OU Hosts Top-25 Tilt vs. Davidson

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

Nov. 18, 2008

 No. 12/14 Oklahoma (2-0) vs. No. 21/21 Davidson (2-0) 
 Date & Tip Time  Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 8:30 p.m. CST
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center 
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office
 TV

 ESPN2 

 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC AM-1520 in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ AM-1430 in Tulsa
 Video Webcast  None
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com / GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

GAME PREVIEW
A 94-53 first-round win over Mississippi Valley State Monday in the 16-team Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off catapulted Oklahoma into a top-25 matchup with Davidson. The No. 12/14 Sooners will host the No. 21/21 Wildcats Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. CST at Lloyd Noble Center for the right to go to New York City's Madison Square Garden for next week's tournament semifinals and final. Tuesday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC AM-1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM-1430 in Tulsa) with Bob Barry Sr. and Mike Houck announcing. The contest will be nationally televised by ESPN2 with Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla calling the action. Preceding OU and Davidson at 5:30 p.m. will be James Madison and Mississippi Valley State.

Other regional hosts are No. 1 seed Purdue, No. 3 seed Arizona and No. 4 seed Boston College. Each won its first-round matchup.

The loser of Tuesday's OU-Davidson game will host third- and fourth-round NIT Season Tip-Off games Nov. 24 and 25.

TICKET INFORMATION
• Upper-level reserved seats are available for $10 (north and south) and $20 (east and west) at the OU Athletics Ticket Office. Lloyd Noble Center ticket windows will open at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

 Davidson's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Steve Rossiter
6-7
230
Jr.
 9.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.0 apg
F
41
 Andrew Lovedale
6-8
220
Sr.
 13.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 27.5 mpg
G
14
 Max Paulhus Gosselin
6-6
210
Sr.
 9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 apg
G
24
 Bryant Barr
6-4
190
Jr.
 11.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.5 apg
G
30
 Stephen Curry
6-3
185
Jr.
 31.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 9.5 apg

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Blake Griffin
6-10
251
So.
 22.0 ppg, 18.5 rpg, 85.0 FG%
F
32
 Taylor Griffin
6-7
238
Sr.
 7.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 spg
G
5
 Tony Crocker
6-6
206
Jr.
 6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 25.5 mpg
G
13
 Willie Warren
6-4
207
Fr.
 12.0 ppg, 1.0 apg, 2.0 apg
G
20
 Austin Johnson
6-3
176
Sr.
 6.5 ppg, 5.5 apg 

MONDAY'S RECAP
Blake Griffin continued his early season domination Monday, scoring 20 points, grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds and registering a career-high six steals as the Sooners handled Mississippi Valley State 94-53. The sophomore was 8-for-9 from the field and added two assists. Freshmen guards Willie Warren and Ray Willis were the team's second-leading scorers with 14 points each. Warren went 6-for-12 from the field while Willis, whose 15 minutes all came in the second half, was 4-for-7 from the floor and 5-for-5 at the line. Sophomore guard Cade Davis (nine points) came off the bench to nail three treys for the second game in a row.

Oklahoma bolted to a 17-2 lead and took a 35-19 advantage to halftime. It turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, resulting in a flurry of MVSU turnovers and a 59-point second-half outburst for Jeff Capel's crew. After the Delta Devils scored the first basket of the second half, the Sooners issued a 20-0 run in less than four minutes to push their lead to 55-21. OU shot .600 from the field in the second half to wind up with a .523 figure for the game. It posted a 46-35 rebounding advantage and held MVSU to .321 shooting on the evening.

MONDAY'S LEFTOVERS
• Blake Griffin's 19 rebounds were the most by a Sooner since Aaron McGhee also hauled down 19 boards against St. Bonaventure on Dec. 5, 2001 (a span of 226 games).
• Oklahoma's 59 points after halftime were its most in a half since also scoring 59 in the second half against Baylor (Feb. 26, 2005).
• OU's 18 steals were their most since recording 25 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the fourth game of the 2003-04 season (a span of 157 games).
• The Sooners recorded 10 dunks on the night, five of them by Griffin.

 
 Sooner to Watch 

 Willie Warren  | Fr. | Guard
 • Is 9-of-11 from inside the arc this season (0-for-10 from 3-point range).
 • Scored 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting in Monday's game against MVSU.
 • Has scored in double figures in both regular season contests.

   

WHO'S HOT
• Blake Griffin is averaging 22.0 points, 18.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals while shooting .850 (17-for-20) from the field in 32.0 minutes per contest. Including OU's two exhibition games when he was 16-for-16 from the field, he is shooting .912 (33-for-36) this year.
• Sophomore guard Cade Davis has carried over his hot exhibition shooting to the first two games of the regular season. Davis tied a career high with three treys each against American and Mississippi Valley State after going 4-for-7 in each of the Sooners' two exhibition games. He is 6-for-13 (.462) from deep in the regular season and is averaging 10.0 points in 18.5 minutes a game.

PREVIEWING DAVIDSON
Ranked No. 21 in both major polls, Davidson improved to 2-0 with its 99-64 win over James Madison last night in Norman (it opened the season with a 107-83 home win over Guilford). The Wildcats shot .585 from the field against the Dukes and went 10-for-25 (.400) from 3-point range and 13-for-14 (.929) from the free throw line. Preseason first-team AP All-American Stephen Curry had 33 points to lead five players in double figures, and added nine assists and four steals. Here are more individual player notes:

• Curry is averaging 31.0 points, 9.5 assists and 6.5 steals in two games. He is shooting .590 from the field and .467 from deep (7-for-15). He is the nation's leading returning scorer (averaged 25.9 ppg) and set an NCAA record with 162 treys last year.
• Senior forward Andrew Lovedale is averaging 13.0 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds per contest. He is shooting .733 from the field (11-for-15)
• Sophomore guard Brendan McKillop (12.0 ppg) leads a group of four others who average at least 9.0 points. Junior guard Bryant Carr averages 11.5, junior forward Steve Rossiter averages 9.5 and senior guard Max Paulhus Gosselin averages 9.0

Davidson, which has won 27 of its last 28 games, returned 11 letterwinners and three starters from last year's 29-7 squad that lost to Kansas in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight. Bob McKillop is 342-225 (.603) in his 20th year as a collegiate head coach, all at Davidson.

OKLAHOMA-DAVIDSON SERIES HISTORY
Tuesday's game will mark the first meeting between OU and Davidson in men's basketball.

OU'S PRESEASON NIT HISTORY
This marks the fourth time for Oklahoma to participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off (formerly the Preseason NIT). With Monday's win over Mississippi Valley State, OU now owns a 4-3 record in the event but has never advanced to New York as a semifinalist. The Sooners are 4-0 at Lloyd Noble Center and 0-3 on the road. In 1986-87, they beat BYU, 119-110, before losing at UNLV, 90-81. In 1990-91, they handled New Orleans, 95-65, before losing at Arkansas, 110-88. And in 2001-02, they beat Central Connecticut, 66-44, before falling at Michigan State by a 67-55 count.

OU Fast Fact 
Half of Oklahoma's 14 players did not play for the Sooners last year. Six players are in their first year at OU while Ryan Wright (a transfer from UCLA) practiced with the team last season but did not play in games.

GRIFFIN NAMED AP PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Sophomore Blake Griffin, became the first Sooner in 13 years to be named an AP preseason first-team All-American on Nov. 3. The last OU player to receive the honor was forward Ryan Minor prior to the 1995-96 season. Griffin was joined on the five-man team by North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough (reigning national player of the year), Davidson guard Stephen Curry, Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody and UCLA guard Darren Collison. Griffin could meet Curry, the nation's leading returning scorer, in a second-round NIT Season Tip-Off contest Tuesday in Norman.

MORE AP PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TALK
Davidson's Stephen Curry, like OU's Blake Griffin, is a preseason first-team AP All-American. Tonight's game will mark just the third time an opposing preseason first-team AP All-American plays against the Sooners at Lloyd Noble Center. The other two were Arizona's Sean Elliott in 1988-89 (No. 5 OU beat the No. 1 Wildcats, 82-80) and Vanderbilt's Billy McCaffrey in 1993-94 (Vandy won 77-67 in the postseason NIT to mark Billy Tubbs' last game as Sooners' head coach).

GRIFFIN NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore forward Blake Griffin picked up the Big 12's initial Phillips 66 Player-of-the-Week award on Monday for his 24-point, 18-rebound performance against American last Friday. The Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year was 9-for-11 from the field in OU's 83-54 win and his 18 boards were the most by a Sooner since the 2001-02 season. He added an assist, a blocked shot and a steal. It was Griffin's third Big 12 Player-of-the-Week award (earned it twice as a freshman).

SOONERS NO. 1 ACCORDING TO BIG 12 COACHES
For the first time in the 13-year history of the Big 12 Conference, the Sooners have been picked to win the league in a vote of head coaches. OU received three first-place votes and a total of 109 points in the conference's annual preseason poll to edge second-place Texas. The Longhorns captured four first-place votes and 107 total points. Baylor and Kansas tied for third place with 103 points. Next were No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 6 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Missouri, No. 8 Kansas State, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 11 Iowa State and No. 12 Colorado.

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