Red River Rivals Clash in Austin
SATURDAY'S GAME BASICS
No. 12/15 Oklahoma (16-5, 6-3 Big 12) heads south to face rival Texas (14-8, 4-5 Big 12) in a hardwood edition of the Red River Showdown. Oklahoma looks for its third straight Big 12 win and hopes to snap a four-game road losing streak. Boasting the nation’s highest-scoring offense, Oklahoma is coming off of its 12th game of at least 90 points this season. The Sooners and their young gun point guard aim for their third win in Austin in the last five years when OU and Texas tip at 5:15 p.m. CT.
Austin will be the site of this week’s edition of College Gameday on ESPN. This will be the fourth time the Sooners have been featured in a College Gameday site (second time for a road game) and OU’s first appearance on the show since hosting Kansas in 2016. It will be the third time Gameday has aired from the site of an OU-Texas basketball game.
ON THE AIR
Saturday’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 nationally on ESPN with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor calling the action.
• Freshman guard Trae Young leads the country in both scoring (30.3) and assists (9.5). Young, who is coming off of a 44-point performance in a win over Baylor, has reached 40 points in three of Oklahoma’s last six games. Only one other D-I player (Jordan Howard of Central Arkansas) has had two 40-point games this season. Young is averaging 33.7 points during conference play, and is scoring most of his points after halftime as he continues to adjust to the various defensive schemes thrown at him. Young’s scoring in the second half during Big 12 play (21.3 points) is more than any other Big 12 player is averaging in full games during conference contests.
• Oklahoma will look for a strong performance from its big men when facing the shot-blocking freshman center Mohamed Bamba of Texas. The Sooner tandem of Khadeem Lattin and Jamuni McNeace are combining to average 13.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocks this season. Lattin enters Saturday averaging 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in his last two games. He also sits nine blocks shy of tying the program record for career blocks (230).
• The highest-scoring team in the nation, Oklahoma looks to continue its ball movement and distribution. When Young reaches a double-double, the Sooners are 10-0. Oklahoma is 12-0 this season when Young dishes out at least nine assists.
Oklahoma aims to pick up its third win in Austin in the last five years.
SERIES HISTORY VS. TEXAS
• Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 54-37, with UT holding a narrow lead (21-18) for games played in Austin. OU has won two of the last four meetings inside “The Drum.”
• The Sooners are 7-5 against Texas under Lon Kruger. Oklahoma is 2-2 versus the Horns during the Shaka Smart era at Texas.
LAST TIME OUT
• Oklahoma bounced back with a 98-96 win over Baylor on Tuesday at Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners are now 4-1 in games after losses this season. The win pushed the Sooners’ home winning streak to 14 games.
• OU was led by freshman guard Trae Young, who produced 44 points, nine assists and four boards. It was Young’s fourth 40-point outing of the season. The performance brought Young to 636 total points this season. He is just the third freshman (and second true freshman) in OU history to score 600 points in his first year. Wayman Tisdale (810) and Jeff Webster (640) are the only Sooners to score more than Young in a freshman season.
• The Sooners clinched the victory despite playing without their second-leading scorer Christian James (flu-like symptoms). Oklahoma filled the gap of James (who averages 11.9 points per game) as four Sooners scored at least 15 points. One of the standout performances was a season-high 18 points by Rashard Odomes. Khadeem Lattin added 15 points and 12 boards.
• Oklahoma entered the final minute of the game trailing by three and went on to outscore the Bears 5-0 in the last 60 seconds to earn the win.
PLAY FAST, SCORE BUCKETS
• Oklahoma boasts a 16-5 record behind the highest-scoring offense in the nation. The Sooners average 90.7 points per game and have scored at least 90 points in 12 of their 21 games - including six games in triple digits. Oklahoma, who ranked 331 (of 351 teams) in assists per game last season (10.6), is 34th in the country with 16.7 assists per contest this year. The Sooners also rank 12th 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 fifth in the nation and first among major conferences in KenPom.com’s adjusted tempo rankings (possesions per 40 minutes adjusted to the opponenet) with 76.0. Oklahoma’s average possession is 13.9 seconds long, the fastest among major conferences and fourth-fastest overall.
• Oklahoma is 8-0 when shooting above 50 percent and 7-0 when it hands out at least 20 assists.
• Oklahoma has scored 45 or more points in 20 of its 42 halves this season and has scored at least 40 points before halftime in all but four contests.
• The Sooners have scored at least 100 points in six games – their most in a season since the 1992-93 season, when Oklahoma reached the century mark in nine games. Oklahoma’s six triple-digit games are the second-most in a season by an Big 12 team since the conference was formed in 1996. The 2001-02 Kansas squad (12 games) is the only team with more.
• OU 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.
OH, TO BE YOUNG...
• Oklahoma’s offensive efforts have been led by the scoring and passing of freshman guard Trae Young. In 21 games, the Norman native has put together 10 double-doubles, 19 20-plus-point games, eight 30-plus-point games and four 40-plus-point games. Young is averaging 30.3 points, 9.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals while shooting .452 from the field and .409 from 3-point range. He leads the nation in scoring and averages over 10 points more than any other Big 12 player (Texas Tech’s Keenan Evans is second with 18.6). Young’s 9.5 assists also lead the country. No player in recorded NCAA history has finished a season leading the country in both scoring and assists.
• Just 21 games into his collegiate career, Young already owns the program record for total assists (200), 3-pointers (90) and made foul shots (170) in a freshman season. Young also ranks in the top 10 among all-time OU freshmen in numerous other categories for season totals. He is sitting in third in points (636), sixth in steals (39) and fifth in made shots (188).
• Young’s collegiate career only consists of 21 games, but he has reached 41 points on four occasions, most recently scoring 44 against Baylor on Jan. 30. Young produced a career-high 48 points against Oklahoma State on Jan. 20. Young’s 48 points are tied for the most ever by a Big 12 player (Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim also scored 48 in 2014) and is the second-highest-scoring game by a Division-I player this season. His 48 points are the fifth-most in Oklahoma program history and the second-most by an OU freshman. Young also scored 43 points on Nov. 26 against Oregon and again on Jan. 13 versus TCU. He is the 15th Sooner to score 40 points in a game, but just the second to do so as a freshman. Wayman Tisdale is the only Sooner freshman to score more in a game (51) in the 1982-83 season. Young is also the fourth player in program history to score 40 points in a game multiple times, joining Tisdale (five), Stacey King (two), and Jeff Webster (two).
UP NEXT: WEST VIRGINIA
• Up next, the Sooners host West Virginia in a quick turnaround - facing the Mountaineers on ESPN’s Big Monday at 8 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. West Virginia is currently ranked No. 15 in the latest AP Top 25 poll. The Sooners are 13-1 during the Lon Kruger era in home games in which both teams are ranked.
• Oklahoma owns a 9-6 all-time record against West Virginia, and is 4-1 when playing in Norman. Last season’s home loss to West Virginia is the only loss to the Mountaineers inside LNC and the last time Oklahoma lost a home game. The Sooners have since won 14 straight home games and have not lost since Feb. 8, 2017.
• The Mountaineers edged the Sooners, 89-76, in the season’s first meeting on Jan. 6 in Morgantown. Monday’s matchup will be the first time Oklahoma has faced an opponent it has lost to previously this season.