OU Meets Buffs Saturday in Norman

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

 No. 2/2 Oklahoma (22-1, 8-0) vs. Colorado (9-12, 1-6) 
 Date & Tip Time

 Saturday, Feb. 7 at 12:47 p.m. CST

 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center
 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 
 KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa
 Sirius 122

 Series History  OU leads 86-48
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com/GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

PREVIEWING SATURDAY'S GAME
Off to its best start in school history, No. 2/2 Oklahoma (22-1, 8-0) plays host to Colorado (9-12, 1-6) Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CST.  The Sooners, who boast a 17-game winning streak at home (nation’s fourth longest), are coming off a 77-71 home win over Texas A&M Wednesday.  Colorado, which has won two of its last 11 following a 7-3 start, lost 55-53 at home to Nebraska Wednesday.  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 Bob Carpenter and Paul Splittorff announcing.  It 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
Reserved seats are sold out.  Restricted admission tickets ($10 each) will go on sale Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center beginning at 11 a.m. 

PROMOTIONS
Men's basketball trading cards, courtesy of OG&E, will be given to the first 5,000 fans in attendance.  The OU team will sign autographs on the upper southwest concourse following the game (limit one item per person).

 Colorado's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
31
 Jermyl Jackson-Wilson
6-6
230
Sr.
 15.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 56.1 FG%
F
33
 Austin Dufault
6-8
210
Fr.
 8.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg
G
1
 Nate Tomlinson
6-2
180
Fr.
 8.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 40.0 3FG%
G
11
 Cory Higgins
6-5
185
So.
 17.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.0 apg
G
12
 Dwight Thorne
6-2
185
Jr.
 13.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 44.9 3FG%

 Oklahoma's Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Wt.
Year
 2008-09 Stats
F
23
 Blake Griffin
6-10
251
So.
 22.1 ppg, 14.1 rpg, 62.6 FG%
F
32
 Taylor Griffin
6-7
238
Sr.
 9.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 50.7 FG%
G
5
 Tony Crocker
6-6
206
Jr.
 9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 35.8 3FG%
G
13
 Willie Warren
6-4
207
Fr.
 15.4 ppg, 2.6 apg, 38.9 3FG%
G
20
 Austin Johnson
6-3
176
Sr.
 8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.4 apg 

"NOTE"WORTHY
• Oklahoma’s No. 2 AP ranking is its highest since the final poll of the 1989-90 season when it was No. 1.
• At 22-1, Oklahoma is tied with Utah State for the best record in the country.  No other team enters weekend play with 22 wins.
• Only Kansas has posted better one-loss starts in Big 12 history (34-1 in 1996-97 and 23-1 in 2007-08).
• The Sooners’ 8-0 conference start is their best since beginning 11-0 in the Big Eight in 1985.
• Oklahoma owns an 86-48 series lead against Colorado and is 45-12 against the Buffaloes in Norman.  OU has won 22 straight home games against CU, and 34 of its last 35.  Colorado’s last win in Norman came Feb. 9, 1980 (60-59).
• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in all 23 games.
• During their current 10-game winning streak, the Sooners are outshooting their opponents from the field, .502 to .379.  They have shot better than each of those 10 foes. 
• Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.1 ppg), rebounding (14.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (.626), while ranking fourth in blocks (1.4 bpg).  The 6-10 sophomore also averages 2.6 assists per contest, more than any other league player taller than 6-5.  He has recorded at least two assists in 19 of 23 games and at least three in 13 outings.
• Nationally, Griffin ranks first in rebounding and double-doubles (19), second in free throw attempts (9.7 per game) and 14th in scoring.  He entered the week ranked sixth in field goal percentage.
• Griffin has already registered more points (508) and rebounds (324) this season than he did all of last year (484 and 301).
• Griffin’s 23 points and 15 rebounds at Iowa State last Saturday gave him his 11th 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. 
• Griffin has accounted for 28 percent of OU’s points, 38 percent of its rebounds and 42 percent of its defensive boards in 16 percent of the team’s minutes played.
• Brothers Blake and Taylor Griffin are shooting a combined .588 from the field this year and have teamed to pull down 20.1 rebounds a game (55 percent of the team’s total).
Austin Johnson has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games (13.6 ppg in those seven) after doing it three times in the season’s first 16 contests.  OU is 22-1 over the last two seasons when Johnson scores at least 10 points.
• 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 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots in an average of 17.3 minutes over the last four outings.  He is 14-for-22 from the field (.636) and 10-for-10 at the foul line during the stretch.
• As of Friday, the Sooners are ranked No. 1 nationally by CollegeRPI.com.

 
 Sooner to Watch 

 Juan Pattillo | Jr. | Forward
 • Came out of redshirt status prior to Texas game on Jan. 12
 • Averaging 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over the last four games (17.3 minutes)
 • Shooting .609 from the field in his six games this year
 • Has made all 10 of his free throw attempts
 • Blocked four shots Wednesday vs. Texas A&M

   

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 13 games, the Sooners are shooting .397 from 3-point range and averaging 7.3 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 57 treys over the last 13 games.  Warren is 30-for-64 (.469) from deep in those 13 outings while Crocker is 27-for-65 (.415).  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 was 13-for-47 (.277) from downtown.  He is 16-for-36 (.444) in eight Big 12 games.
• Last year, Blake Griffin became the first player in school history standing at least 6-10 to log three or more handouts in 11 games.  He has done it in 13 games this season.
• Warren is shooting .496 from the field on the season to rank sixth in the Big 12 and second among league guards.  The last OU guard to shoot at least .500 from the field for an entire year was Nolan Johnson (.559) in 1999-00.
• Despite a modest .682 team free throw percentage (they rank eighth in the Big 12), the Sooners have made 17 more foul shots than their opponents have attempted.  OU has shot 217 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 9.4 more per game.  Griffin has attempted 35 percent of the team’s free throws (223 of its 629).

DEFENSIVE NOTES
• Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 (all games) with its .385 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 eight Big 12 opponents to a combined .393 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 16 foes to a field goal mark under .360.
• OU ranks second in the Big 12 (all games) with its 4.8 blocked shots per contest.  Blake Griffin ranks fourth (1.4) while Taylor Griffin ranks sixth (1.3).  Juan Pattillo is averaging 1.3 rejections in his six games and point guard Austin Johnson has 19 blocks in 23 outings.

OU Fast Fact 
Blake Griffin needs just eight points to join Wayman Tisdale, Alvan Adams and Jeff Webster as the only Sooners to reach 1,000 career points during their sophomore season.

WEDNESDAY’S TEXAS A&M RECAP
• After leading by as many as 15 in the first half and by eight at halftime, Oklahoma overcame a nine-point deficit with 6:25 remaining to post a 77-71 home win over Texas A&M Wednesday night.  OU outscored the Aggies 18-3 over the final 6:13 (A&M missed its last nine shots).
• From the 4:32 mark of the first half to the 6:25 mark of the second, Texas A&M outscored the Sooners 51-27.
Juan Pattillo played the final 6:13 and triggered OU’s comeback by recording four points, two defensive rebounds and two blocks during the stretch.  He finished with seven points and a career-high four rejections.
Blake Griffin notched his fifth straight double-double (19th of the year) with 16 points and 14 rebounds.  He added four assists.
Taylor Griffin was 4-for-6 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line to finish with 13 points.  His basket with 47 seconds left put OU ahead for good (71-69).
Willie Warren scored 11 of his 12 points in the final 11:50.
Cade Davis’ nine points (three treys) were his most in 18 contests.
• OU won despite suffering its worst rebounding deficit of the year (45-31).  It was outboarded 20-8 on the offensive glass (A&M held a 22-6 advantage in second-chance points).
• OU improved to 28-4 against Texas A&M (14-1 in Norman).

WHO’S HOT
• A strong candidate for national-player-of-the-year honors, sophomore forward Blake Griffin has scored at least 20 points in 16 of 23 games this season, including seven of the last nine.  The 6-10, 251-pounder has registered 19 double-doubles (last year he had 10) and has led OU in rebounding 21 times.  Over the last five games, Griffin is averaging 22.4 points, 16.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
• After averaging 6.6 points and 4.3 assists per game in non-conference play, senior guard Austin Johnson is averaging 12.6 points and 4.8 assists in eight league games.  He has scored in double figures in five of the last seven contests.  Johnson is 16-for-36 from 3-point range in OU’s eight Big 12 outings, owns a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio and has blocked five shots.
• Over the last 12 games, freshman Willie Warren is averaging 17.2 points and 2.7 assists.  He is shooting .520 from the field and .459 (28-for-61) from behind the arc in those contests.  Warren has scored at least 29 points three times in those 12 games.
• Junior forward Juan Pattillo is averaging 9.5 points over the last four games off the bench.  He is 14-for-22 from the field and 10-for-10 from the free throw line over those the four outings.

PREVIEWING COLORADO
• Colorado is 9-12 on the year and is tied for 10th place in the Big 12 with a 1-6 mark.  It started the season with a 7-3 record but is 2-9 since.  Its lone conference win came at home over Iowa State, 55-49, on Jan. 27.  The Buffaloes are 0-5 in road games this year.
• In Big 12 play, Colorado is shooting .428 from the field (ranks ninth in Big 12), .354 from 3-point range (eighth) and .738 from the free throw line (second).  League opponents are shooting .503 from the field and .397 from 3-point range against them.
• Sophomore guard Cory Higgins ranks fourth in the Big 12 by averaging 17.3 points a game on the season.  Higgins also averages team highs of 5.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.1 steals (ranks second in Big 12).  He is shooting .498 from the field (tops among league guards), .356 from long distance and .856 from the free throw line (ranks second in conference).
• Junior guard Dwight Thorne III scores 13.3 points a game and is the only other Buff averaging double figures.  The team’s chief outside threat is shooting .535 from the floor and .449 from behind the arc (team-high 35 makes).  Thorne is coming off a 21-point night against Nebraska on Wednesday.
• Freshmen Austin Dufault and Nate Tomlinson average 8.7 and 8.0 points, respectively.  Dufault, a forward, also averages 3.9 rebounds while Tomlinson, a guard, adds 2.9 assists.  Tomlinson is also shooting .400 from 3-point distance (24-for-60).
Jeff Bzdelik is 21-32 in his second season as Colorado’s head coach.  Bzdelik also coached Air Force to a 50-16 record during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and Maryland-Baltimore County to a 25-31 mark over the 1987 and 1988 campaigns.   He also spent the 2003, 2004 and part of the 2005 season as the head coach of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, leading them to a 73-119 record. 

SERIES WITH COLORADO
• Oklahoma owns an 86-48 all-time record against Colorado and is 45-12 versus the Buffaloes in games played in Norman. 
• The Sooners have won 22 straight games against the Buffaloes in Norman, and 34 of the last 35.  Colorado’s last win at Lloyd Noble Center came on Feb. 9, 1980 (60-59).
• OU has won 44 of the last 50 overall meetings, but the teams have split the last six.
• Oklahoma won 24 consecutive meetings between the 1982 and 1991 seasons.
• OU is 11-4 against Colorado since the inception of the Big 12 Conference (that includes a 3-0 record in the league tournament).

LAST YEAR AGAINST THE BUFFALOES
• OU and Colorado split their two games last year.  The Buffaloes won 72-58 in Boulder and the Sooners prevailed 54-49 in the Big 12 Championship first round in Kansas City.
• In the first meeting, OU went just 4-for-26 (.154) from 3-point range and allowed Colorado to shoot .606 from the field (the highest mark by a Sooners foe in 75 games) and .636 (7-for-11) from long distance.  Blake Griffin finished with 25 points but was the only Sooner in double figures.  Then-seniors Marcus Hall and Richard Roby each scored 19 points and combined to go 12-for-15 from the floor for CU. 
• In the rematch in Kansas City, Oklahoma won despite shooting .328 from the field, .261 (6-for-23) from 3-point range and .526 (10-for-19) from the foul line.  Colorado posted respective marks of .346, .240 and .583.  OU held a 46-37 rebounding advantage.  Tony Crocker led Oklahoma with 12 points and was followed by Longar Longar (11) and Taylor Griffin (10).  Roby led CU with 18 and Hall added 12 for the Buffs.
• The Sooners shot a combined .364 from the field, .204 from 3-point range and .533 from the free throw line in the two meetings.

NOTING OU’S 30-POINT PERFORMANCES
• Sophomore Blake Griffin and freshman Willie Warren have each posted back-to-back 30-point performances this season.  Griffin netted a career-high 35 points against Gardner-Webb Nov. 22 before scoring 32 four days later against UAB.  Warren went for 31 at Rice on Dec. 22 before pouring in a career-high 35 on Dec. 30 at Arkansas.  Only one other team in the country has had a player combo accomplish the feat this season (Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney).
• The last time two Sooners each had back-to-back games of at least 30 points in the same season was in 1993-94 when senior forward Jeff Webster and junior guard/forward Calvin Curry did it.
• The last OU player to register two 30-point games his true freshman season was Tim McCalister in 1983-84.  The last OU true frosh to register at least three 30-point games was Wayman Tisdale in 1982-83 (he had a freshman-record 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 2.6 assists per game this season and has registered at least one handout in all 23 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 13 times already this year.
• Griffin (14.1 rpg) is on pace to shatter the single-season school record for rebounding average and could challenge the OU field goal percentage record with his .626 mark.  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 9.7 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 is just the third Sooner to record six straight double-doubles (Adams and Garfield Heard are the others).  Griffin has assembled two six-game streaks this season and currently has another streak of five double-doubles in progress. 
• Griffin has 59 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).

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 (3.1-to-1) and ranks seventh in assists (4.4).  He also ranks in the top 20 in blocked shots (0.8).  Oklahoma State’s James Anderson is the only Big 12 guard who averages more rejections per game (1.0).

AWARDS CENTRAL
Blake Griffin
couldn’t be off to much of a better start in terms of turning his Big 12 Preseason-Player-of-the-Year honor into the league’s postseason player-of-the-year award.  The sophomore forward was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 1 for the third time in three weeks to start the season and picked up a fourth honor on Jan. 12.  Griffin is only the second player in conference history to earn the weekly honor three straight times (Texas Tech’s Andre Emmett did it during the 2003-04 campaign).  Similarly, freshman guard Willie Warren has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week five out of a possible 12 times (Nov. 24, Dec. 1, Dec. 29, Jan. 5 and Feb. 2).  Warren was the unanimous choice as Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year.  Senior guard Austin Johnson picked up his first career Big 12 Player of the Week honor on Jan. 19.

RELATED