OU Hosts Ball State Wednesday
WEDNESDAY'S GAME BASICS
After putting up 108 points in their season opener, the Sooners (1-0) are back at Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday to face Ball State (0-1) in a non-conference contest. The game will tip at 7 p.m. CT.
The Cardinals are coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons and have shared the MAC West Division title in each of the past two seasons. Ball State opened the season with a one-point loss (78-77) to defending Atlantic 10 champion Dayton last Friday. The Sooners are 35-5 in home non-conference games under Lon Kruger.
ON THE AIR
Wednesday’s matchup 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 Kevin Henry announcing. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV on Fox Sports Southwest Plus with Chad McKee, Bryndon Manzer and Jessica Coody calling the action. Fans can use the Sooner Sports TV channel finder here.
Tickets start at just $10 and are available at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online here. The Lloyd Noble Center box office opens at 5:30 p.m.
IN THE BONUS
Have you checked out the OU basketball Kid Zone? Young Sooner fans can learn more about the Sooners and enjoy fun activities like face painting and balloon animals. The Kids Zone is located in the south end of the upper concourse.
Fans are encouraged to #ArriveSooner to avoid delays into the gates with new enhanced screenings. For more gameday tips at Lloyd Noble Center, visit the LNC's information page.
• Oklahoma enters Wednesday’s matchup coming off of a high-scoring season opener against Omaha. The Sooners defeated the Mavericks, 108-89, on Sunday at Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma’s output marked the second-most points scored in the Lon Kruger era and just the fifth triple-digit performance under Kruger. OU’s 108 points are the third-most scored by the Sooners in a season opener and the most to begin the year since Oklahoma scored a program-record 173 points against U.S. International to open the 1989-90 campaign.
• OU freshman guard Trae Young was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Sooners to a season-opening win on Sunday. Young is just the second freshman in Big 12 history to be named the conference’s Player of the Week in the opening week of the season, joining Michael Beasley of Kansas State in 2007. In his collegiate debut on Sunday, Young produced 15 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 26 minutes. Young is the first Sooner to record a points-assists double-double since Isaiah Cousins against Villanova on Dec. 7, 2015.
• The Sooners and Cardinals meet in Norman as part of the PK80 event honoring Nike founder Phil Knight and his 80th birthday. Oklahoma is one of 16 teams participating in the PK80 tournament in Portland, Ore., next week (Nov. 23-26). The Sooners are joined in the “Victory Bracket” by Arkansas, Connecticut, DePaul, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon and Portland. OU begins its time in Portland with a Thanksgiving matchup against Arkansas on Nov. 23.
Freshman Trae Young is just the second Big 12 freshman to be named Big 12 Player of the Week in the first week of the season.
OKLAHOMA'S LAST TIME OUT
• Oklahoma opened the 2017-18 season with a 108-89 victory over Omaha on Sunday at Lloyd Noble Center. The win improved the Sooners to 7-0 in season openers under head coach Lon Kruger. Oklahoma has won 14 consecutive season openers and 20 straight openers played in Norman.
• The Sooners hit the triple-digit mark for the fifth time in the Kruger era with 108 points. Oklahoma’s output marked the second-most points scored in the Kruger era, only surpassed by a 111-68 performance against Central Arkansas on Dec. 3, 2015. OU’s 108 points are the third-most scored by the Sooners in a season opener and the most to begin the year since Oklahoma scored a program-record 173 points against U.S. International to open the 1989-90 campaign.
• Six Sooners scored in double figures for the first time since Feb. 2, 2016 against TCU. All 11 Oklahoma players who touched the floor scored at least two points and nine players scored eight or more points.
• Trae Young stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 26 minutes. Young is the first Sooner to record a points-assist double-double since Isaiah Cousins collected 19 points and 10 dimes against Villanova on Dec. 7, 2015.
• The Sooners combined to dish out 21 assists, which would have tied a season high in 2016-17. Oklahoma only surpassed 20 assists on two occasions last season. Oklahoma’s two point guards – Young and sophomore Jordan Shepherd – combined for 16 assists on Sunday.
• Jamuni McNeace came off the bench to post career-highs in points (14), field goals (six) and blocked shots (six). McNeace shot 6-of-7 and pulled down five boards in his 24 minutes.
SERIES HISTORY VS. BALL STATE
• Wednesday’s showdown is the first meeting between the Sooners and Cardinals.
• Oklahoma is 1-0 against MAC teams during the Lon Kruger era, defeating Ohio, 74-63, in 2012. The Sooners are 5-0 all-time against current MAC schools, having only faced Miami of Ohio (2-0), Ohio (1-0) and Western Michigan (2-0).
• Two freshmen projected to start in Wednesday’s game are already known around the Norman area. Guard Trae Young (Norman) and forward Brady Manek (Harrah) are both local products with numerous high school accolades now in their first season as Sooners.
• Named a five-star recruit according to 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout, Young was named the second-best point guard in his national recruiting class by ESPN and third-best by 247Sports and Scout. Playing high school ball at Norman North HS - less than three miles away from the OU campus - Young averaged 42.6 points, 4.1 assists and 5.8 rebounds during his senior year while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. He earned McDonald ’s All-America honors, becoming the fourth McDonald’s All-American from Oklahoma to play for OU, joining Sooner legends Blake Griffin, Wayman Tisdale and Jeff Webster.
• A four-star recruit according to 247Sports, ESPN and Scout and a three-star recruit by Rivals, Manek joined the Sooners from Harrah HS, a 35 mile drive from Norman. Manek averaged a double-double in his senior high school season with 24.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 47.1 percent from the field.
BACKCOURT WORTH WATCHING
• Oklahoma guards Kameron McGusty and Trae Young were voted by the Big 12 Conference’s head coaches as Preseason All-Big 12 Team honorable mention selections. The Sooners were one of only two Big 12 teams with two guards on the conference’s preseason honors list.
• A sophomore from Katy, Texas, McGusty boasts the highest 2016-17 scoring average (10.9 points) among returning Sooners. The 6-5 guard upped his production to 14.4 points per game in Big 12 play last season – the fifth-most among all returning Big 12 players. McGusty’s success in conference play was highlighted by 15 consecutive games of double-digit scoring. Following his rookie campaign, McGusty was named an All-Big 12 honorable mention and member of the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. He is the first OU freshman to earn All-Big 12 honors and All-Newcomer status since Tommy Mason-Griffin in 2009-10.
• Additionally, Young was selected as one of 20 watch list candidates for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Named after Hall of Fame point guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor recognizes the top point guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates. Young is one of only three freshmen featured on the watch list, joined by Trevon Duval (Duke) and Collin Sexton (Alabama).
• The Sooners head to Portland, Ore., for PK80, a special 16-team event to honor the 80th birthday of Nike founder Phil Knight. Oklahoma opens its time in PK80’s eight-team “Victory Bracket” with a Thanksgiving afternoon matchup against Arkansas. The Sooners and Razorbacks will tip at 4 p.m. CT on Thursday, Nov. 23 on ESPN2.
• OU is 14-5 when playing in-season tournaments games under Lon Kruger, including 6-0 in opening round games. The Sooners have won at least two games and finished in third place or better in all six in-season tournaments under Kruger.
• Arkansas leads the overall series 15-12, but Oklahoma has won seven of the last 10 meetings (dating back to 1998). The Sooners are 1-1 against the Hogs during the Lon Kruger era.
• Oklahoma is 8-7 against current SEC teams in the Lon Kruger era, including 6-3 against schools which were SEC members at the time of competition.