Sooners host Red Raiders Wednesday at 7 p.m., look to improve to 3-0 in Big 12 play.
Jan. 15, 2013
||Junior Forward Amath M'Baye
Riding a four-game winning streak, Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0) hosts Texas Tech (8-6-3, 1-2) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners, who are off to their best league start in four years, are coming off a 77-68 home win over Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Red Raiders, who have played just one road game this season, have lost their last two outings (fell 60-46 to Kansas at home on Saturday).
ON THE AIR
Wednesday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck calling the action. The game will be televised by the Big 12 Network (KOCB Ch. 24 in OKC; KMYT Ch. 41 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court) with Doug Bell and Bryndon Manzer announcing.
• Tickets are available for $10, $30 and $40 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online here. Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
• OU students may purchase a ticket for $10.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Oklahoma owns a 31-20 all-time record against Texas Tech and is 19-6 in the series in games played in Norman. The Sooners have won six of the last seven meetings at Lloyd Noble Center (Tech won in 2010 by one point).
• A win on Wednesday would be OU's fifth in a row, matching the longest streak under second-year head coach Lon Kruger. The Sooners won five straight December non-conference games last season.
• OU has won each of its last four games by at least nine points, and has held the four opponents to combined .361 field goal and .308 3-point shooting. The Sooners have also knocked down 60 of their 71 free throw attempts, good for a .845 figure. Starting forwards Romero Osby (.594) and Amath M'Baye (.583) have shot a combined 40-for-68 from the field during the streak (.588).
• After averaging 11.1 points on .421 field goal and .744 free throw shooting over OU's first seven games, Osby is averaging 15.9 points on .607 field goal and perfect 36-for-37 (.973) foul shooting over the last seven outings. His streak of 36 consecutive free throw makes was snapped on Saturday vs. Oklahoma State.
• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.429; next best is .391) and free throw percentage (.875; next best is .768). The Sooners also rank second in scoring margin (+9.5 per game), turnover margin (+3.0 per game) and field goal percentage defense (.345), and third in scoring offense (72.0 ppg) and steals (7.5 spg).
| Sooner to Watch
Buddy Hield | Fr. | Guard
• Had 15 points, 4 rebounds and a game-high 5 assists Saturday vs. Oklahoma State
• Averaging 9.3 points and team highs of 5.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists the last 6 games
• Ranks 4th on the team in scoring (8.9) and 3rd in rebounding (4.4); averages 1.9 assists
• Has 16 3-pointers (second most on squad) and is 9-for-22 from deep the last 7 games
PREVIEWING TEXAS TECH
• Texas Tech, which has played 13 of its 14 games this year at home, owns an 8-6 overall record and a 1-2 Big 12 mark. The Red Raiders began the year with a 5-1 record but have lost five of their last eight. In league play, they won at TCU (62-53) and lost at home to Baylor (82-48) and Kansas (60-46 on Saturday).
• The Red Raiders are shooting .439 from the field, .275 from 3-point range and .688 from the free throw line to rank fifth, last and seventh in the Big 12, respectively. They are allowing opponents to shoot .447 from the field (ranks last in league) and .367 from behind the 3-point line (also last). Texas Tech is outrebounding its foes by 3.5 a contest (ranks fourth in Big 12).
• Junior forward Jaye Crockett leads the Red Raiders in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg) despite coming off the bench in 13 of 14 games. The Dec. 31 Big 12 Player of the Week, Crockett is shooting .541 from the field and .792 from the free throw line (team-high 53 attempts). He scored in double figures in 11 of the first 13 games, but was held to three points (1-for-8 shooting) and four rebounds against Kansas on Saturday. Freshman guard Josh Gray averages 9.7 points and team highs of 2.9 assists and 2.0 steals (ranks second in Big 12). He has been held to an average of 7.3 points in Big 12 action. Junior forward Dejan Kravic ranks third on the squad in scoring (9.5 pg) and rebounding (4.9 rpg) while shooting .557 from the floor. He is averaging a team-high 1.6 blocked shots per game. Forward Jordan Tolbert, who led Tech with his 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last year as a freshman, is averaging 8.4 points and 5.9 boards in 21.4 minutes a game this year. He is shooting .522 from the field.
• Texas Tech is under the direction of interim head coach Chris Walker, who replaced Billy Gillispie in October. A 1992 Villanova graduate, Walker was the Red Raiders' associate head coach last season.
LAST YEAR VS. THE RED RAIDERS
Oklahoma and Texas Tech met twice last year, with each team winning at home. The Sooners won the first matchup, 64-55, on Jan. 17 in Norman behind 17 points from Steven Pledger, 15 points from Romero Osby and 13 from Andrew Fitzgerald. OU shot just .389 from the field and was just 1-for-11 (.091) from 3-point range, but held Tech to 15 field goals and to .326 field goal shooting. The Sooners posted a 22-7 advantage in points off turnovers. Javarez Willis led the Red Raiders with 16 points while Jaye Crockett came off the bench to record 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in only 21 minutes.
In the rematch in Lubbock, Texas Tech posted its only win of the Big 12 season, 65-47, on Feb. 11. OU shot just .327 from the field and .143 (2-for-14) from long distance, and committed 16 turnovers to Tech's seven. Fitzgerald was the only Sooner who scored in double figures (14 points). Willis scored a game-high 21 points for the Red Raiders while Robert Lewandowski added 16.
OU-TEXAS TECH HISTORY
Oklahoma owns a 31-20 series lead over Texas Tech and has won seven of the last 11 meetings. OU is 19-6 against the Red Raiders in Norman and is 13-4 at Lloyd Noble Center. Since the start of the Big 12 in 1996-97, OU is 22-12 against Texas Tech (12-4 in Norman).
• As of Tuesday, Oklahoma is ranked 14th out of 347 Division I teams in the CBSSports.com RPI (second best in Big 12 behind No. 2 Kansas) with a strength of schedule ranked No. 10. OU is projected by Joe Lunardi and ESPN.com as a No. 9 NCAA Tournament seed in this week's "Bracketology" report, while SI.com has the Sooners as a No. 8 seed.
• Oklahoma's six home games are tied for the fewest of any of the 74 other teams in the six "power" conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC). Entering Wednesday, every team will have played at least eight home games, with the exception of Mississippi State (six) and West Virginia (seven). Thirty-six of the 74 teams entered the week having played at least 10 home games.
• Oklahoma has already won as many games away from home this year (6-2 record) as it did over the last two seasons combined (6-25 record). The Sooners will play at least nine more games away from Lloyd Noble Center this season.
• Steven Pledger's 26.4 minutes per game are the fewest of any Big 12 player to lead his team in the category. In fact, every league squad except Texas Tech and West Virginia has at least two players who average at least 26.4 minutes per game (Baylor has five, Kansas and Oklahoma State have four, Iowa State, TCU and Texas have three each and Kansas State has two). OU has a league-high nine players who average at least 16.0 minutes per contest.
• The Sooners rank eighth in the league in field goal percentage (.421), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (.327) and second in free throw percentage (.749). They rank fifth in field goal percentage defense (.398), fourth in 3-point percentage defense (.297) and second in turnover margin (+2.3 per game).
• OU has played seven games this year decided by seven points or fewer and has won five of them. Last year the Sooners finished 4-5 under the circumstance. Each of the last four games (all wins), however, have come by at least nine points.
• The Sooners have shot at least .714 from the free throw line in eight straight games and own a stellar .811 mark during the span. OU has eclipsed the .900 mark in three of the last six outings and owns the Big 12's top two performances of the year (.947 vs. Texas A&M and .938 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). Its .905 effort Saturday against Oklahoma State stands as the best in Big 12 play this season. The team is shooting .749 on the year (school record of .767 was set in 2001-02).
• Oklahoma has exhibited a balanced offensive attack through 14 games, with seven players averaging between 5.5 and 13.5 points per contest, and nobody averaging more than 26.4 minutes.
• OU returned its top six scorers and 88 percent of its scoring from last season, but newcomers rank third, fourth, sixth and eighth in scoring average. The team's four newcomers have accounted for 41 percent of OU's points (389 of 959).
• The Sooners own a 229-156 advantage in points off turnovers on the year (16.5 to 10.9 per game). Oklahoma has done a better job of capitalizing on mistakes, averaging 1.10 points per opponent turnover to foes' 0.86 points per OU miscue.
• The Sooners' bench has been key, supplying 336 of the team's 959 points (35 percent). OU's reserves have been outscored just four times in 14 games. Two starters from last year (Cameron Clark and Sam Grooms) have come off the bench in each of their games, while another, Andrew Fitzgerald, has come off the bench in 13 of 14 contests.
The Sooners go back on the road for a Saturday game against No. 16/18 Kansas State. The contest will start at 3 p.m. CT and will be televised by the Big 12 Network.