorado and at Baylor). Oklahoma is averaging a Big 12-low 12.6 turnovers per outing.
- Fifty-seven of Tim Heskett's 60 field goal conversions (95 percent) have been three-pointers while 32 of Kelley Newton's 44 field goal makes (73 percent) have been treys. Newton's first 17 baskets this year were three-pointers.
- The Sooners are averaging 8.4 three-point makes per game. Last season, OU set a school record with its 8.6 treys per outing.
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:
Model of Consistency
Oklahoma has registered a winning record in 22 of its last 23 seasons. No other Big 12 team can boast as many winning campaigns since the 1975-76 season as the Sooners. Entering the year, OU had posted a 504-232 (.685) 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 122-58 (.678) record and a 73-14 (.839) 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
|1981-82||Montana Tech||7-20 (.259)|
|1982-83||Montana Tech||22-9 (.710)|
|1983-84||Montana Tech||22-7 (.759)|
|1984-85||Montana Tech||22-9 (.710)|
|1987-88||Washington State||13-16 (.448)|
|1988-89||Washington State||10-19 (.345)|
|1989-90||Washington State||7-22 (.241)|
|1990-91||Washington State||16-12 (.571)|
|1991-92||Washington State||22-11 (.667)|
|1992-93||Washington State||15-12 (.556)|
|1993-94||Washington State||20-11 (.645)|
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
(Through Wednesday, Feb. 9)
3MICHAEL CANO (6-1, 170, SO., GUARD)
- A walk-on who has played in 10 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 20 of 22 games and is averaging 7.8 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting .558 from the field.
- Shooting .659 in Big 12 games (29-for-44).
- 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)
- Averaging 5.7 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
- A starter in all nine 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, 5.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
- 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 (35.3 mpg) and assists (4.0 apg), and second in scoring (16.0 ppg).
- Ranks second in Big 12 with 3.2 three-pointers per game and is shooting .446 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)
- Shooting .422 from three-point range and has made at least two treys in 17 of 22 games.
- Averaging 2.6 three-point makes per game (ranks sixth in Big 12) and just 0.6 turnovers per outing.
- Set single-season OU record with his .473 three-point mark last year and is the career leader in three-point percentage (.422).
- Ranked second in the Big 12 in three-point percentage and in three-pointers per game (2.5) last year.
20KELLEY NEWTON(6-2, 190, JR., GUARD)
- Ranks second in Big 12 in three-point percentage (.478).
- 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.
- Thirty-two of his 44 baskets have been three-pointers.
- 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 19.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals.
- Ranks second in Big 12 (league games) in scoring and leads in rebounding with 19.4 and 11.1 respective averages.
- 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 11 double-doubles and nine in the last 13 games.
- Ranks 11th on OU's all-time scoring list with 1,446 points and eighth on the career rebounding chart with 807 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)
- Played a career-high 10 minutes versus Mount St. Mary's.
- Has scored three points this season in 10 games.
- Is the tallest player in school history.
- Maintains his own web site (http://i.am/sooner).
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 Arkansas Hawks AAU team to national last summer.
32VICTOR AVILA(6-10, 255, SR., CENTER)
- Scored 13 points in 83-59 win over No. 16 Texas Jan. 31.
- Averaging 5.4 points and 4.0 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 who averaged 23.7 points, 15.3 boards and 2.8 blocks per contest in 1997-98.
33RENZI STONE(6-10, 250, SR., FORWARD/CENTER)
- Has started all 22 games and is averaging 4.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per outing.
- A starter in 18 games a year ago who averaged 3.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per contest 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 .592 from field and averaging 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 13.1 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.