Perfect OU Hosts Maine Wednesday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

 No. 5/5 Oklahoma (8-0) vs. Maine (5-4) 
 Date & Tip Time

 Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. CST

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

 Sooner Sports Network 
 KWTV Ch. 9 in Oklahoma City
 KQCW Ch. 19 in Tulsa
 ESPN Full Court

 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa
 Video Webcast  SoonerSports.com
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com/GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

PREVIEWING WEDNESDAY'S GAME
The Big 12's lone unbeaten team, No. 5/5 Oklahoma (8-0) hosts Maine (5-4) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CST at Lloyd Noble Center.  The Sooners are 5-0 at home this year and have won 66 of their last 68 home non-conference games.  The Black Bears sport a 2-2 road record on the season.  The game will be televised by the Sooner Sports Network (KWTV Channel 9/Cox 10 and 709 in Oklahoma City; KQCW Channel 19/Cox 12 in Tulsa) with Bob Carpenter and Charlie Spoonhour announcing, and will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC AM 1520 in OKC; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa) with Bob Barry, Sr. and Mike Houck calling the action.

TICKET INFORMATION
Upper-level reserved seats are available for $20 (east and west) online at SooonerSports.com and at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668).  Lloyd Noble Center ticket windows will open at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. 

BIG 12 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT...3 IN A ROW!
The Oklahoma Athletics Department will hold a "Big 12 Football Championship Night...3 in a Row!" celebration on Wednesday at the OU-Maine men's basketball game.  Members of the Big 12 champion football team will sign autographs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Clinton Lounge on Lloyd Noble Center's upper east concourse, and fans may have their photo taken next to the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Big 12 Championship football trophies during the same time frame at Legacy Court on Lloyd Noble's south end.  An on-court halftime celebration will recognize the team and feature an address to the crowd and presentation of an official invitation to the BCS championship game by a member of the Orange Bowl Committee.   Fans must possess a basketball game ticket to participate in the football celebration.

 Maine's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
3
 Troy Barnies
6-7
205
So.
 6.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 54.0 FG%
F
21
 Sean McNally
6-7
230
So.
 8.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 76.2 FT%
G
10
 Andrew Rogers
5-9
155
Fr.
 2.0 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 3.4 apg
G
22
 Mark Socoby
6-5
205
Jr.
 15.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.6 apg
G
33
 Gerald McLemore
6-3
186
Fr.
 12.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 4.4 3FG%

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Blake Griffin
6-10
251
So.
 24.8 ppg, 16.3 rpg, 67.3 FG%
F
32
 Taylor Griffin
6-7
238
Sr.
 11.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 60.8 FG%
G
5
 Tony Crocker
6-6
206
Jr.
 7.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg
G
13
 Willie Warren
6-4
207
Fr.
 13.5 ppg, 2.8 apg, 79.4 FT%
G
20
 Austin Johnson
6-3
176
Sr.
 7.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.5 apg 

"NOTE"WORTHY
• Blake Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (24.8 ppg), rebounding (16.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.673).  In a distant second in each respective category are Missouri's DeMarre Carroll (18.6 ppg), Kansas' Cole Aldrich (10.1 rpg) and Carroll (.606).
• Despite a modest .669 team free throw percentage, the Sooners have made 33 more foul shots than their opponents have attempted.  OU is 162-for-242 from the stripe while foes are 82-for-129.  That's an average of 14.1 more attempts per game than its opposition.  Griffin has attempted 39 percent of the team's free throws (94 of its 242).
• Griffin (16.3 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 11.8 free throw attempts a game, a figure that would break Stacey King's 1988-89 record of 8.9 foul shots per outing.
• Out of its 31 regular season games this year, OU will play 21 against teams that made the 2008 postseason (15 against NCAA Tournament teams, four against NIT squads and two against College Basketball Invitational teams).
• OU's 34-member 1,000-point club could have two new inductees by season's end in junior Tony Crocker and Griffin.  Crocker needs 280 points to reach 1,000 while Griffin needs 318.  Griffin would become just the fourth player in school history to reach the plateau before the end of his sophomore season (Wayman Tisdale, Alvan Adams and Jeff Webster are the others).

 
 Sooner to Watch 

 Willie Warren | Fr. | Guard
 • Averaging 13.5 points and 2.8 assists to rank second on the team in both categories
 • Has already been named Big 12 Rookie of the Week two times this season
 • Has scored at least 14 points in five of the last seven games (two 20-point outings)
 • Has been a defensive presence over the last three games with 10 steals during the stretch

   

SUNDAY'S TULSA RECAP
• In the first college basketball game at the new downtown BOK Center in Tulsa, the Sooners dealt the Golden Hurricane a 69-44 defeat behind solid offensive and suffocating defensive efforts.  Oklahoma shot .500 from the field and .500 (6-for-12) from 3-point range while limiting Tulsa to respective .333 and .333 (4-for-12) marks.  OU also forced TU into 21 turnovers and blocked five shots.
• The Sooners shot well despite the fact Tulsa entered the game allowing foes to shoot just .371 overall and .210 from long range.
• OU scored the game's first 13 points, led 20-3 and ended the first half on an 18-3 run to go ahead 43-19 at intermission.
• Preseason All-American Blake Griffin led OU in scoring (19 points) for the seventh time in eight games.  He added nine rebounds, a season-high three blocked shots, three steals an an assist in a season-low 29 minutes.
• Freshman guard Willie Warren recorded 14 points and a career-high seven assists without a turnover, and added three steals on the defensive end.  The Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year has 10 steals over the last three games.
• Junior guard Tony Crocker scored a season-high-tying 12 points on 5-for-9 field goal and 2-for-3 3-point shooting, and added a season-high six boards.  Crocker, who also committed no turnovers on the day, entered the game shooting .302 from the field and .250 from 3-point distance.
• Senior forward Taylor Griffin finished with nine points, six rebounds, two assists and a career-high five steals.
• The Sooners limited Tulsa's two leading scorers on the season to a combined 16 points on 6-for-17 shooting.  Ben Uzoh had nine points on 4-for-7 shooting (entered game averaging 16.1 ppg) while center Jerome Jordan scored seven on 2-for-10 shooting (entered game averaging 10.4 ppg).  Jordan also entered the game shooting .604 from the field.
• The win was OU's sixth straight against Tulsa and 12th in the last 13 meetings.

WHO'S HOT
• Sophomore forward Blake Griffin has scored at least 18 points in all eight games this season, has netted at least 20 on six occasions and surpassed 30 points twice.  He has led OU in rebounding in all but one contest (has recorded at least 15 boards in six outings) and now leads the Big 12 in scoring (24.8 ppg), rebounding (16.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.673).  Griffin ranks fifth nationally in scoring and first in rebounding (2.9 boards per game more than Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, who ranks second).
• Griffin has already attempted 94 free throws on the season (an average of 11.8 a game).  He is 47-for-72 (.653) over the last six games after going 9-for-22 (.409) over the first two contests.
• After averaging 7.0 points and 4.5 rebounds over OU's first two games, senior forward Taylor Griffin is averaging 12.3 points and 7.2 boards over the last six.  He is 27-for-44 (.614) from the field in those six outings.
• Freshman guard Willie Warren, who has scored at least 14 points in five of the last seven games, ranks second on the team and 18th in the Big 12 in scoring with his 13.5 season average.  He has also left his mark on the defensive end of late by registering 10 steals over the last three contests.
• Senior guard Austin Johnson has scored in double figures in two of the last three games after being held to single digits in each of the first five.  He is averaging 10.3 points (on 12-for-25 shooting) and 4.3 assists over those three games.  Johnson ranks fourth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8).

OU Fast Fact 
OU has used the same starting lineup in all eight games (Austin Johnson, Willie Warren, Tony Crocker, Taylor Griffin, Blake Griffin).

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
• The Big 12's lone unbeaten team, Oklahoma (8-0) is off to its best start since the 2003-04 season when it began 10-0.
• The Sooners have won 66 of their last 68 home non-conference games going back to the 1999-2000 season.
• The program's No. 5 AP ranking marks its highest since Nov. 29, 2005 (also ranked No. 5).  Since the 1989-90 campaign, Oklahoma has been ranked higher in only three seasons (2001-02, 2002-03 and 2005-06).
• The Sooners' 80.6 points per game marks their highest average through the first eight games of a season since 1996-97 (81.4 ppg).  They have reached the 80-point mark five times.
• Sophomore Blake Griffin and his brother, senior Taylor Griffin, are a combined 101-for-155 (.652) from the field this year.
• Blake Griffin  has accounted for 31 percent of OU's points, 44 percent of its rebounds and 50 percent of its defensive boards.
• OU has made at least six 3-pointers in seven of its eight games, but is shooting just .315 from long range on the season to rank last among Big 12 teams.  The worst 3-point shooting season in school history (.326) was the 2006-07 campaign.
• The Sooners outrebounded their first six foes by an average of 9.0 boards per contest, but have been beaten on the glass in each of the last two games (34-25 by USC and 38-36 by Tulsa).
• Blake Griffin has registered at least three assists in 15 of 41 career games (four times this year).  He has at least two assists in 25 career contests (six times this season).
• Guard Cade Davis made all 23 of his free throw attempts last year as a freshman and canned his first three attempts this year before missing against Davidson on Nov. 18.  He went 4-for-6 last Thursday against USC and 0-for-1 Sunday at Tulsa to make him 11-for-15 on the year and 34-for-38 (.895) in his career.
• 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 a team-high 15 rejections already this year.
• Fifty-two percent of Taylor Griffin's rebounds this year (27 of his 52) have come from the offensive glass. 

PREVIEWING MAINE
• Maine, a member of the America East Conference, is off to a 5-4 start after going 7-23 last year and finishing in ninth place in league play with a 3-13 record.  The Black Bears are 2-2 in road games this season, with wins at Kennesaw State (60-47) and Princeton (58-55 in overtime) and losses to Providence (83-62) and South Alabama (71-59).
• Maine's other three wins came against Northern Illinois (77-64), Maine-Presque Isle (126-50) and Colgate (67-56).
• The Black Bears are averaging 70.1 points and 36.2 rebounds per game while shooting .445 from the field, .380 from 3-point range and .672 from the free throw line.  Opponents are averaging 62.8 points and 34.6 boards while shooting .398 overall and .295 from behind the arc.
• Junior guard Mark Socoby leads Maine in scoring (15.3 ppg), steals (2.3 spg) and free throw attempts (48).  He has scored in double figures in all but one game and boasts a season high of 28 points at South Alabama (6-for-13 on 3-pointers).  Socoby is 23-for-70 (.329) from 3-point distance and 35-for-48 (.729) from the foul line on the year.
• Another frequent 3-point shooter, freshman guard Gerald McLemore is averaging 12.6 points per contest.  He is 28-for-63 (.444) from behind the arc and all but 12 of his field goals to date are 3-pointers.  McLemore's season high of 24 points came in the opener against Northern Illinois (was 6-for-9 on treys).
• Junior guard Junior Bernal started the first seven games but has come off the bench the last two.  He averages 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and a team-high 4.1 assists per outing.  He has gotten to the free throw line for 47 attempts and has made 27 (.574).
• Sophomore forward Sean McNally contributes 8.0 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game.
• Ted Woodward is in his fifth season as a collegiate head coach, all at Maine.  The 1986 Bucknell graduate owns a 50-76 (.397) record.

OKLAHOMA-MAINE SERIES HISTORY
Wednesday's game will mark the first meeting between OU and Maine in men's basketball. 

MORE BLAKE
• Blake Griffin is the first Sooner to score at least 18 points in eight straight games since guard Corey Brewer did it in 15 consecutive outings in the 1997-98 season.
• Lost in Griffin's gaudy scoring and rebounding statistics are some pretty impressive assist numbers.  The forward ranks third on the team with 20 assists this season and has registered at least one handout in all eight games.  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 four times already this year.
• Griffin has 19 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.4 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).

 

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