OU Competes in Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 21, 2013

 Oklahoma (3-0) vs. Seton Hall (3-1)
 Date & Tip Time  Friday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. CT
 Location  Brooklyn, N.Y. | Barclays Center
 TV  truTV
 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KRXO 107.7 FM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Sirius 91 and XM 91
 Webcast  None
 Live Stats  Sidearm Sports
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Oklahoma (3-0) takes on Seton Hall (3-1) in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Friday at 6 p.m. CT inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The game will precede the Michigan State-Virginia Tech contest.  Semifinals winners will meet in Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. CT title game, while losers will square off at 6 p.m. CT.

OU’s Coaches vs. Cancer Classic contests will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Sirius 91; XM 91) with Tom Dore and Mike Houck announcing.  All four tournament games will be televised nationally by truTV with Brian Anderson, Greg Anthony and Steve Smith calling the action.  Craig Sager will report from courtside.

Complete Release (PDF) | Schedule | Media Guide | Tickets

• Friday’s game will mark the third meeting between Oklahoma and Seton Hall, and the first in 23 years.  The teams split a home-and-home series in the early ’90s, with OU winning 89-84 on the road Feb. 11, 1990, and the Pirates returning the favor in a 92-85 outcome in Norman on Feb. 9, 1991.

• OU's Friday and Saturday games will mark the second and third of five it will play in NBA arenas this year.  The Sooners beat Alabama 82-73 to open the season at American Airlines Center in Dallas. They’ll play George Mason on Dec. 8 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and will meet Texas A&M on Dec. 21 at Toyota Center in Houston.  OU’s first true road game will be Jan. 4 at Texas.

• Sophomore guard Buddy Hield is OU’s leading returner in points (7.8 ppg), rebounds (4.2 rpg), assists (1.9 apg) and steals (1.2 spg) from last season.  Hield averaged a team-high 25.0 points in OU’s two preseason exhibition games and leads the squad with his 18.3 average through three regular season contests (set career scoring highs in first two games with 19 vs. Alabama and 23 vs. North Texas).  After going 7-for-10 from 3-point range in exhibition play, he is 7-for-14 (.500) from deep in the regular season and ranks third on the squad with his 5.0 boards per outing.

• The Sooners lost their top two frontcourt players from last year in Romero Osby (first-team All-Big 12; 16.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg) and Amath M’Baye (10.1 ppg and 5.2 rpg), but sophomore Ryan Spangler and senior Tyler Neal have filled in more than adequately.  Spangler, a transfer from Gonzaga, is averaging 13.0 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds per game while leading the Big 12 with his .727 field goal percentage.  He was named Co-Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds against Alabama.  Neal is contributing 9.3 points and 6.3 boards in only 16.7 minutes a contest (projected to 40 minutes, he boasts averages of  22.4 points and a team-high 15.2 rebounds).  Neal, who entered the year averaging 3.1 points and 2.1 boards while shooting 36.9 percent for his career, is 11-for-17 (.647) from the field this season.

• OU opened eyes when it averaged 90.6 points a contest during its five-game exhibition tour of Belgium and France in August (averaged 70.6 last season).  Since returning to the U.S., the Sooners have continued to put up points.  Lon Kruger’s team averaged 96.0 points in its two preseason exhibition outings and is averaging 87.3 points through three regular season games (scored 82 against an Alabama program that gave up just 58.4 per game last year; the 95 against North Texas were the Sooners’ most in four years).  The last time OU averaged more than 80.0 points per game for an entire season was in 1994-95 (81.7 ppg in Kelvin Sampson’s first year as head coach).

• A member of the 10-team Big East Conference, Seton Hall enters Friday’s game with a 3-1 record.  It is coming off an 82-66 home win over Monmouth on Monday and also posted home victories over Niagara (83-72) and Kent State (78-76).  The loss came in double-overtime at Mercer in the third game of the year (77-74).  The Pirates returned nine players and three starters from last year’s 15-18 team that posted a 3-15 league record.  They are averaging 79.2 points per contest this season and are outrebounding their opponents by 5.3 per outing.  SHU is shooting .482 from the field, .338 from 3-point range (5.5 makes per game) and .686 from the foul line.

• The Pirates’ leading scorer is sophomore guard Sterling Gibbs.  The 6-2, 185-pound Texas transfer is averaging 17.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 28.5 minutes per game.  Gibbs only averages 3.3 field goals per game but has already attempted 50 free throws (12.5 a contest).  Senior wing Fuquan Edwin is averaging 15.3 points per game, although he was held to three points Monday against Monmouth.  Seton Hall’s 28th all-time leading scorer (1,274 points), Edwin also ranks fourth in school history with 228 steals.  He led the nation with 3.0 steals per game as a sophomore.  Junior forward Patrik Auda, from the Czech Republic, erupted for 27 points (8-for-9 field goal and 9-for-9 free throw shooting), 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 22 minutes against Monmouth.  He entered the game averaging 10.0 points and 5.0 boards, but is now averaging 14.5 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting .773 from the floor.

• Seton Hall is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Kevin Willard, who owns a 52-50 (.510) record at the school.  He also spent three years as Iona’s head coach and captained the Gaels to a 45-49 (.479) mark.   They went 21-10 in his final year there. 

• If they face Michigan State on Saturday, the Sooners will take on the AP’s No. 1-ranked team for the 17th time in school history.  OU owns an impressive 7-9 all-time record against AP No. 1’s and has won six of the last 10 such contests (complete list on page 142 of this year’s OU media guide).

• Oklahoma owns a 3-4 all-time record against Michigan State, but the Sooners have won the last two matchups (60-58 in Oklahoma City in the 2002-03 season and 80-77 in overtime in Auburn Hills, Mich., in the 2003-04 campaign).  OU won its only meeting against Virginia Tech, an 88-86 overtime decision in Honolulu in the 1982-83 season (Rainbow Classic).  The game featured a pair of standout freshmen in OU’s Wayman Tisdale (32 points, 14 rebounds) and Virginia Tech’s Dell Curry (24 points).  Tisdale is OU’s all-time leading scorer (despite playing just three seasons) with 2,661 points, while Curry ranks second on the Hokies’ all-time list with 2,389 points.

• The Sooners have registered more assists than turnovers in all three games.  OU has not committed more than 12 turnovers in a contest this season and is averaging 4.0 fewer turnovers per game than its opponents.

• OU’s leading scorer during its five-game exhibition trip to Belgium and France in August (16.8 ppg), senior forward Cameron Clark is tied for second on the team this year with his 13.0 points per contest.  Clark, who started 60 of 63 games his first two seasons but came off the bench in all 32 contests last year, is only averaging 22.0 minutes a game (he is averaging 23.6 points per 40 minutes).  He is 3-for-5 from 3-point range this season after going 1-for-1 all of last year.

• After averaging 16.0 points on .588 field goal and .714 (5-for-7) 3-point shooting in OU’s two preseason exhibition games, freshman point guard Jordan Woodard is averaging 7.3 points through three regular season games and is shooting .261 from the field and .143 (1-for-7) from 3-point range.  He leads the team with his 5.0 assists per outing and owns a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.

• Showcasing his all-around abilities, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak is averaging 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and a team-high-tying 2.0 steals in 24.3 minutes per contest.

• The Sooners’ lone New York native, sophomore guard Isaiah Cousins is averaging 7.7 points per game after averaging 2.7 last year.  From Mount Vernon, N.Y. (Mount Vernon High School is about 25 miles north of Barclays Center), Cousins has 13 assists on the year against just two turnovers and has handed out at least four assists in all three outings.

• OU has adjusted relatively well to this year’s stricter defensive rules, committing an average of 19.0 fouls per game (it averaged 19.3 fouls through the first three games last year and 17.4 for the season).  Opponents have been whistled for 11 more fouls this season.

• OU head coach Lon Kruger has a long and in-depth history with Coaches vs. Cancer, and in 2012 received the organization’s national “Champion Award,” which is presented to one coach at the Final Four each year.  Kruger started the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic in 2008 and the event has netted nearly $1.5 million in its six years.  The money directly benefits the American Cancer Society’s effort to finish the fight against cancer.  The seventh annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic will be hosted at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip May 18-20, 2014.  Some of the coaches scheduled to participate next year are Colorado’s Tad Boyle, Kansas State’s Bruce Weber, Michigan’s John Beilein, Nebraska’s Tim Miles, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford, Oregon’s Dana Altman, South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith, UNLV’s Dave Rice and Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak.



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