First Place on the Line Monday Night

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

 No. 2/2 Oklahoma (25-2, 11-1) vs. No. 15/18 Kansas (22-5, 11-1) 
 Date & Tip Time

 Monday, Feb. 23 at 8:05 p.m. CST

 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office
 TV

 ESPN/ESPNHD

 Radio

 Sooner Radio Network 
 KRXO FM 107.7 in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa

 Series History  Kansas leads 133-64
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com/GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

PREVIEWING MONDAY'S GAME
In a battle for sole possession of first place in the Big 12 Conference, No. 2/2 Oklahoma (25-2, 11-1) hosts Kansas (22-5, 11-1) Monday at 8 p.m. CST.  The Sooners had their 13-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Texas, 73-68, while the Jayhawks have won 11 of their last 12 outings and are coming off a 70-53 home win over Nebraska.  The game will be nationally televised by ESPN/ESPNHD with Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe announcing.  The contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KRXO FM 107.7 in OKC; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa) with Bob Barry, Sr. and Mike Houck calling the action.

TICKET INFORMATION
Reserved seats are sold out.  Restricted admission tickets ($20 each) will go on sale Monday at Lloyd Noble Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

PROMOTIONS AND EVENTS
• Monday is "Cheer Like a Champion" night.  White "Cheer Like a Champion" T-shirts will be place in every seat.
• The Matt Boggs Band will perform at halftime.
• Pyrotechnics will be utilized during pre-game introductions and at halftime. 

 Kansas' Projected Starters (based on last game)
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
22
 Marcus Morris
6-6
233
So.
 7.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 48.7 FG%
C
45
 Cole Aldrich
6-11
245
So.
 15.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 61.8 FG%
G
4
 Sherron Collins
5-11
200
Jr.
 18.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.0 apg
G
12
 Brady Morningstar
6-3
180
So.
 7.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 47.8 3FG%
G
15
 Tyshawn Taylor
6-3
180
Fr.
 9.1 ppg, 2.3 apg, 3.0 apg

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters (based on last game)
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Blake Griffin
6-10
251
So.
 22.0 ppg, 13.8 rpg, 63.2 FG%
F
32
 Taylor Griffin
6-7
238
Sr.
 8.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 51.5 FG%
G
5
 Tony Crocker
6-6
206
Jr.
 10.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 37.9 3FG%
G
13
 Willie Warren
6-4
207
Fr.
 15.4 ppg, 3.0 apg, 38.2 3FG%
G
20
 Austin Johnson
6-3
176
Sr.
 8.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.4 apg 

FOR STARTERS
• The Sooners have won 19 straight home games and 10 consecutive Big 12 games at Lloyd Noble Center.
• At 25-2, Oklahoma is tied with Connecticut and Pittsburgh for the nation's best record.  Utah State is the only other team with 25 wins (the Aggies have three losses).
• OU's record ties as its best ever through the first 27 games of a season (the 1987-88 team that played in the national championship game was also 25-2 through 27 outings).
• The Sooners won their first 11 league games for the Big 12's second best start ever (Kansas finished 16-0 in 2002).  OU's 11-1 conference mark is its best since also beginning 11-1 in the Big Eight in 1985.
• OU has won at least 11 Big 12 games nine times in the 13-year history of the league.  Its best Big 12 record was 13-3 in 2001-02.

"NOTE"WORTHY
• OU's 13-game winning streak that ended Saturday was the fourth longest in school single-season history.   The Sooners also won their first 12 games of the year, giving them two of the seven longest single-season winning streaks in school annals.
• Kansas is the only Big 12 school with a winning record against Oklahoma (133-64).  OU is 40-44 against the Jayhawks in Norman.
• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in all 26 games.
• Over the last 14 games (13-1 record), the Sooners are outshooting their opponents from the field, .506 to .396.  They have shot better than 13 of those 14 foes (Texas outshot them .462 to .443 Saturday).
• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma ranks first in field goal percentage (.505) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (.405) while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.408) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.335).
Willie Warren has six games of at least 20 points this year, the most by an OU true freshman since Tim McCalister recorded nine of them in 1983-84.  Warren has registered at least 27 points four times and has broken the 30-point barrier twice.
• Warren already ranks sixth on OU's freshman scoring chart (415 points), third in 3-pointers (50), fifth in free throws made (95), fifth in assists (80) and sixth in steals (34).  He needs nine more treys to take over the top spot from Terry Evans (58 in 1989-90).
• Warren is shooting .500 from 3-point range (28-for-56) in OU's nine road games but just .284 (19-for-67) in its 15 home games.  He's averaging 20.0 points per road outing and 13.2 per home contest.
• Brothers Blake and Taylor Griffin are shooting a combined .595 from the field this year and have teamed to pull down 19.6 rebounds a game (54 percent of the team's total).
• In OU's four games against ranked opponents this year, Taylor Griffin is averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots.  He is shooting .697 from the field in those outings.
• Junior college transfer Juan Pattillo, who came out of a redshirt season in time for the Jan. 12 Texas game but totaled just four minutes over the next three games, is averaging 8.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in an average of 18.8 minutes over the last eight outings.  He is 27-for-44 from the field (.614) and 15-for-18 at the foul line (.833) during the stretch.
• 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. 2 nationally at CollegeRPI.com.

 
 Sooner to Watch 

 Willie Warren | Fr. | Guard
 • Coming off a 27-point game at Texas in which he was 6-for-12 from 3-point range
 • Six-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week
 • Has scored at least 20 points six times, the most by an OU true frosh in 25 years
 • Ranks 11th in Big 12 in scoring, sixth in FG percentage and seventh in FT percentage

   

OFFENSIVE NOTES
• The Sooners have been held under 70 points just four times this season (61, 68, 69 and 69).  OU is averaging 80.1 points per game on the year.  It has not finished a season averaging 80.0 or more points a contest since the 1994-95 campaign.
• Oklahoma is shooting a Big 12-best .489 from the field.  The last time OU shot better for an entire season was 21 years ago (.491 in 1988-89).  The Sooners have shot at least .500 from the field in six of the last eight games (.525 combined over those eight outings).
• OU has shot .400 or better from 3-point range in eight of the last 11 contests and owns a .409 mark over the span.  The Sooners rank second in Big 12 play with their .405 3-point mark (Kansas is shooting .406).
Tony Crocker and Willie Warren have combined for 76 treys over the last 17 games.  Crocker is 38-for-88 (.432) from deep in those 17 outings while Warren is 38-for-87 (.437).  Over OU's first 10 games, each owned a .273 season 3-point figure (12-for-44).
• Warren is shooting .493 from the field on the season to rank sixth in the Big 12 and second among league guards (OSU's Terrel Harris is shooting .494).  The last OU guard to shoot at least .500 from the field for an entire year was Nolan Johnson (.559) in 1999-00.
• In OU's 15 non-league games, Austin Johnson averaged 6.6 points and was 13-for-47 (.277) from 3-point range.  In 12 Big 12 games, he is averaging 11.3 points and is 21-for-48 (.438) from long distance.
• Last year, Blake Griffin became the first player in school history standing at least 6-foot-10 to log three or more handouts in 11 games.  He has done it in 13 games this season.
• Despite a modest .682 team free throw percentage (they rank eighth in the Big 12), the Sooners have made 13 more foul shots than their opponents have attempted.  OU has shot 239 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 8.9 more per game.  Griffin has attempted 36 percent of the team's free throws (255 of its 710).
• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 411 consecutive games (last one without a trey was at Memphis on Dec. 23, 1996).

DEFENSIVE NOTES
• Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 (all games) with its .393 field goal percentage defense.  The last time OU held opponents to a lower collective figure for an entire season was 48 years ago (.377 in 1960-61).
• The Sooners have held their first 12 Big 12 opponents to a combined .408 field goal mark, with Kansas State (.327) and Texas (.338 in first meeting) shooting season lows and Baylor (.346 in the first meeting) posting its second worst mark of the season.
• OU has held 12 of its 27 opponents to a field goal mark under .360.
• Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 with its 4.6 blocked shots per contest.  Juan Pattillo ranks fourth in league play with his 1.4 rejections per outing, while Taylor Griffin ranks fifth (1.2) and Blake Griffin eighth (1.1).  Point guard Austin Johnson has 22 blocks in 27 outings on the year for the highest average (0.8) among league guards.

OU Fast Fact 
The Sooners 19-game home court winning streak is tied for the fourth longest in the nation.  They have won 129 of their last 143 at Lloyd Noble Center (.902).

SERIES WITH KANSAS
Kansas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against Oklahoma.  The Jayhawks own a 133-64 series advantage and are 44-40 in Norman.  The Sooners had won three of the five overall meetings in the series and four of the seven prior to Kansas' current three-game victory streak.  OU is 4-12 against the Jayhawks since the formation of the Big 12 Conference (2-4 in Norman).  They have won two of the last three against KU in Norman (won 77-70 in 2003, won 71-63 in 2005 and lost 67-65 in 2007).

LAST YEAR AGAINST THE JAYHAWKS
• Playing without leading scorer and rebounder Blake Griffin for the game's final 35 minutes (he sprained the MCL in his left knee at the 15:04 mark of the first half), Oklahoma lost at No. 3 Kansas (85-55) on Jan. 14, 2008.
• Kansas staked itself to a 14-2 lead and was up 40-20 at halftime.
• OU's Longar Longar scored a game-high 21 points on 9-for-18 field goal shooting and was 3-for-4 at the free throw line.
• Starting guard Tony Crocker picked up three early fouls and played just four first-half minutes.  He scored all 10 of his points in the game's final 10:22 and played just 18 minutes on the night (he averaged 31.2 minutes per game entering the contest).
• With the injury to his brother, forward Taylor Griffin played 34 minutes and finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two assists.  He was 4-for-4 from the foul line.
• Kansas entered the game forcing 19.6 turnovers per outing, but Oklahoma committed just 11 on the evening.
• KU was led in scoring by Darnell Jackson (17 points), Brandon Rush (16), Darrell Arthur (14) and Mario Chalmers (13).  All four are now in the NBA.

BODY BY BLAKE
• Sophomore Blake Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.0 ppg), rebounding (13.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (.632), while ranking fourth in blocks (1.3 bpg).  The 6-10 forward also averages 2.4 assists per contest, more than any other league player taller than 6-foot-5.  He has recorded at least two assists in 20 of 27 games and at least three in 13 outings.
• Nationally, Griffin ranks first in rebounding and double-doubles (22), second in free throw attempts (9.4 per game), fifth in field goal percentage and 12th in scoring.
• Griffin needs seven rebounds to overtake Wayman Tisdale (378 in 1984-85) as OU's record holder for boards in a season.  If Griffin accomplishes the feat Monday against Kansas, he'll have done it in nine fewer games than Tisdale.
• Griffin's 40 points and 23 rebounds (career highs) against Texas Tech two outings ago marked the first time in Big 12 history a player recorded a 40/20 game, and was the first such outing of any player nationally since at least the 1996-97 season.  Only two previous Sooners have accomplished the feat (Tisdale in 1983-84 and Alvan Adams in 1974-75).  Griffin's 40 points were the most by an OU player in 15 seasons while his 23 rebounds were the most in 20 years.
• Griffin's 22 double-doubles are the most in OU single-season history.  Garfield Heard (21 double-doubles in 27 games during the 1969-70 season) and Adams (21 in 26 games during the 1973-74 campaign) rank second.
• Griffin had a streak of eight double-doubles snapped Saturday at Texas.  It was the fourth longest double-double streak in OU history.  He has also assembled a pair of six-game streaks this year.
• Griffin has 110 more points (594) and 71 more rebounds (372) in 27 games this year than he did in 33 games last season.
• Griffin has three games of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds this season.  No other Big 12 player has ever recorded more than two such outings in a career.
• Griffin has recorded 12 games of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds this season, more than any player nationally since at least the 1996-97 season.  Tim Duncan (Wake Forest in 1996-97) and Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech in 2005-06) registered nine 20/15 games, the second most since the start of the 1996-97 season. 
• Griffin has accounted for 27 percent of OU's points, 38 percent of its rebounds and 40 percent of its defensive boards in 16 percent of the team's minutes played.

SATURDAY'S TEXAS RECAP
• Playing without Blake Griffin during the second half due to a first-half concussion, Oklahoma had its 13-game winning streak snapped at Texas, 73-68.  OU led 61-56 with 5:14 to go but was outscored 17-7 the rest of the way.  Griffin played just 11 minutes and had two points and three rebounds.
• The Sooners trailed 34-29 at halftime and fell behind by 12 less than two minutes into the second half before responding with a 14-0 run to take a 43-41 lead.  They issued an 11-0 run later in the half to go up 61-56 after trailing 56-50.
Willie Warren scored a game-high 27 points (his fourth highest total of the year), and netted 17 of them in the second half (all 17 between the 16:00 and 5:14 marks).  He was 10-for-20 from the field and 6-for-12 from 3-point range while adding six assists.
Tony Crocker scored 14 points on 6-for-14 shooting and pulled down seven boards for his second highest total of the season.
Austin Johnson finished with six points, seven rebounds and six assists without a turnover.  His seven boards were one shy of his career high.
Taylor Griffin logged nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.  His 35 minutes were his most in nine games.
• Playing his most minutes as a Sooner (20), Ryan Wright had three points (made his only field goal attempt) and added three rebounds and two blocked shots.
• Texas' A.J. Abrams scored 18 of Texas' final 20 points and finished with 23.
• Both teams had 13 offensive rebounds but Texas scored 17 second-half chance points to OU's nine.

MORE BLAKE
• Lost in Blake Griffin's gaudy scoring and rebounding statistics are some pretty impressive assist numbers.  The forward ranks third on the team with 2.4 assists per game this season and has registered at least one handout in 26 of 27 outings (did not have one in his 11 minutes against Texas Saturday).  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 13 times already this year.
• Griffin (13.8 rpg and .632 FG%) is on pace to shatter the single-season OU records for rebounding average and field goal percentage.  The standards of 13.3 boards per game and .627 from the field were set by Alvan Adams in 1974-75 and Al Beal in 1978-79.  Griffin is also averaging 9.4 free throw attempts a game (ranks second nationally), a figure that would break Stacey King's 1988-89 school record of 8.9 foul shots per outing.
• Griffin owns three of the six longest double-double streaks in school history, with all three of those coming this year.  He has assembled a pair of six game streaks and had an eight-game streak (fourth longest in OU history) snapped Saturday at Texas.
• Griffin has 70 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.6 per game.  He has 122 slams in 60 career games.
• 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 fifth on the team with his 8.7 points per outing but ranks among the Big 12's leaders in several other categories.  Johnson leads the league (ranks in the top 10 nationally) in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.0-to-1) and ranks seventh in assists (4.4) and 14th in blocked shots (0.8).  No other league guard averages as many blocks as Johnson.

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