OU, Nation's Best Record Head to ISU

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

 No. 4/5 Oklahoma (20-1, 6-0) at Iowa State (12-8, 1-4) 
 Date & Tip Time

 Saturday, Jan. 31 at 12:47 p.m. CST

 Location  Ames, Iowa | Hilton Coliseum
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office
 TV

 Big 12 Network
 KOCB 34/Cox 11 in Oklahoma City
 KJRH 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa
 ESPN Full Court

 Radio

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

 Series History  OU leads 107-77
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com/GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

PREVIEWING SATURDAY’S GAME
Tied with Utah State for the best record in the country, No. 4/5 Oklahoma (20-1, 6-0) plays at Iowa State (12-8, 1-4) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CST.  The Sooners, who are 5-1 on the road, are coming off an 89-81 win at Oklahoma State Monday.  Iowa State, which is 10-3 at home, lost 55-49 at Colorado Tuesday.  Saturday’s game will be regionally televised by the Big 12 Network (KOCB Ch. 34/Cox 11 in OKC; KJRH Ch. 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court) with Mitch Holthus and Rich Zvosec announcing.  It 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. 

RAISING AWARENESS
Saturday's game is part of the Coaches vs. Cancer "Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend," a collaborative initiative of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society.  Coaches from both OU and Iowa State will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer.

 Iowa State's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
21
 Craig Brackins
6-10
230
So.
 19.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 49.8 FG%
C
41
 Justin Hamilton
6-11
255
Fr.
 5.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 59.2 FG%
G
5
 Lucca Staiger
6-5
225
So.
 8.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 41.7 3FG%
G
10
 Diante Garrett
6-4
185
So.
 9.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5.1 apg
G
22
 Bryan Petersen
6-1
180
Sr.
 6.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.8 apg

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Blake Griffin
6-10
251
So.
 22.3 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 63.0 FG%
F
32
 Taylor Griffin
6-7
238
Sr.
 9.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 51.5 FG%
G
5
 Tony Crocker
6-6
206
Jr.
 10.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 35.6 3FG%
G
13
 Willie Warren
6-4
207
Fr.
 14.9 ppg, 2.7 apg, 50.5 FG%
G
20
 Austin Johnson
6-3
176
Sr.
 8.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.5 apg 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
• OU’s 20-1 start is tied as the third best with one loss in Big 12 history (Kansas also started 20-1 in 2004-05).  Only the Jayhawks have posted better one-loss starts (34-1 in 1996-97 and 23-1 in 2007-08).
• The Sooners are off to their best start in 23 years (the 1985-86 team began 21-1). 
• OU has clinched its 28th consecutive winning season.  Only Syracuse has a longer streak (the Orangemen have clinched their 39th straight).
• Oklahoma owns a 107-77 series lead against Iowa State and has won two straight meetings, six of the last eight and nine of the last 13.  Jeff Capel is 2-1 against the Cyclones as the Sooners’ head coach (0-1 in Ames).
• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in all 21 games.  In Big 12 play, all five starters are averaging at least 9.7 points per contest.  Blake Griffin is averaging 23.0 points and is followed by Austin Johnson (14.2), Willie Warren (11.7), Tony Crocker (9.8) and Taylor Griffin (9.7).
• Junior college transfer Juan Pattillo, who came out of a redshirt season in time for the Jan. 12 Texas game but had totaled four minutes in three OU outings prior to this past Saturday, registered nine points and three boards in 14 minutes versus Baylor and 12 points and three boards in 23 minutes at Oklahoma State.  He was 8-for-11 from the field (.727) and 5-for-5 at the foul line.
• Blake Griffin and Warren have accounted for 56 percent of OU’s points in its six road games.  Griffin is averaging 23.0 points (shooting .596) and 12.2 rebounds in those contests while Warren is averaging 18.3 points (shooting .559) and 3.7 assists.
• During their current eight-game winning streak, the Sooners are outshooting their opponents from the field, .507 to .366.
• Blake Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.3 ppg) and rebounding (14.0 rpg), while ranking second in field goal percentage (.630), fourth in blocks (1.4 bpg) and 12th in steals (1.4 spg).  The 6-10 sophomore also averages 2.5 assists per contest, more than any other league player taller than 6-5.  He has recorded at least two assists in 17 of 21 games and at least three in 11 outings.
• Nationally, Blake Griffin ranks first in rebounding and double-doubles (17), second in free throw attempts (9.9 per game), ninth in field goal percentage (.630) and 13th in scoring.
• Blake Griffin’s 26 points and 19 rebounds at Oklahoma State Monday gave him his 10th 20-point, 15-rebound game of the year, more than any player nationally since the 1996-97 season.  Tim Duncan (Wake Forest in 1996-97) and Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech in 2005-06) registered nine 20/15 games. 
• Blake Griffin has accounted for 28 percent of OU’s points, 37 percent of its rebounds and 41 percent of its defensive boards in 16 percent of the team’s minutes played.

 
 Sooner to Watch 

 Austin Johnson | Sr. | Guard
 • Has scored at least 15 points in four of the last five games
 • Averaging 14.2 points in Big 12 play after averaging 6.6 points in non-conference play
 • Is 15-for-30 (.500) from 3-point range in team's six Big 12 games
 • Leads Big 12 with his 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio and ranks seventh in assists (4.5)

   

OFFENSIVE NOTES
• The Sooners are shooting .485 from the field.  The last time OU shot better for an entire season was 20 years ago (.491 in 1988-89).
• Over the last 11 games, the Sooners are shooting .401 from 3-point range and averaging 7.5 treys.  Over the first 10 games this season, they shot .311 from behind the arc and averaged 6.4 3-pointers.
Tony Crocker and Willie Warren have combined for 49 treys over the last 11 games.  Warren is 24-for-50 (.480) from deep in those 11 outings while Crocker is 25-for-60 (.417).  Prior to the stretch, each owned a .273 season 3-point figure (12-for-44).
Austin Johnson has scored in double figures in four of the last five games (15.8 ppg in those five) after doing it three times in the season’s first 16 contests.  OU is 21-1 over the last two seasons when Johnson scores at least 10 points.
• In OU’s 15 non-conference games, Johnson was 13-for-47 (.277) from 3-point range.  In six league outings, he is 15-for-30 (.500).
Blake Griffin has registered at least three assists in 22 of 54 career games (11 times this year).  He has recorded at least two assists 36 times in his career (17 times this season).
• Warren is shooting .505 from the field on the season (he would rank seventh in the Big 12 but is two makes shy of qualifying in the category).  The last OU guard to shoot at least .500 from the field for an entire year was Nolan Johnson (.559) in 1999-00.
Cade Davis made all 23 of his free throw attempts last year as a freshman and canned his first three attempts this year before finally missing against Davidson on Nov. 18.  He is now 39-for-45 (.867) in his career.
• Despite a modest .678 team free throw percentage (they rank ninth in the Big 12), the Sooners have made 13 more foul shots than their opponents have attempted.  OU has shot 200 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 9.5 more per game.  Griffin has attempted 36 percent of the team’s free throws (207 of its 581).
• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 405 consecutive games (last one without a trey was at Memphis on Dec. 23, 1996).

DEFENSIVE NOTES
• Oklahoma leads the Big 12 (all games) with its .380 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 six Big 12 opponents to a combined .379 field goal mark, with Kansas State (.327) and Texas (.338) shooting season lows and Baylor (.346) posting its second worst mark of the season.
• OU has held nine of its last 14 foes to a field goal mark under .360.
• Over the last five games, Taylor Griffin has recorded 11 blocked shots and nine steals.  He ranks third in Big 12 play with his 1.8 blocks per game and sixth with his 1.7 steals.  Registering 54 rejections over his sophomore and junior seasons combined (the most ever during a two-year period by a Sooner standing under 6-foot-8), the senior has 28 blocks already this year (1.3 per game).

OU Fast Fact 
Brothers Blake and Taylor Griffin are shooting a combined .592 from the field this year and have teamed to pull down 20.4 rebounds a game (55 percent of the team’s total).

MONDAY’S OKLAHOMA STATE RECAP
• OU shot .580 from the field and posted a 38-18 rebounding advantage in an 89-81 win in at Oklahoma State Monday night.  It was the Sooners’ fourth straight victory against the Cowboys and sixth in the last seven meetings, and marked OU’s third win in its last four games in Stillwater.
• The Sooners’ field goal figure was their second best of the season (they shot .583 the previous game versus Baylor).
Blake Griffin, playing for the first time at OSU (he missed last year’s game there due to injury), finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds and three assists.  He was 9-for-11 from the field and 8-for-13 from the free throw line.  Twelve of his free throw attempts came in the second half.
• Griffin outrebounded the Cowboys by himself, 19-18.
Austin Johnson scored nine of OU’s first 13 points and finished with a career-high 22 with the help of 5-for-8 3-point shooting.  Johnson’s fourth trey came with 6:54 remaining, after OSU had cut OU’s 14-point lead to one (64-63).  The Sooners led by at least three the rest of the way.
Juan Pattillo came off the bench to score 12 points and grab three rebounds in 23 minutes.  He was 4-for-6 from the field (three dunks) and made all four of his free throw attempts.
Willie Warren netted 11 points while Taylor Griffin contributed seven points, four boards and a season-high five assists.
• The win improved Jeff Capel’s record to 4-1 against Oklahoma State as OU’s head coach (2-1 in Stillwater).

WHO’S HOT
• A strong candidate for national-player-of-the-year honors, sophomore forward Blake Griffin has scored at least 20 points in 15 of 21 games this season and at least 25 on eight occasions.  The 6-10, 251-pounder has registered 17 double-doubles (last year he had 10) and has led OU in rebounding 19 times.  Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.3 ppg) and rebounding (14.0 rpg).  Big 12 players who rank second in the respective categories are Iowa State’s Craig Brackins (19.6 ppg) and Kansas’ Cole Aldrich (9.8 rpg).  Griffin also ranks second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.630), fourth in blocks (1.4) and 12th in steals (1.4).
• After averaging 6.6 points and 4.3 assists per game in non-conference play, senior guard Austin Johnson is averaging 14.2 points and 5.2 assists in six league games.  He has scored at least 15 points in four of the last five contests.  Johnson is 15-for-30 from 3-point range in OU’s six Big 12 outings, owns a 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio and has blocked five shots.
• Over the last 10 games, freshman Willie Warren is averaging 16.5 points and 2.8 assists.  He is shooting .547 from the field and .468 (22-for-47) from behind the arc in those contests.
• After scoring in double figures once in OU’s first seven games, junior guard Tony Crocker has done it in 10 of the last 14.  He is averaging 12.3 points over the 14 outings and is shooting .403 from 3-point range (29-for-72).  By comparison, Crocker averaged 6.6 points and shot .250 from 3-point territory over OU’s first seven games this year.
• Senior forward Taylor Griffin is averaging 11.0 points over the last four games after averaging 7.3 over the previous seven.

PREVIEWING IOWA STATE
• Iowa State enters Saturday’s game with a 12-8 overall record and a 1-4 Big 12 mark following Tuesday’s 55-49 loss at Colorado.  The Cyclones are 1-1 at home in league play with a 65-53 victory over Nebraska and an 82-67 loss to Kansas.
• ISU averages a Big 12-low 65.4 points a game, shoots .436 from the field (ranks 11th), .351 from behind the 3-point arc (ninth) and .702 from the free throw line (fourth).  It ranks third in scoring defense (62.1 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.389).
• Sophomore forward Craig Brackins is the only Cyclone who scores in double figures.  The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week is averaging team highs of 19.6 points (ranks second in Big 12), 9.1 rebounds (fourth) and 1.0 blocked shot.  Brackins is shooting .498 from the field and leads the team with his 118 free throw attempts (shooting .669).
• Sophomore guard Diante Garrett averages 9.7 points, 3.9 boards and a team-high 5.1 assists an outing.  He ranks second on the team with 77 free throw attempts.
• Fellow sophomore guard Lucca Staiger contributes 8.8 points per contest and has made a team-high 50 3-pointers on 120 attempts (shooting a team-high .417).  From Germany, Staiger is averaging 10.0 points in Big 12 play.
• No other Cyclone averages more than 6.2 points or 4.3 rebounds.
Greg McDermott is in his third year as Iowa State’s head coach and owns a 41-42 (.494) record there.  The 1988 Northern Iowa graduate is in his 15th year as a collegiate head coach and owns a 262-169 (.608) career mark.

SERIES WITH IOWA STATE
• Oklahoma owns a 107-77 all-time record against Iowa State but trails 45-35 in Ames. 
• The Sooners have won nine of the last 13 overall meetings but have lost two in a row in Ames and three of the last four.  Their last win at Hilton Coliseum came in 2003.
• OU is 9-5 against Iowa State since the inception of the Big 12 (that includes a 1-1 record in the league tournament).
• In the last meeting in Ames two seasons ago, Oklahoma dropped a 58-51 decision.  The Sooners shot .300 from the field in the first half and trailed 32-17 at intermission before drawing to within four (53-49).  They got no closer, though, and their four-game winning streak came to a halt.  Jiri Hubalek scored a career-high 26 points for Iowa State while Longar Longar paced OU with 20.

LAST YEAR AGAINST THE CYCLONES
• Solid 3-point (7-for-17) and free throw (25-for-29) shooting helped OU to a 76-64 home win over Iowa State on Feb. 13, 2008.
Tony Crocker was 10-for-10 at the free throw line and finished with 22 points and a career-high-tying nine rebounds.
Blake Griffin and Austin Johnson each tallied 13 points.  Griffin pulled down eight boards while Johnson logged three assists.
Cade Davis came off the bench to supply a season-high 11 points with the help of 3-for-3 shooting from behind the arc.
Jiri Hubalek led the Cyclones with 23 points while Diante Garrett and Wesley Johnson netted 10 apiece.
• OU’s win was its sixth straight against Iowa State in Norman.

MORE BLAKE
Blake Griffin scored at least 18 points in each of the season’s first nine games, marking OU’s longest such streak since guard Corey Brewer netted at least 18 in 15 consecutive outings during the 1997-98 season.  Griffin’s lone three games under 18 points this year were an 11-point performance against Utah Dec. 13 when he played a season-low 23 minutes (attempted only three field goals), a 14-point effort against Coppin State Jan. 3, and a 16-point afternoon Jan. 17 at Texas A&M. 
• Lost in Griffin’s gaudy scoring and rebounding statistics are some pretty impressive assist numbers.  The forward ranks third on the team with 2.5 assists per game this season and has registered at least one handout in all 21 outings.  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 11 times already this year.
• Griffin (14.0 rpg and .630 FG%) is on pace to shatter single-season school 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 9.9 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 has 54 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.6 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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