Sooners Host No. 13 Kansas in Home Finale

Ben Coldagelli
By Ben Coldagelli
Director of Communications
13Kansas
WVUoklahoma
Oklahoma
March 5 | 8 p.m. | Norman

TUESDAY'S GAME BASICS

Winners of three of their last four, the Sooners are in the home stretch of the regular season as they aim for their sixth NCAA Tournament bid in the last seven years. Another big resume game looms on Tuesday in Norman when Oklahoma (18-11, 6-10 Big 12) closes its home slate against No. 13/14 Kansas (22-7, 11-5). Although the Sooners hosted Senior Day on Saturday, they will still fight to give their departing seniors one last win at the LNC. Oklahoma has won its final home game of the season in 13 of the last 15 seasons and is 8-0 in such games since 2011.

ON THE AIR

The Big 12 matchup will tip at 8 p.m. CT and air on the Sooner Radio Network (107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Tune In Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing. Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla will call the action on ESPN2. Fans with proper cable verification can also stream the game on the Watch ESPN app. Additionally, the matchup can be heard nationwide through Compass Media Networks with Drew Bontadelli and Doug Gottlieb on the call.

TICKETS

Tickets are available starting at $30 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online here. Discounted $20 tickets are available for kids (3-18) and seniors (55+). Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

OU students will be granted free admission a valid student ID at the north entrance.

IN THE BONUS

• Fans will be treated to the halftime performance of the Red Panda Acrobat.

• OU Athletics is now offering happy hour prices for all fans from the moment doors open until tipoff. During the happy hour, discounts will be applied to the following items: hot dogs ($3), popcorn ($3), soda ($3) and beer ($5).

• Fans are encouraged to #ArriveSooner to avoid delays into the gates with enhanced screenings. OU's clear bag policy will also be in efffect. For more gameday tips at Lloyd Noble Center, visit the LNC's information page.


THREE POINTERS

• Tuesday's matchup highlights two of the most versatile players in the conference in OU's Kristian Doolittle and KU's Dedric Lawson. Doolittle is boasting averages of 13.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists during conference play, leading the Sooners in scoring and rebounding during Big 12 games. Doolittle is the only Big 12 player averaging at least 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in league competition. A candidate for the Big 12's Most Improved Player Award, Doolittle averaged only 2.9 points and 4.3 rebounds last season and 7.2 points and 5.8 boards during this season's non-conference play. He's averaged 15.6 points per game over his last seven contests.

• Sometimes the key to victory can be as simple as making shots. Oklahoma is 18-0 when it holds a better shooting percentage than its opponents and 0-10 when the Sooners have a worse shooting percentage (0-1 when the percentages are equal). Oklahoma is shooting .474 (.371 from 3-point range) in its 18 wins and .395 (.306 from deep) in its 11 losses. The Sooners are 12-2 when they shoot above 45 percent.

• Of the 11 players in the Big 12 averaging at least 10 points and six rebounds, three play for the Sooners. Oklahoma is the only team in the conference with multiple players averaging 10 and six as its roster features Christian James (15.1 points, 6.6 rebounds), Brady Manek (11.7, 6.2) and Kristian Doolittle (10.4, 6.9). OU is second in the Big 12 in rebounding with 38.1 boards per game.

AB

Tuesday will be the final home game for longtime athletic trainer Alex Brown, who will retire after 32 seasons.

SERIES HISTORY: KANSAS

• Kansas is the only Big 12 team with a winning all-time record against the Sooners, leading the series 148-67.

• KU is 50-43 when facing Oklahoma in Norman. Oklahoma has won three of the last six home meetings against KU, earning victories over KU in 2013, 2015 and 2018.

• The Jayhawks won the first meeting of the season, 70-63, in the first conference game of the season back on Jan. 2. Trailing by 15 at halftime, Oklahoma fought back to trail by single digits for a majority of the second half at Allen Fieldhouse.


LOOKING BACK AT SATURDAY'S WIN

• The Sooners used their highest-scoring game of the season to roll past the Mountaineers. OU shot 29-of-49 (.592) from the field for its fourth best field goal percentage in a league game since joining the Big 12. The Sooners scored 50 points in the second half - the most in any frame this season.

• Oklahoma was led by a season-high 22 points from both Jamal Bieniemy and Aaron Calixte. The guards are the first Sooner duo to both score 20 points in a game since Trae Young and Christian James (who also both scored 22) on Feb. 10, 2018 against Iowa State. The pair of guards each reached their 22 points on efficient shooting - combining to go 13-of-19 (.684). Bieniemy shot 5-of-6 from the field, 4-of-5 from deep and 8-of-10 from the foul line while Calixte went 8-of-11 from the field, 3-of-5 from behind the arc and 3-of-4 at the charity stripe.

• Junior forward Kristian Doolittle added 15 points and nine rebounds while Brady Manek scored 14.

• OU now holds a 10-8 lead in the all-time series with the Mountaineers and is 5-2 when facing WVU in Norman. The Mountaineers had won the previous four games against the Sooners.


DOOLITTLE DOOING IT ALL

• Junior forward Kristian Doolittle continues to show progress in his game as the season goes along. After averaging 7.2 points and 5.8 boards in the first 12 games of the season, Doolittle has averaged 13.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.8 steals during conference games while shooting .467 from the field. During Big 12 play, Doolittle ranks in OU's top-three in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, field goal perecentage and free throw percentage.

• Doolittle has reached double-digit scoring in his last seven games (averaging 15.6 points per game in that span), highlighted by 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting against TCU on Feb. 16.

• During his sophomore season, Doolittle averaged just 2.9 points and 4.3 rebounds. He is a prime candidate for the league's new "Most Improved Player" award, given to the Big 12 player who has shown the most improvement from one season to the next.


QUICK HITS

• Oklahoma is the only school in the country with a win over a team from every major conference (Power Five + Big East).

• OU sits at No. 42 in the NCAA's new NET Rankings. Oklahoma is the only team in the country that has not played a "Quadrant 4" game. OU's average opponent NET Ranking of 66 is the second best in the country, and the evaluation tool ranks OU's schedule as the 21st toughest in the country. OU is 15-2 in "Quadrant 2 and 3" games and 3-9 in "Quadrant 1" games. Oklahoma's nine Quadrant 1 + 2 wins are the 28th most in the nation.

• The Sooners are 11-3 when limiting opponents to under 70 points and 4-1 when opponents score less than 60.

• Oklahoma is 17-4 when it scores at least 30 points in the first half.

• The Sooners are 13-1 when outrebounding their opponents. In its 18 wins, Oklahoma is winning the rebounding margin by an average of 4.3 boards.

• OU opponents are shooting 40.2 percent from the field – the second lowest opponent field goal percentage in the conference and 21st nationally. The Sooners rank 22nd in KenPom.com’s adjusted defensive efficiency.

• Oklahoma is 19th in the nation and first in the conference in defensive rebounding with 28.5 defensive boards per game. OU’s 38.1 total rebounds per game rank second in the Big 12.

• OU has three players ranked in the top 10 in rebounding in the Big 12: Kristian Doolittle (sixth, 6.9), Christian James (eighth, 6.6) and Brady Manek (10th, 6.2). TCU is the only other school with multiple players (two) ranked in the top 11.

• Oklahoma is 16-4 when outscoring its opponents in the paint. OU is averaging 33.9 paint points per game.

• Christian James ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring (15.1) and eighth in rebounding (6.6). He is the only Big 12 guard averaging at least 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds.

• Sophomore forward Brady Manek has scored in double figures in nine of his last 11 games. One of the most consistent scorers during his two seasons in Norman, Manek boasts 663 career points. With at least three games remaining this season, Manek is 37 points shy of hitting 700 career points. Only four Sooners have recorded 700 total points in their freshman and sophomore seasons during the Big 12 era: Blake Griffin (1,278), Trae Young (876), Willie Warren (868) and Buddy Hield (756).

• Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team with multiple players possessing at least five double-doubles. James leads the Sooners with six games of at least 10 points and 10 rebounds while Manek has produced five. Neither Manek or James owned a double-double in their career prior to this season. Additioally, Kristian Doolittle has secured three double-doubles.

• The Sooners almost always have team success on nights that Manek is rolling. During his career, OU is 25-10 when Manek scores in double figures, 14-3 when he scores at least 15 points and 8-2 when he hit four or more 3-pointers.

• A program-record six members of the Oklahoma men's basketball team were named to the 2019 Academic All-Big 12 First Team. The Sooners' academic accomplishment marks just the second time in league history that a school has had six men's basketball players named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team (Nebraska in 2004). Earning recognition for the Sooners are seniors Patrick Geha, Christian James, Jamuni McNeace and Rashard Odomes along with junior Matt Freeman and sophomore Brady Manek. Freeman and McNeace have earned Academic All-Big 12 honors for three consecutive seasons.


UP NEXT: KANSAS STATE

• The Sooners close out the regular season when they head to Manhattan, Kan., for a Saturday showdown against No. 18 Kansas State. The season finale tips at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

• Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 108-100, but are 36-61 against the Wildcats in Manhattan. Kansas State has won
six straight meetings inside Bramlage Coliseum with the last OU win in Manhattan coming on Jan. 28, 2012.

RELATED