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Big 12 Men's Slate Starts at K-State

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

 No. 6/6 Oklahoma (14-1) at Kansas State (11-3) 
 Date & Tip Time

 Saturday, Jan. 10 at 12:47 p.m. CST

 Location  Manhattan, Kan. | Bramlage Coliseum 
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office
 TV

 Big 12 Network 
 KOCB 34 in Oklahoma City
 KJRH 2 in Tulsa
 ESPN Full Court

 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa
 Sirius 91
 Series History  OU leads 101-89
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com/GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

PREVIEWING SATURDAY’S GAME
Ranked sixth in both major polls, Oklahoma (14-1) begins the Big 12’s 13th year of conference action at Kansas State (11-3) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CST at Bramlage Coliseum.  The Sooners, who are 2-1 on the road this year, are 7-5 in league openers (lost the last three).  Kansas State is 10-0 at home and has won its last six contests (all in Manhattan).  Saturday’s game will be regionally televised by the Big 12 Network (KOCB Ch. 34/Cox 11 in OKC; KJRH Ch. 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court) with Dave Armstrong and Rich Zvosec announcing.  It will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC AM 1520 in OKC; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 91) with Bob Barry, Sr. and Mike Houck calling the action.

 Kansas State's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
15
 Luis Colon
6-10
265
Jr.
 5.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 55.6 FG%
F
23
 Dominique Sutton
6-5
210
So.
 8.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 51.1 FG%
C
42
 Darren Kent
6-11
230
Sr.
 9.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 78.5 FT%
G
0
 Jacob Pullen
6-0
200
So.
 14.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
G
21
 Denis Clemente
6-1
175
Jr.
 12.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.1 apg

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Blake Griffin
6-10
251
So.
 22.1 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 66.1 FG%
F
32
 Taylor Griffin
6-7
238
Sr.
 9.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 50.6 FG%
G
5
 Tony Crocker
6-6
206
Jr.
 10.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 35.4 3FG%
G
13
 Willie Warren
6-4
207
Fr.
 16.2 ppg, 3.0 apg, 50.0 FG%
G
20
 Austin Johnson
6-3
176
Sr.
 6.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.3 apg 

"NOTE"WORTHY
• Oklahoma’s 14-1 regular season non-conference record marks its best since going 15-1 in 1987-88.  The 1987-88 squad advanced to the national championship game.
• The Sooners have not won a Big 12 road game against a north opponent since beating Kansas State 69-68 four years ago on Drew Lavender’s buzzer-beating five-footer after racing the length of the court (nine straight losses).
• Five of the last nine games between OU and Kansas State have been decided by one or two points (four of them OU wins and three of those victories in Manhattan).
• Nationally, Griffin ranks first in rebounding and double-doubles (12), second in free throw attempts (10.1) and 15th in scoring. 
• Oklahoma ranks fourth in the country with its 29.1 free throw attempts per game (Xavier leads with 31.5 per contest).
• Over the last five games, the Sooners are shooting .392 from 3-point range and averaging 9.4 treys.  Over the first 10 games this season, they shot .311 from behind the arc and averaged 6.4 3-pointers.
• Tony Crocker and Willie Warren have combined for 33 treys over the last five games.  Crocker is 17-for-38 (.447) in those outings while Warren is 16-for-31 (.516).  Prior to the five-game stretch, each owned a .273 season 3-point figure (12-for-44).
• Warren has scored 95 points over the last four games (31, 35, 14 and 15), the most over a four-game span by an OU true freshman since Wayman Tisdale 26 years ago (1982-83).
• Despite a modest .674 team free throw percentage (they rank eighth in the Big 12), the Sooners have made 14 more foul shots than their opponents have attempted.  OU is 294-for-436 from the stripe while foes are 189-for-280.  That’s an average of 10.4 more attempts per game than the opposition.  Griffin has attempted 35 percent of the team’s free throws (152 of its 436).

 
 Sooner to Watch 

 Willie Warren | Fr. | Guard
 • Averaging 26.7 points in OU's three road games (12-for-22 on 3-pointers) 
 • Has scored 95 points over the last four games (an average of 23.8)
 • Averaging 3.8 assists over the last eight games (3.0 on the season)
 • Has scored more than 30 points twice in the last four contests

   

MONDAY’S MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE RECAP
• Blake Griffin posted his nation-leading 12th double-double to lead the Sooners to a 100-64 win over Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday in their final regular season non-conference game.  Griffin played 22 minutes and finished with 20 points, 16 boards, two assists, a career-high-tying four blocks and three steals.  Five of his nine field goals were dunks.
• OU head coach Jeff Capel missed the game (he was hospitalized) due to a stomach virus.  Assistant coach Mark Cline led the team in Capel’s absence.
• The Sooners’ 100 points were their most since scoring 103 on Feb. 26, 2005, against Baylor (a span of 116 games).  They shot .500 from the field, their eighth game of the year with a mark .500 or better.
• The win was OU’s 13th straight at home.  It also marked its 70th victory in its last 72 home non-conference games.
• Guards Tony Crocker and Willie Warren each finished with 15 points.  Warren was 10-for-10 from the free throw line while Crocker was 4-for-4.
• Orlando Allen finished with career highs of 10 points, five rebounds and five blocks.  The sophomore center played 14 minutes.
• Oklahoma’s 52 rebounds were a season high.  The Sooners gave up a season-high 26 offensive rebounds (the previous high was 15), but the Hawks converted them into only eight second-chance points.

WHO’S HOT
• A strong candidate for national-player-of-the-year honors, sophomore forward Blake Griffin has scored at least 18 points in 13 of 15 games this season, has netted at least 20 on 10 occasions and surpassed 30 points twice.  The 6-10, 251-pounder has registered 12 double-doubles (last year he had 10) and has led OU in rebounding 13 times.  Griffin now leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.1 ppg), rebounding (14.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (.661).  Big 12 players who rank second in the respective categories are Oklahoma State’s James Anderson (18.4 ppg) and Kansas’ Cole Aldrich (9.9 rpg and .631).  Griffin also ranks fourth in the Big 12 with his 1.5 blocked shots per game.  Eleven of his 22 rejections have come in the last four outings.
• Freshman guard Willie Warren, who has scored in double figures in 12 of 15 outings, is averaging 18.6 points and 3.8 assists over the last eight games while shooting .557 from the field and .476 (20-for-42) from 3-point territory.  His .500 season field goal percentage is tops among the team’s guards and fourth among Big 12 backcourt players.
• Over the last four games, Warren is averaging 23.8 points and 4.3 assists while shooting .569 from the field and .500 (14-for-28) from 3-point range.
• After scoring in double figures once in OU’s first seven games, sophomore guard Tony Crocker has done it in seven of the last eight.  He is averaging 14.3 points over the eight outings and is shooting .420 from 3-point range (21-for-50).  By comparison, Crocker averaged 6.6 points and shot .250 from 3-point territory over OU’s first seven games this year.
• Even though his scoring average has dropped over the last five games (7.2 ppg during the stretch), senior forward Taylor Griffin has seen his rebounding numbers increase during the span (7.4 rpg).

OU Fast Fact 
Blake Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.1 ppg), rebounding (14.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (.661) while ranking fourth in blocked shots (1.5 bpg) and eighth in steals (1.6 spg).  The 6-10 sophomore also averages 2.5 assists per contest, more than any other league player taller than 6-5.  He has recorded at least two assists in 12 of 15 games.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in all 15 games (Austin Johnson, Willie Warren, Tony Crocker, Taylor Griffin, Blake Griffin).
• Despite its solid .392 3-point field goal mark over the last five games, OU ranks 10th in the Big 12 in season percentage (.340).
• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 399 consecutive games (last one without a trey was at Memphis on Dec. 23, 1996).
• Freshman guard Willie Warren is shooting .500 from the field on the season.  The last OU guard to shoot at least .500 from the field for an entire campaign was Nolan Johnson (.559) in 1999-00.
• Brothers Blake and Taylor Griffin are shooting a combined .609 from the field this year.
• Blake Griffin has accounted for 27 percent of OU’s points, 37 percent of its rebounds and 43 percent of its defensive boards in 16 percent of the team’s minutes played.
• Blake Griffin has registered at least three assists in 18 of 48 career games (seven times this year).  He has recorded at least two assists 31 times in his career (12 times this season).
• Registering 54 blocked shots over his sophomore and junior seasons combined (the most ever during a two-year period by a Sooner standing under 6-foot-8), Taylor Griffin has 17 blocks already this year.
• Forty-one percent of Taylor Griffin’s rebounds this year (41 of his 101) have come on the offensive end of the floor.
• Cade Davis made all 23 of his free throw attempts last year as a freshman and canned his first three attempts this year before finally missing against Davidson on Nov. 18.  He is now 34-for-38 (.895) in his career but has not attempted a free throw over the last seven outings.
• OU will play 21 of its 31 regular season games against teams that made the 2008 postseason (15 against NCAA Tournament teams, four against NIT squads and two against College Basketball Invitational teams).  As of Sunday, the Sooners are ranked No. 7 nationally by CollegeRPI.com.

NOTING OU’S 30-POINT PERFORMANCES
• Sophomore Blake Griffin and freshman Willie Warren have each posted back-to-back 30-point performances this season.  Griffin netted a career-high 35 points against Gardner-Webb Nov. 22 before scoring 32 four days later against UAB.  Warren went for 31 at Rice on Dec. 22 before pouring in a career-high 35 on Tuesday at Arkansas.  No other team in the country has had a player combo accomplish the feat this season.
• The last time two Sooners each had back-to-back games of at least 30 points in the same season was in 1993-94 when senior forward Jeff Webster and junior guard/forward Calvin Curry did it.
• The last OU player to register two 30-point games his true freshman season was Tim McCalister in 1983-84.  The last OU true frosh to register at least three 30-point games was Wayman Tisdale in 1982-83 (he had a freshman-record nine).

PREVIEWING KANSAS STATE
• Kansas State enters Big 12 play with an 11-3 record and has won its last six contests, all at home.  The Wildcats are 10-0 this year at Bramlage Coliseum.  After starting the season with five wins, they lost three games in succession by a combined nine points (74-72 versus Kentucky and 65-63 against Iowa in Las Vegas, and 75-70 at Oregon).
• K-State averages 81.5 points and gives up 61.0 an outing.  It is shooting .458 from the field (ranks ninth in Big 12), .359 from 3-point range (seventh) and .637 from the free throw line (12th).  It outrebounds its foes by 8.5 boards a game (first).
• Sophomore Jacob Pullen leads three Wildcats guards who average double figures in scoring.  Pullen scores 14.7 points a contest and also leads KSU with his 3.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game, and his 33 3-pointers.  He has scored in double figures 10 times.
• Junior Denis Clemente, a transfer from Miami (Fla.), averages 12.2 points and 3.1 assists per outing while shooting .370 from deep (20-for-54).  He has led Kansas State in scoring a team-high four times.
• Sophomore Fred Brown contributes 10.1 points a game off the bench, and is shooting a team-high .426 from long distance (29-for-68).  He is coming off a career-high 26-point game against Chicago State in which he went 4-for-10 from 3-point range.
• Redshirt freshman forward Jamar Samuels and senior forward Darren Kent are K-State’s top inside threats.  Samuels averages 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds while Kent provides 9.2 points and a team-high 6.3 boards a contest.
• Frank Martin is in his second year as a collegiate head coach and owns a 32-15 (.681) record.  The 1993 Florida International graduate guided K-State to a 21-12 record last year and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

SERIES WITH KANSAS STATE
Oklahoma owns a 101-89 all-time series lead against Kansas State but trails 34-54 in Manhattan.  The Sooners, who are 9-4 versus the Wildcats since the inception of the Big 12 (3-3 in Manhattan), have won eight of the last 10 in the series and two of the last three at Bramlage Coliseum.  The Wildcats, though, have won the last two overall matchups.  Five of the last nine games have been decided by one or two points (four of them OU wins and three of them in Manhattan).

LAST YEAR AGAINST THE WILDCATS
• Oklahoma opened the 2008 Big 12 season with a home loss to Kansas State, 84-82, on Jan. 12.
• Kansas State forward Michael Beasley scored on a lay-in with 2.3 seconds left for the game’s final points.
• OU lost despite a then-career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds from freshman Blake Griffin (he was 10-for-14 from the field).
• Sooners center Longar Longar added 18 points and six boards.  He was 10-for-11 from the free throw line.
• The loss for OU was its only one of the season when shooting at least .500 from the field (it shot .528).
• Kansas State’s .564 field goal mark was the third best against the Sooners last year.
• Beasley finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds while teammate Bill Walker added 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting.
• Kansas State’s victory snapped its five-game losing streak in Norman.

MORE BLAKE
• Blake Griffin scored at least 18 points in each of the season’s first nine games, marking OU’s longest such streak since guard Corey Brewer netted at least 18 in 15 consecutive outings during the 1997-98 season.  Griffin’s lone games under 18 points this year were an 11-point performance against Utah when he played a season-low 23 minutes (attempted only three field goals) and a 14-point effort against Coppin State on Jan. 3.  He registered double-doubles in both contests.
• Lost in Griffin’s gaudy scoring and rebounding statistics are some pretty impressive assist numbers.  The forward ranks third on the team with 2.5 assists per game this season and has registered at least one handout in all 15 outings.  Last season, Griffin became the first Sooner standing 6-foot-10 or taller to ever dish at least three assists in a game 11 times.  He has recorded at least three assists seven times already this year.
• Griffin (14.0 rpg) is on pace to shatter the school record for rebounding average in a season.  The standard of 13.3 boards per game was set by Alvan Adams in 1974-75.  Griffin is also averaging a nation-leading 10.1 free throw attempts a game, a figure that would break Stacey King’s 1988-89 school record of 8.9 foul shots per outing.
• Griffin has three games of at least 20 rebounds this season.  No other player in the country has more than one.
• Griffin has 43 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.9 per game.
• Griffin owns the best vertical leap (no step) on the team at 37.5 inches, as well as the best max leap (no limit on steps) by reaching 27 inches above the rim.  He also owns an 84.5-inch wingspan (seven feet and one-half inch).

UNDERRATED AUSTIN
A Sooner who tends to get lost among OU’s higher-profile players is senior point guard Austin Johnson.  The 6-3, 176-pounder ranks just fifth on the team with his 6.6 points per outing but ranks among the Big 12’s leaders in several other categories.  Johnson leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.2-to-1) and ranks eighth in both assists (4.3) and steals (1.6).  He also ranks just outside the top 10 in blocked shots (0.9) and is shooting .800 from the free throw line (16-for-20).

DEFENSE, DEFENSE
• Oklahoma has held its last seven opponents to a combined .357 field goal mark.  Six teams in those eight games shot below .360.
• OU ranks third in the Big 12 in steals per game (8.8), third in field goal percentage defense (.380) and fourth in blocks per game (4.7).



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