OU Meets OSU in Bedlam III in OKC

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

 No. 6/7 Oklahoma (27-4, 13-3) vs. Oklahoma State (21-10, 9-7) 
 Date & Tip Time

 Thursday, March 12 at 6:07 p.m. CDT

 Location  Oklahoma City | Ford Center
 Tickets  TicketMaster
 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

 Series History  OU leads 125-89
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com/GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION
The recipient of a first-round bye for the 10th time in 13 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships, No. 6/7 Oklahoma (27-4 overall, 13-3 Big 12) is the No. 2 seed in this year's event, to be played at Ford Center in Oklahoma City.  Kansas, OU, Missouri and Kansas State are the top four seeds, respectively, and will not play in Wednesday's first round.

OU will begin its quest for a fourth Big 12 tournament title on Thursday at 6 p.m. CDT against No. 7 seed Oklahoma State.  If the Sooners win on Thursday, they will play a semifinals contest Friday at 8:30 p.m.  Saturday's championship game will start at 5 p.m.

All of Oklahoma's Big 12 Championship games will air live on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City) with Bob Barry, Sr. (play-by-play) and Mike Houck (analyst) calling the action.  OU's Thursday quarterfinals contest and Friday's semifinals game will be regionally televised by the Big 12 Network (KOCB Channel 34, Cox 11 in Oklahoma City; KJRH Channel 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa).  Saturday's championship game will be shown nationally by ESPN.

TICKET INFORMATION
All-session and single-session tickets for the Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship are available for purchase at the Ford Center box office and via all Ticketmaster outlets. Prices are $40, $50 and $55 per session, depending on location. On game days, fans can buy tickets at the box office beginning at 9:30 a.m. until halftime of the last scheduled contest of the day.

SERIES WITH OKLAHOMA STATE
Oklahoma holds a 125-89 (.584) series lead against Oklahoma State, including a 15-12 advantage since the inception of the Big 12 Conference (1996-97 was the first season of league competition).  The Sooners have won five straight in the series, seven of the last eight and eight of the last 10.  Jeff Capel is 5-1 against OSU as Oklahoma's head coach.  OU and OSU have met once in the Big 12 Championship with the Cowboys taking a 60-57 win in the 1999 event in Kansas City.  The teams split their two Big Eight Tournament meetings, with Oklahoma winning 116-91 in 1985 and Oklahoma State winning 74-58 in 1995 (both in Kansas City).

OU won this year's pair of regular season meetings -- 89-81 in Stillwater Jan. 26 and 82-78 in Norman on Saturday.  In those two games, the Sooners outshot the Cowboys .577 to .446 from the field and outrebounded them 76-47.  OU sophomore Blake Griffin averaged 29.5 points, 16.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the wins while shooting .808 from the field (21-for-26) and .654 (17-for-26) from the free throw line.  Griffin's 33 combined rebounds were just 14 fewer than the entire OSU team (he outboarded the Cowboys 19-18 in Stillwater).  Austin Johnson (6-for-12 from 3-point range) averaged 16.5 points in the two contests while Taylor Griffin and Willie Warren averaged 11.0 each.

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Blake Griffin
6-10
251
So.
 22.1 ppg, 14.2 rpg, 63.4 FG%
F
32
 Taylor Griffin
6-7
238
Sr.
 9.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 53.8 FG%
G
5
 Tony Crocker
6-6
206
Jr.
 9.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 36.6 3FG%
G
13
 Willie Warren
6-4
207
Fr.
 14.7 ppg, 3.1 apg, 37.8 3FG%
G
20
 Austin Johnson
6-3
176
Sr.
 8.6 ppg, 3.9 apg, 34.8 3FG% 

OKLAHOMA AND THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
• Oklahoma sports a 19-9 (.679) Big 12 Championship record, the league's second best mark (Kansas is 25-6).  Including the Big Eight Tournament (1977 through 1996), OU is 42-25 (.627) in conference postseason tourney play.
• OU has won three Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship titles (2001, 2002, 2003).
• The Sooners have played in five of the 12 Big 12 title games.
• Only Kansas (25 wins and six titles) has more total tournament wins and championships than OU (19 victories and three crowns).
• The Sooners are 1-1 in Big 12 Championship play in Oklahoma City (beat Iowa State in 2007 before losing to eventual champ Kansas).
• OU has gone 1-1 in the Big 12 Championship in each of Jeff Capel's first two years.

GRIFFIN NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Sophomore forward Blake Griffin was named the Big 12 Player of the Year by league head coaches on Sunday, and was a unanimous first-team choice for the all-league squad.  The 6-10, 251-pounder is averaging 22.1 points and 14.2 rebounds per game while shooting .634 from the field, all conference bests.  He is also averaging 2.4 assists per game, more than any other Big 12 player taller than 6-foot-5.  To boot, Griffin ranks fourth in the league with his 1.3 blocked shots per game and ranks third on OU with his 1.2 steals average.  Griffin, who is OU's second Big 12 Player of the Year (Hollis Price was named AP Big 12 Player of the Year in 2003), has already set several OU and Big 12 records this year and is on pace to set more...

• Griffin holds the school and Big 12 records for rebounds in a season (425).  Wayman Tisdale held the former OU record with 378 in 1984-85 while Kansas' Drew Gooden (423 in 2001-02) held the former Big 12 single-season mark.
• Griffin's 215 boards in Big 12 play set a conference record, and that's with Griffin missing a game and a half due to a concussion.  Texas Tech's Tony Battie held the previous mark with 190 in 1997.
• Griffin's 25 double-doubles are a single-season school record.  Alvan Adams (1973-74) and Garfield Heard (1969-70) held the previous mark with 21.  Griffin needs three more double-doubles to tie Michael Beasley's Big 12 record of 28 last season.
• With a .634 season field goal mark, Griffin is on pace to set the OU and Big 12 records.  Al Beal (.627 in 1978-79) holds the OU record while Colorado's David Harrison (.631 in 2003-04) holds the Big 12 mark.
• The OU career record for field goal percentage (minimum of 500 attempts) is .578 by Tisdale.  Griffin owns a .604 career figure.
• Griffin has three games of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds this season, a Big 12 record.  Only one other league player (Beasley had two) has ever recorded more than one such outing in a career.
• Griffin needs 16 more free throw attempts to tie Stacey King's single-season school record (294 in 1988-89).  He needs one attempt to tie Beasley's Big 12 record of 279 last year.  If the season ended today, Griffin would set the OU single-season mark for free throw attempts per game with 9.3 (King averaged 8.9 in 1988-89).
• Griffin's 40 points and 23 rebounds against Texas Tech Feb. 14 represent the only 40/20 game in Big 12 history.  His 23 boards in that contest tied as the most ever in a conference game (Texas' Kevin Durant in 2006-07 and Kansas' Nick Collison in 2002-03 also grabbed 23 boards in a league outing).
• Griffin has recorded a Big 12-record 13 games of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds this year.  The former record was seven in a season (Durant in 2006-07 and Beasley in 2007-08). 
• Griffin earned six Big 12 Player of the Week awards this season, tying a conference record.

WARREN SELECTED AS UNANIMOUS BIG 12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Guard Willie Warren was a unanimous choice as Big 12 Freshman of the Year by conference head coaches, becoming OU's first league freshman of the year.  The 6-4, 207-pounder from Fort Worth, Texas, is averaging 14.7 points a game to rank 13th in the league, 3.1 assists (ranks 14th) and 1.2 steals (ranks second on team).  He is shooting .479 from the field, .378 from 3-point distance and .779 from the free throw line (ranks 10th in Big 12).  Following are notes from Warren's first season at OU...

• Warren has seven 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 to become the first OU true frosh since McCalister to register multiple 30-point outings.
• Warren already ranks sixth on OU's freshman scoring chart (456 points), second in 3-pointers (56), fourth in free throws made (102), fifth in assists (95) and fifth in steals (38).  He needs two more treys to tie Terry Evans for the top spot (58 in 1989-90).
• Warren, who earned seven Big 12 Rookie of the Week awards (one shy of Michael Beasley's record of eight set last year), shot .460 from 3-point range (29-for-63) in OU's 11 road games.  He averaged 17.0 points per road outing.
• Warren leads the team with 56 3-pointers and has registered 14 games with at least two 3-point makes.  He has made at least three treys in a contest seven times and at least five treys three times (high of seven at Arkansas). 

 
 Sooner to Watch 

 Blake Griffin | So. | Forward
 • Big 12 Player of the Year
 • Averaging 27.3 points and 19.0 rebounds over his last four full games (shooting .677).
 • Leads nation in rebounding (14.2) and double-doubles (25)
 • Enters week ranked No. 3 nationally in field goal percentage (.634) and 12th in scoring (22.1 ppg)

   

A THURSDAY OKLAHOMA WIN WOULD...
• Give the Sooners at least one victory in the Big 12 Championship for the 11th time in 13 league tournaments.
• Result in its ninth Big 12 Championship semifinals appearance.
• Improve OU's Big 12 Championship record to 20-9 (.690).  Including the Big Eight Tournament, the Sooners would push their postseason conference tournament mark to 43-25 (.632).
• Give the Sooners their 28th win of the year, which would already tie for sixth most in school history (the school record is 35 in 1987-88).
• Up OU's all-time record at the Ford Center to 10-2.
• Give Jeff Capel at least one conference tournament win in all seven of his seasons as a head coach (he would improve to 10-5).

"NOTE"WORTHY
• As of Monday, Oklahoma's 27 wins are tied for third most in the nation (Memphis and Pitt have 28 each).
• Only twice in its history has OU won more than 27 times through its first 31 games of a season (28 in both 1983-84 and 1987-88).
• OU's 13-3 Big 12 record tied as its best ever (the 2001-02 team that reached the Final Four also went 13-3 in Big 12 play).
• The Sooners went 8-3 in road games this year, their most road victories since going 8-2 in 1983-84.
• Five Sooners have scored at least 20 points in a game this season.  Blake Griffin has done it a team-high 20 times and is followed by Willie Warren (seven times), Tony Crocker (three times),  Taylor Griffin and Austin Johnson (once each).
• The Sooners are 27-2 this year in games Blake Griffin did not miss any time due to injury.  He played only 11 minutes in a Feb. 21 loss at Texas due to a first-half concussion and missed the following game against Kansas (also a loss).
• Blake Griffin is averaging 27.3 points, 19.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists over his last four full games (not including the Feb. 21 Texas game when he played 11 minutes).  He is 44-for-65 (.677) from the field in those outings.
• Discounting the aforementioned game at Texas, Blake Griffin has registered a double-double in 11 straight outings.
• Over the last four games, Taylor Griffin is averaging 15.5 points and 7.3 boards while shooting .639 from the floor.
• The Griffin brothers have combined for 54 percent of OU's individual rebounds on the season and are shooting a combined .602 from the field (355-for-590).  One of the two has led the team in rebounding in 30 of 31 games (Ryan Wright paced the Sooners with seven boards against Kansas when Blake Griffin did not play).
• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in 28 of its 31 games this year (three of last four games were different).
• OU is 24-0 this year when outshooting its opponent (.497 to .387) and just 3-4 when being outshot (.439 to .469).
• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma led the league in field goal percentage (.499) and ranked second in 3-point field goal percentage (.392).  It ranked second in field goal percentage defense (.413) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.332).
• 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 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots in an average of 18.5 minutes over his last 11 outings.  He is 34-for-61 from the field (.557) and 24-for-30 at the foul line (.800) during the stretch.
• Sophomore guard Cade Davis went 19 straight games without scoring in double figures but has done it in two of the last six outings.  He is averaging 6.7 points over those six games (only played two minutes and didn't score in one of them) while shooting .500 (12-for-24) from 3-point range.  Included was a career-high 17-point outing against Texas Tech Feb. 14 in which he nailed a career-high five treys on nine attempts.  Davis also went 4-for-6 from deep against Kansas Feb. 23.
• After scoring 33 points over his first 26 games this year (1.3 average), senior back-up point guard Omar Leary has tallied 27 points over the last four outings (6.8 average).  He is 6-for-14 (.429) from 3-point range over those four outings.  Eight of his 10 free throw attempts on the year (he is 9-for-10) have also come during the four-game stretch.
• OU's 13-game winning streak that ended Feb. 21 at Texas 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.
• As of Monday, OU is ranked No. 5 at CollegeRPI.com.   The Sooners are 7-0 this year against non-conference foes that have gone on to win at least 20 games (American, Davidson, Purdue, Tulsa, UAB, Utah and VCU).  USC enters the week two wins shy of 20.

OU Fast Fact 
Including this year, Oklahoma has earned first-round byes in 10 of 13 Big 12 Championships.  It has won at least one game in 10 of the previous 12 years.

OFFENSIVE NOTES
• 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 eight of the last 12 games (.511 combined over those 12 outings).
• The Sooners have been held under 70 points just five times this season (61, 64, 68, 69 and 69) and are averaging 79.5 points per game on the year.  They have not finished a season averaging 80.0 or more points a contest since the 1994-95 campaign.
• OU has shot .400 or better from 3-point range in 10 of the last 15 games.  It ranked second in Big 12 play with a .392 3-point mark.
Tony Crocker and Willie Warren have combined for 84 treys over the last 21 games.  Warren is 44-for-104 (.423) in those 21 outings while Crocker is 40-for-98 (.408).  Over OU's first 10 games, each owned a .273 season 3-point figure (12-for-44).
• In OU's 15 non-league games, Austin Johnson averaged 6.6 points and was 13-for-47 (.277) from 3-point range.  In 16 Big 12 games, he averaged 10.6 points and was 26-for-65 (.400) from long distance.
• Last year, Blake Griffin became the first player in OU history standing at least 6-foot-10 to log three or more handouts in 11 games.  He has done it in 14 games this season.
• Despite a modest .678 team free throw percentage (it ranks ninth in the Big 12), Oklahoma has made just 12 fewer foul shots than its opponents have attempted.  OU has shot 250 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 8.1 more per game.
• Griffin is shooting .590 from the free throw line.  The rest of the team has combined for a .724 mark.
• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 415 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 .397 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).
• OU has held 14 of its 31 opponents to a sub-.400 field goal mark (12 of them under a .360 figure).
• Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 with its 4.5 blocked shots per contest.  Juan Pattillo ranks third in league play with his 1.3 rejections per outing, while Blake Griffin ranks fifth (1.1) and Taylor Griffin seventh (1.0).  Point guard Austin Johnson has 25 blocks in 31 outings on the year (ranks 13th in the Big 12) for the highest average (0.8) among league guards.

MORE BLAKE
Blake Griffin enters the week leading the nation in rebounding (14.2) and double-doubles (tied with 25), while ranking second in free throw attempts (9.3 per game), third in field goal percentage (.634) and 12th in scoring (22.1 ppg).
• Griffin has scored at least 20 points in 20 of his 30 games and has reached the 30-point mark on four occasions (twice in his last four full games).
• Griffin's 40 points and 23 rebounds (career highs) against Texas Tech Feb. 14 marked the first such outing of any player nationally since at least the 1996-97 season (the OU Athletics Media Relations Office contacted multiple national research groups whose databases only went back to that year).  Only two previous Sooners have accomplished the feat (Wayman Tisdale in 1983-84 and Alvan Adams in 1974-75).  His 40 points were the most by a Sooner in 15 seasons while his 23 boards were the most in 20 years.
• Griffin has 10 double-doubles in his last 11 games.  He had a streak of eight double-doubles snapped Feb. 21 at Texas (played only 11 minutes).  It was the fourth longest double-double streak in OU history.  He also has a pair of six-game streaks this year.
• Griffin has 146 more points (630) and 110 more rebounds (411) in 29 games this year than he did in 33 games last season.
• In addition to his three games this year of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, Griffin has five games of at least 20 points and 18 rebounds and two others of at least 16 points and 20 boards.
• Griffin has recorded 13 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.  The former Big 12 record was seven in a season (Kevin Durant in 2006-07 and Michael Beasley in 2007-08). 
• One of the country's best passing big men, Griffin has at least two assists in 23 of his 30 games and at least three in 14 outings.

EVEN 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 and has registered at least one handout in 28 of 29 outings (did not have one in his 11 minutes against Texas Feb. 21).  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 14 times already this year.
• 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 Feb. 21 at Texas.
• Griffin has 73 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.5 per game.  He has 125 slams in 62 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).

IN THE NEWS
Blake Griffin earned his single-season, record-tying sixth Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honor on Monday after averaging 24.5 points, 17.5 points and 2.5 assists against Missouri and Oklahoma State last week.  He shot .731 from the field in the two games.
• Also on Monday, Griffin was named Athlon Sports' and FoxSports.com's national player of the year while Willie Warren was named Athlon's national freshman of the year.  
Taylor Griffin, Omar Leary and Ryan Wright were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team March 4.  All were second-team selections.  It was Griffin's third consecutive year to earn the honor.
• Blake Griffin was named to the five-man NABC All-District 8 Team March 5.  Willie Warren was named to the second team.
Jeff Capel was named one of 10 finalists March 2 for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Henry Iba Award, presented to the national coach of the year.
Sports Illustrated college hoops writer Seth Davis tabbed Capel as his national coach of the year on Feb. 26.
• Blake Griffin was named one of 30 mid-season Naismith Award candidates on Feb. 25.  A day later, Griffin was named one of 15 finalists for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Oscar Robertson Trophy.  Both are national player of the year awards.

RELATED