Another Top-25 Showdown in the LNC
SATURDAY'S GAME BASICS
For the sixth time in 16 games, No. 9/9 Oklahoma (13-2, 3-1 Big 12) will face a ranked opponent when No. 16/16 TCU (13-3, 1-3 Big 12) comes to a sold-out Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday. The Sooners and Frogs met just two weeks ago in the Big 12 season opener, with Oklahoma coming back from 13 points down to beat TCU in Fort Worth, 90-89. An OU win would give the Sooners a 4-1 start in Big 12 play for the fourth time in the past six years. The Sooners would also start a season 14-2 or better for the second time in three years.
Oklahoma is in its second straight week in the top 10 of the AP Top 25. The Sooners have been ranked in the top 10 for 21 weeks since the start of the 2016-17 season - the ninth most appearances in the nation.
ON THE AIR
Saturday’s matchup will tip at noon 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 ESPNU with Lowell Galindo, Reid Gettys and Kris Budden calling the action.
Reserved-seat tickets are sold out. A limited amount of restricted admission tickets will be sold at the LNC box office beginning at 10:30 a.m. The $20 ticket will allow fans to sit in any open seat until somone ticketed for that seat arrives. Fans may also purchase seats from other fans on Stubhub.
OU student tickets (for non-student season ticket holders) will also be available for $5 at the door, while supplies last (doors open to public 90 minutes before tipoff). OU students with season tickets will need to claim their tickets in advance (deadline has past), similar to home football games.
IN THE BONUS
Fans will be treated to a special routine from the Amazing Chair Master at halftime.
The Sooner Jr. Kids Zone on the south side of the concourse will feature a poster making station, face painter, balloon artist and free school folders.
OU students in attendance will receive a silicon watch and can enter to win the student raffle item - a pair of BeatsX headphones.
Fans are also encouraged to participate in a school supply drive benefiting Norman Public Schools, dropping off new school supplies on the east side of LNC.
Fans are encouraged to #ArriveSooner to avoid delays into the gates with new enhanced screenings. Lloyd Noble Center is opening additional screening points in the lower east and west entrances to help expedite the screening process. The north lobby of the east entry and east lobby of the north entry will be open for ticket will call. Fans are encouraged to not bring bags to help expedite screening.
For more gameday tips at Lloyd Noble Center, visit the LNC's information page.
• Freshman guard Trae Young leads the country in both scoring (29.2) and assists (10.2). He leads the nation’s second-highest-scoring offense (93.1 points per game) coming into another matchup against a top-25 team. The Sooners are 4-1 against ranked opponents this season. Their four wins over top-25 teams are tied with Texas Tech for the most in the nation. The Sooners are 11-1 during the Lon Kruger era in home games in which both teams are ranked.
• Through four Big 12 games, Young has played some of his best basketball in the second half, averaging 19.8 points after halftime. Only two Big 12 players are averaging more in full games during conference play.
• The Sooners aim to once again defend their home arena, entering Saturday’s contest with 11 straight home wins. The Sooners have not lost at home since Feb. 8, 2017 - 339 days ago. The streak is the longest for the Sooners since winning 19 in a row from Jan. 17, 2015 to Feb. 8, 2016.
The Sooners and Frogs met two weeks ago in the Big 12 opener, with Oklahoma gutting out a win in the final seconds.
OKLAHOMA'S LAST TIME OUT
• No. 9/9 Oklahoma picked up another win over a top-10 opponent by defeating No. 8/8 Texas Tech, 75-65, on Tuesday at Lloyd Noble Center. This is the fifth time the Sooners have won three or more games against top-10 teams in the same season.
• While Oklahoma normally stands behind its high-powered offense, the Sooners relied on their defensive efforts to pick up its 13th win of the year. Tech’s 65 points are the fewest allowed by the Sooners this season. Oklahoma forced 15 Texas Tech turnovers and blocked 10 Raider shots.
• Trailing 31-29 at the conclusion of the first half, the Sooners put together a 17-4 run to open the second frame and regain the lead for good. Oklahoma is now 2-2 this season when behind at halftime.
• After shooting just .306 (11-of-36) in the first half, the Sooners bounced back with a .560 (14-of-25) performance in the second period. The difference of .254 between halves marks the largest improvement of the season, with the next best – an improvement of .191 – coming against North Texas on Nov. 30 (.452 first half, .643 second half).
• Freshman guard Trae Young posted 27 points, nine assists and four steals in the matchup, all game-high totals. Young extended his program-record streak of scoring 20 points to 14 games. Young has also scored 25 points in 13 straight games, the longest such streak by any D-I player in at least 20 years.
• Senior forward Khadeem Lattin’s shot blocking reached another milestone on Tuesday as Lattin blocked seven Tech attempts. Lattin, who entered the night at 199 career blocks, now sits at 206 rejections in his four-year career. He added 11 points and eight boards in the contest.
• Christian James finished the night with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, sinking three shots from behind the arc.
SERIES HISTORY VS. TCU
• The Sooners and Horned Frogs meet for the second time in two weeks, with Oklahoma escaping Fort Worth with a comeback 90-89 victory on Dec. 30. The top-20 matchup will tip at noon CT on ESPNU.
• OU owns a 20-4 all-time record against the Horned Frogs and has won 12 of the last 15 meetings. OU leads the series 9-3 since the Frogs joined the Big 12 in 2012.
• TCU has never won in Norman, as the Sooners boast a perfect 10-0 record when hosting the Frogs.
• Oklahoma has seen strong production from a pair of freshmen 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. The pair is combining to average 41.9 points per game – the most by any freshman duo in the country.
• In 15 games, the Norman native has put together nine double-doubles, 14 20-plus-point games and five 30-plus-point games. Young is averaging 29.2 points, 10.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals while shooting .449 from the field and .389 from 3-point range. He leads the nation in scoring and averages over 10 points more than any other Big 12 player (Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham is second with 18.6). Young’s 10.2 assists also lead the country. No player in recorded NCAA history has finished a season leading the country in both scoring and assists.
• Just 15 games into his collegiate career, Young already ranks in the top 10 among all-time OU freshmen in numerous categories for season totals, sitting at seventh in points (438), second in assists (153), third in made 3-pointers (58) and fourth in made foul shots (126).
• From Dec. 16 to Jan.3, Young assembled a double-double in five straight games - the ninth-longest double-double streak in program history. Young scored at least 25 points in all five games of the streak and is the first college player in at least 20 years to record five straight games of 25 points and 10 assists. Young has recorded 25 points and 10 assists in seven of his 15 games this season - the most in a college CAREER in the past 20 years. The only other college player to reach seven such games in the past two decades is J.J. Barea of Northeastern (2002-06) with seven in 113 career games.
• Manek has also found success in his rookie campaign, earning averages of 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting .517 from the field and .414 from 3-point range.
PLAY FAST, SCORE BUCKETS
• Oklahoma is off to a 13-2 start behind the second-highest-scoring offense in the nation. The Sooners average 93.1 points per game and have scored at least 90 points in 10 of their 15 games - including five games in triple digits. Oklahoma, who ranked 331 (of 351 teams) in assists per game last season (10.6), is 11th in the country with 18.3 assists per contest this year. The Sooners also rank 14th in made 3-point field goals per game with 10.9 treys.
• The Sooners aren’t just scoring in bunches - they’re playing fast. Oklahoma is third in the nation and first among major conferences in KenPom.com’s adjusted tempo rankings (possesions per 40 minutes adjusted to the opponenet) with 77.8. Oklahoma’s average possession is 13.6 seconds long, the fastest among major conferences and third-fastest overall.
• Oklahoma is 7-0 when shooting above 50 percent and 7-0 when it hands out at least 20 assists.
• Oklahoma has scored 45 or more points in 17 of its 28 halves this season and has scored at least 40 points before halftime in all but two contests.
• The Sooners have scored at least 100 points in five games – their most in a season since the 1992-93 season, when Oklahoma reached the century mark in nine games.
• OU has scored over 80 points in its first 13 games, its longest streak of surpassing 80 points since doing so in 16 straight games in 1987-88. The 1988-89 “Billy Ball” squad scored 80 points in 20 straight games.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
• Oklahoma has gone 69-14 (.829) at Lloyd Noble Center over the past six season. Overall, the Sooners are 81-19 (.808) at the LNC in the Kruger era.
• The Sooners have won 449 of their last 522 encounters at Lloyd Noble Center, good for a remarkable .860 winning percentage. Included in the stretch was a school-record 51-game winning streak (ended in 1990-91). The Sooners also recorded a Big 12 Conference-record 37-game home court winning streak (ended in 2003).
• OU is 14-10 at home against AP Top 25 opponents in the Kruger era and has won 13 of the last 19 such contests.
• Overall, the Sooners own a 544-100 (.845) record in the LNC since the building opened in 1975.
UP NEXT: KANSAS STATE
• The Sooners are on the road in three of their next four games, starting with Tuesay's contest at Kansas State. The Sooners and Wildcats square off at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
• The Sooners lead the all-time series, 107-98, but are 36-60 against the Wildcats in Manhattan. Kansas State has won five straight meetings inside Bramlage Coliseum with the last OU win in Manhattan coming on Jan. 28, 2012.
• Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger is 5-7 against his alma mater while coaching the Sooners. In their most recent meeting, the Sooners won 81-51 at Lloyd Noble Center on Feb. 25, 2017.