Sooners Head to No. 3 Kansas for Big Monday

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Ben Coldagelli
By Ben Coldagelli
Associate Director of Communications
FEBRUARY 26, 2017
No. 3/3 KANSAS
kuoklahoma
Oklahoma
February 27 | 8 p.m. CT | Allen Fieldhouse

MONDAY'S GAME BASICS

Coming off a 30-point victory over Kansas State, Oklahoma (10-18, 4-12 Big 12) enters its final road game of the season with an upset on its mind. The Sooners enter Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Big Monday against the 2017 Big 12 champion Kansas Jayhawks (26-3, 14-2 Big 12). OU looks for its first win in Allen Fieldhouse in over 20 years as it continues its gauntlet schedule (named the toughest in the nation by ESPN’s College Basketball Index).

Monday’s game against No. 3/3 Kansas is OU’s ninth contest against a team in the current AP Top 25 since early December. The Sooners are 1-2 against ranked opponents on the road this season, defeating then-No. 8 West Virginia earlier this season in Morgantown. Oklahoma has never won two true road games against top-10 teams in the same season.

ON THE AIR

Monday’s contest tips off at 8 p.m. CT and air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with Bob Wischusen, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe calling the action.


FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

• Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger enters Monday’s game coming off of his 600th career victory - an 81-51 triumph over Kansas State on Feb. 25. Kruger is the 33rd head men’s basketball coach to win 600 career NCAA Division I games and boasts the 10th-most Division I victories among active head coaches. Coincidently, Kruger’s win came against his alma mater. He played for Kansas State from 1970-74 and was named the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1973 and 1974. In 2003, Kruger was inducted into the Kansas State Hall of Fame. His number was retired at K-State in 2006.

• Monday’s game will be the Sooners’ fifth contest since losing senior guard Jordan Woodard to a season-ending knee injury. In order to replace the scoring production of the team’s leading scorer, the Sooners have stepped up individually and collectively. In the four games without Woodard, Oklahoma has gone 2-2 and has eight players averaging at least six points, including five players with at least eight points per game. The OU bench has scored 35 or more points in three of the four outings and is averaging 31.5 points per game in that stretch. Odomes has paced the team in scoring with 16.0 points to go with 7.5 rebounds in the last four games.

• The Sooners have seen some of the most youth production in the nation. Among basketball “power six” schools (ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac 12), Oklahoma ranks 14th in freshmen scoring (25.3 points per game), 17th in underclassmen scoring (51.6) and 10th in both freshmen minutes played (71.3 minutes per game) and underclassmen minutes played (145.1).

• No returning Big 12 player has seen a bigger increase in role than Oklahoma sophomore guard Rashard Odomes. After playing just 6.1 minutes per game in 18 contests last year, Odomes is averaging 27.0 minutes per game and has started in all 28 games. His increase in minutes (20.9 per game) is by far the most in the Big 12. No other Big 12 returner is averaging more than 16 additional minutes per game compared to their previous season. Offensively, Odomes averaged 1.9 points per game in 2015-16 and is scoring 10.7 points a night in 2016-17. He is the only returning Big 12 player to average under two points last season and over 10 points in 2016-17. His increase in scoring (8.8 points per game) is the second-highest among any Big 12 returner.

• ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index (BPI) ranks the Sooners’ strength of schedule as the toughest in the nation. This season, OU has faced six teams in the current AP Top 25 - No. 3 Kansas, No. 9 Baylor (twice), No. 12 West Virginia (twice), No. 13 Florida, No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 25 Wichita State.


LOOKING BACK AT SATURDAY'S WIN

• Oklahoma (10-18, 4-12 Big 12) defeated Kansas State (17-12, 6-10 Big 12), 81-51, on Saturday inside Lloyd Noble Center. The victory was the 600th career win for Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger. He is the 33rd head men’s basketball coach to win 600 career NCAA Division I games. Kruger owns a career record of 600-379 - the 10th-most Division I victories among active head coaches.

• Oklahoma’s 30-point margin of victory is the Sooners’ largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game since defeating Texas Tech, 81-36, on Jan. 28, 2015.

• OU won the game thanks to its defense. The Sooners held K-State to 14-of-56 (.250) shooting from the field and 3-of-23 (.130) from 3-point range. The Wildcats’ shooting percentage was the lowest by an OU opponent since the Sooners limited Norfolk State to 15-of-61 (.246) on Nov. 10, 2006. The Sooners swiped 10 steals and blocked six shots while forcing 17 K-State turnovers.

• Oklahoma held Kansas State to 20 first-half points – the fewest scored in an opening half by a Sooner opponent since Northern Iowa (18) on Nov. 18 in OU’s third game of the season.

• Junior forward Khadeem Lattin registered his second double-double of the season with team highs in both points (17) and rebounds (10). His 17 points were the most he’s scored since producing 19 as part of his only other double-double of the season (Nov. 13 vs. Northwestern State). Lattin was 7-of-8 from the charity stripe and added three blocks in the game.

• With 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, sophomore guard Rashard Odomes reached double-digits for the fourth time in the last five games. Odomes added six rebounds, three assists and two steals. The sophomore is averaging 17.7 points and 8.0 boards in the past three games.

Odomes

Rashard Odomes is averaging 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the last four games.

YOUTH GROUP

• One of the youngest teams in both the Big 12 and the nation, Oklahoma has seen its freshmen and sophomores play a large role for the Sooners this season. The Sooner roster boasts 11 underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) – the most of any OU team in the Lon Kruger era and the most of any Big 12 roster this season. The young Sooners have received ample experience through their first 16 Big 12 contests.

• OU freshmen have played a total of 1,227 minutes (second most in Big 12), averaging a combined 27.4 points per game and contributing 38.8 percent of OU’s scoring in Big 12 play - the second-highest percentage in the conference. Sooner underclassmen rank second in the Big 12 in total minutes played in conference competition (2,414) and have scored 73.9 percent of Oklahoma’s points in league play (second in Big 12).

• According to KenPom.com, the Sooners entered the season with the 20th youngest roster in the country (based off of age and years of playing experience). Oklahoma had the 10th least-experienced team among basketball “power six” schools (ACC, BigEAST, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 12).


SERIES HISTORY

• The Sooners and Jayhawks have met 211 previous times - the second most contests against any opponent in Oklahoma history. The Sooners have only faced Oklahoma State (233 games) more times than the Jayhawks.

• Kansas leads the overall series, 145-66. The Jayhawks are the only Big 12 team to own a winning all-time record against the Sooners. KU leads the series in Lawrence, 74-16.

• Oklahoma will look for its first win inside Allen Fieldhouse since 1993. The Sooners came close to snapping the Jayhawks home winning streak last season in a triple-overtime thriller that ended in a 109-106 KU victory. Buddy Hield scored 46 points in the loss and shot 8-of-15 from 3-point range.


UP NEXT

• The Sooners close out the 2016-17 regular season at home against TCU on Saturday, March 4 at 2 p.m. CT on ESPNEWS. The final home game will also be senior night - honoring OU seniors C.J. Cole, Daniel Harper and Jordan Woodard.

• Oklahoma owns an 18-3 all-time record against the Horned Frogs and has won 10 of the last 12 meetings. The Sooners are 7-2 against TCU since the Frogs joined the Big 12 in 2012-13. OU has never lost to the Horned Frogs in Norman, boasting a perfect 9-0 record.

• The Horned Frogs snapped a six-game losing streak in the all-time series by winning the first matchup of the season, 60-57, in Fort Worth on Jan. 3. The Sooners led for over 35 minutes in their second true road game of the year, but the Horned Frogs used a 12-0 run late in the contest to come back and win.

• Tickets start at just $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Fans can purchase on SoonerSports.com.

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