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OU Debuts at No. 14 in Coaches Poll

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

Oct. 30, 2008

NORMAN, Okla. - Ranked in a major college basketball top-25 poll for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season, the Oklahoma men's basketball team is slotted at No. 14 in the first ESPN/USA Today coaches poll of 2008-09.

With 387 poll points, the Sooners are one of three Big 12 teams in the top 25.  Texas is ranked No. 8 (538 points) while defending national champion Kansas is No. 23 (130 points).  Fellow league members Baylor, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State received votes but did not crack the top 25.

North Carolina, the unanimous No. 1 team, is followed in the top 10 by Connecticut, Louisville, UCLA, Duke, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Texas, Notre Dame and Purdue.

Jeff Capel's Sooners are led on the court by Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and national-player-of-the-year candidate Blake Griffin.  The sophomore forward led OU with his 14.7 scoring and 9.1 rebounding averages last year while also shooting a team-high .568 from the field.  Griffin is one of four OU returning starters from last year's 23-12 squad that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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Oklahoma, which was picked by Big 12 Conference coaches to finish first in this year's league race, will hold an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at McCasland Field House.  The event is open to the public and admission is free.  Doors open at 2:30 p.m., the team will participate in individual drills at 3 and action will start at 3:30.  OU's home football game against Nebraska kicks off at 7.

The Sooners open the 2008-09 season with a pair of home exhibition game on Wednesday, Nov. 5 against Oklahoma Panhandle State (7 p.m.) and Saturday, Nov. 8 against Cameron (noon).  They begin the regular season Friday, Nov. 14 with a home contest against 2008 NCAA Tournament participant American.

For 2008-09 ticket information, fans may call the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 456-4668 or click here.

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
(Points in parentheses)

1. North Carolina (775)
2. Connecticut (707)
3. Louisville (694)
4. UCLA (650)
5. Duke (578)
6. Pittsburgh (576)
7. Michigan State (572)
8. Texas (538)
9. Notre Dame (525)
10. Purdue (465)
11. Gonzaga (437)
12. Memphis (425)
13. Tennessee (408)
14. Oklahoma (387)
15. Arizona State (304)
16. Miami (Fla.) (233)
17. Marquette (219)
18. Georgetown (175)
19. Florida (161)
20. Davidson (158)
21. (tie) Southern California (153)
21. (tie) Wisconsin (153)
23. Kansas (130)
24. Wake Forest (129)
25. Villanova (122)

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