'Big Monday' Test Awaits No. 1 OU in Ames
MONDAY'S GAME BASICS
No. 1/1 Oklahoma hits the road for the first of two straight road games Jan. 18 at No. 19/21 Iowa State on ‘Big Monday’ inside Hilton Coliseum at 8 p.m. CT in Ames, Iowa. OU, which is 15-1 overall and 4-1 in conference, is in its fifth season under head coach Lon Kruger. The Cyclones are 13-4 this season (2-3 Big 12) and are under the direction of Steve Prohm, who is in his first campaign in Ames. Oklahoma is currently tied for first in the Big 12 standings, while Iowa State sits in sixth.
ON THE AIR
Monday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Scott Thompson announcing. The Big Monday battle will be televised by ESPN with Brent Musburger, Jay Bilas and Holly Rowe calling the action.
• SCENE SETTER: No. 1/1 Oklahoma hits the road for the first of two straight Big 12 road games Jan. 18 at Iowa State on ‘Big Monday’ inside Hilton Coliseum at 8 p.m. CT. OU, which is 15-1 overall and 4-1 in conference, is in its fifth season under head coach Lon Kruger. The Cyclones are 13-4 this season (2-3 Big 12) and are under the direction of Steve Prohm, who is in his first campaign in Ames. Oklahoma is currently tied for first in the Big 12 standings, while Iowa State sits in sixth. Monday marks the second meeting this season between the two schools (OU won first matchup 87-83 on Jan. 2 in Norman).
• SERVING TREYS: Oklahoma currently ranks first nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.450) by hitting 167-371 of its shots from downtown this season. Oklahoma’s all-time record for 3-point field goal percentage in a campaign is .414 (1986-87). OU has connected on at least 10 treys in 10 games this year. OU’s starting five is averaging 48.0 percent from 3-point range (146-304). Jordan Woodard and Buddy Hield are currently ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in 3FG% nationally.
• STRONG ON BOTH ENDS: The Sooners enter Monday’s game ranked in the top 15 in both scoring offense (86.2 points per game, fourth) and scoring margin (+15.3, 15th) by holding opponents to just 70.9 points per contest. Oklahoma has scored at least 80 points in 12 of 15 contests this season.
• BUDDY BUCKETS: Senior Buddy Hield is currently averaging 26.0 points per game, which ranks first in the Big 12 and second nationally (first among Power 5 Conferences). He has scored at least 20 points in nine of the last 10 games and his 51.6 percent (63-122) shooting from downtown ranks fourth in the country. His 3.94 3FGM per game is tops in the nation. The Bahamas native has six games of at least 30 points this season, including five such games in the last 10 contests.
• STEADFAST SOONERS: Oklahoma isn’t short on experience or leadership this season. OU’s quartet of Isaiah Cousins, Buddy Hield, Ryan Spangler and Jordan Woodard have each started every game (84 total) for OU the past three seasons, tallying 336 combined starts during that span. With the addition of Khadeem Lattin (16 starts), OU boasts a starting five with 379 combined career starts.
SCOUTING IOWA STATE
• Iowa State has won 19 games against ranked opponents in the last three seasons, tied for the most in the nation. ISU has 21 total losses in that span. Seven of ISU’s final 15 games are against currently ranked teams.
• Iowa State’s four losses this season have been by a combined 14 points, with three of the losses being away from Hilton Coliseum. In two of those games, ISU led for more than 29 minutes (Oklahoma-29:47; Baylor- 32:41).
• The Cyclones are ranked No. 17 in this week’s Associated Press poll. The Cyclones have been ranked in a school record 46 consecutive polls. ISU is No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
• Georges Niang, who is on the Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 list, is leading the Cyclones in scoring with 19.6 points per game, which is second among Big 12 players.
• Iowa State has had six different players score 20 or more points in a game this season after Matt Thomas poured in a career-high 22 points against Texas Tech. Niang, Morris and McKay rank among the Big 12’s top-10 in scoring.
• Jameel McKay is just shy of averaging a double-double with 13.8 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game.
• Deonte Burton, who captured back-to-back Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors, has fit in well for ISU since becoming eligible. Burton is averaging 9.4 points and shooting 53.7 percent (29-54) from behind the arc. He has scored in double figures in four of seven games.
• OU has made at least 10 treys in 10 games this season. In 35 contests last year, the Sooners registered just seven games of double-digit 3-point makes.
• OU enters Monday’s contest having scored at least 80 points in nine of the last 11 games and in 13 of 16 total contests this season (averaging 86.2 ppg).
• Collectively, Oklahoma’s starting five is averaging 48.0 percent from 3-point range (146-304). As an entire team, OU is shooting .450 (ranks first nationally).
• Through 16 games this season, Jordan Woodard is averaging 15.2 points and 3.6 rebounds. He’s shooting .467 (78-167) from the floor and .556 (40-72) from 3-point range. Comparatively, last season Woodard averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds, while shooting .361 (90-249) from the field and .254 (17-67) from long distance.
• Ryan Spangler’s 10.6 rebounds per game ranks 16th in the nation (second in the Big 12). Spangler currently ranks third the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.567).
• The Sooners currently have the first- (Khadeem Lattin, 2.2) and fourth-best (Akolda Manyang, 1.5) shot blockers in the Big 12.
• On the season, Buddy Hield is averaging 26.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.1 minutes per game. He’s shooting .521 (134-257) from the field, .516 (63-122) from 3-point range and .904 (85-94) from the charity stripe.
• His 26.0 points per game average ranks first among Big 12 players this season and second nationally (first among Power 5 conf. players). His 51.6 3FG% ranks fourth in the country. His 3.94 3FGM per game ranks first in nation.
• Hield has scored at least 20 points in 13 of 16 games this season after doing it 13 times in 35 games last season.
• Hield has scored 20 or more points in nine of the last 10 games. In conference play, Hield is averaging 28.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
• Hield has six games this season scoring at least 30 points, including five times in the past 10 outings. The rest of the Big 12 has combined for seven 30-point individual outings on the year. Hield joins Blake Griffin (2008-09) as the only Sooner with six or more 30-point games in the last 20 years (Griffin had six in 35 games in 2008-09).
• The senior is currently the only player in the country averaging greater than 50.0 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from 3, 90.0 percent from the foul line and scoring greater than 14.0 ppg.
•Hield is averaging a Big 12-best 26.0 ppg, more than six ppg greater than second-place Georges Niang (19.6).
• If the season ended today, Hield would be the only player in Big 12 history to average at least 25.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in a season (currently averaging 26.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists).
• Hield’s 26.0 points per game would be the second-highest season average in Big 12 history (Michael Beasley owns record, 26.2).
CALLING ON ALL RESERVES
• The Sooners are getting more production from their bench than a season ago. Through 16 games in 2015-16, OU’s reserves (excluding walk-ons) are averaging 60.4 minutes played (out of possible 200), 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Last season, Oklahoma’s reserves (excluding walk-ons) averaged 42.5 minutes played (out of possible 200), 11.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest (35 total games).
• Oklahoma continues a two-game road swing at Baylor this Saturday, Jan. 23, at 11 a.m. CT. It will mark the first of two regular season matchups between the Sooners and Bears.
• Oklahoma leads the all-time series over Baylor, 42-12, including an 18-6 advantage in Waco. Last season the two teams split the season series (with each team winning on its home court).