OU welcomes Red River rival to Lloyd Noble Center for nationally televised contest at 8:35 p.m. CT.
||Senior Forward Andrew Fitzgerald
In a three-way tie for third place in the Big 12, Oklahoma (12-4, 3-1) plays just its seventh game of the year at Lloyd Noble Center when its hosts Texas (8-9, 0-4) on Monday at 8:30 p.m. CT. The Sooners, who had their five-game winning streak snapped in a 69-60 loss at No. 16/18 Kansas State on Saturday, are 6-1 at home this year (5-1 at Lloyd Noble Center). Texas enters the week on a four-game losing streak, falling most recently at home to Kansas (64-59) on Saturday. It is 1-7 away from home.
ON THE AIR
Monday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Sirius 91; XM 91) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing. Compass Media Networks will air the game via national radio with Drew Bontadelli and Mike Wozniak calling the action. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN with Bob Wischusen and Stephen Bardo 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 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
• OU students may purchase a ticket for $10.
CHEER LIKE A CHAMPION NIGHT
Monday's game marks "Cheer Like a Champion Night," with all fans receiving a free "Cheer Like a Champion" t-shirt.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Oklahoma holds a 47-34 all-time advantage over Texas despite the Longhorns taking the last six meetings and 13 of the last 15. OU is 23-11 against UT in Norman (14-8 at Lloyd Noble Center).
• Entering Sunday, Oklahoma's seven 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). Every team has played at least eight home games, with the exception of Miami (Fla.), Mississippi State and West Virginia (also seven each). Fifty-seven of the 74 teams have played at least 10 home games.
• Oklahoma has been outrebounded just twice in 16 games this year and has outboarded each of its last seven opponents (+5.3 per game during the stretch). OU's +14 margin against Kansas State on Saturday was its second largest of the year. K-State entered the game as the Big 12's leader in rebounding margin per game (+8.1).
• Despite a season-worst 7-for-15 (.467) performance on Saturday at Kansas State, OU leads the Big 12 (league games) with its .781 free throw mark. Over the last eight games, the Sooners have shot .810 from the free throw line and have eclipsed the .900 mark three times. They are shooting .801 from the stripe in home games. OU owns the Big 12's top two performances of the year (.947 vs. Texas A&M and .938 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi).
• Over the last eight games, freshman wing Buddy Hield is averaging 10.0 points and team highs in rebounding (6.4 rpg), assists (3.5 apg) and steals (1.4 spg). He has 28 assists and 11 turnovers during the stretch for a 2.5 ratio (in OU's first eight games he had four assists and 19 turnovers).
| Sooner to Watch
Buddy Hield | Fr. | Guard
• Ranks fourth on team with 9.3 points, third with 4.9 rebounds and second with 2.0 assists
• Averaging 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a starter the last six games
• Scored 8 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 3 assists Saturday at Kansas State
• Averaging 11.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Big 12 play
• Texas enters Monday's game with an 8-9 record and is winless in four Big 12 games. After starting the season with a 5-2 record, the Longhorns have gone 3-7. Three of their losses on the season have come in overtime and another (vs. UCLA) came by two points. Their defeats in Big 12 play came at Baylor (86-79 in OT), at home to West Virginia (57-53 in OT), at Iowa State (82-62) and at home to Kansas (64-59).
• The Longhorns lead the nation in field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just .345 and .248, respectively, on the season. On the offensive end in Big 12 play, Texas ranks seventh out of 10 teams in scoring offense (63.2 ppg), sixth in field goal percentage (.411), ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (.288) and last in free throw percentage (.533). It is getting outrebounded by 3.5 per game in league action.
• A nine-game starter on the year (he has come off the bench the last three games), sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan is averaging a team-high 14.5 points in 29.9 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures in 15 of 17 games (once in last three) and is coming off a game-high 18-point performance against Kansas on Saturday in which he was 8-for-18 from the field. McClellan leads the team with his 98 free throw attempts and .806 free throw mark. He is shooting .365 from the floor.
• Fellow sophomore guard Julien Lewis is the only other Longhorn averaging double figures in scoring (11.8 ppg). Coming off an 11-point, season-high-tying seven-rebound game against Kansas, Lewis leads the squad with his 25 3-point makes and ranks second with his .385 3-point field goal percentage.
• Freshman guard Javan Felix averages 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and a Big 12-leading 6.2 assists per game. He also ranks fifth in the league with his 1.5 steals per outing.
• Longhorns head coach Rick Barnes is in his 15th season at Texas and owns a 350-146 record there. He is in his 26th season overall and owns a 552-280 career mark. He also coached at Clemson (four years), Providence (six) and George Mason (one).
LAST YEAR VS. THE LONGHORNS
Texas won both meetings last year, 69-58 in Norman and 72-64 in Austin. In the first matchup on Feb. 14, Oklahoma led 33-28 at halftime but was outscored 41-25 after the break in an 11-point loss. OU made four more field goals than the Longhorns (24-20), but was outscored by 19 at the free throw line. Texas was 24-for-29 at the charity stripe while OU was 5-for-8. The Sooners, who held UT to a .385 field goal mark, were also outscored 21-5 off turnovers (19 of the 21 came in the second half). Steven Pledger scored a game-high 18 points while Cameron Clark and Romero Osby netted 13 each. Sam Grooms tied a career high with 10 assists. J'Covan Brown led Texas with 19 points and Sheldon McClellan added 13.
In the rematch in Austin on Feb. 29, OU led 55-50 with 8:15 remaining but was outscored 22-9 down the stretch. The Longhorns went on a 10-2 run over the final 3:15. OU led by as many as 12 in the first half (23-11) and eight in the second (45-37). Texas didn't take its first lead until McClellan hit a 3-pointer with 6:15 remaining. The Longhorns took the lead for the final time with 3:15 left. Over their final 10 possessions, the Sooners went 1-for-7 from the field and committed five turnovers. Texas hit eight of its last 12 shots (four of them 3-pointers). McClellan finished with a career-high 24 points. Osby (14), Pledger (13), Clark (12) and Andrew Fitzgerald (12) all scored in double figures for OU. Clark added a game-high 11 boards.
OU-TEXAS SERIES HISTORY
Oklahoma owns a 47-34 series lead against Texas despite losing each of the last six and 13 of the last 15 meetings. OU is 23-11 against the Longhorns in Norman and 14-8 at Lloyd Noble Center. Since the start of the Big 12 in 1996-97, OU is 18-21 against Texas (9-7 in Norman).
• As of Sunday, Oklahoma is ranked 21st out of 347 Division I teams in the CBSSports.com RPI (second best in Big 12 behind No. 3 Kansas), with a strength of schedule ranked No. 16. OU was projected by Joe Lunardi and ESPN.com as a No. 9 NCAA Tournament seed in this past week's "Bracketology" report, while SI.com had the Sooners as a No. 8 seed.
• Two of the Sooners' four losses have come to teams ranked in last week's AP top-25 (No. 8 Gonzaga and No. 16 Kansas State own a combined 32-4 record). The other two came by a combined four points. OU lost by three at Arkansas (led by one with 15 seconds remaining) and by one to Stephen F. Austin (the Lumberjacks are 16-1 on the year and lead the nation in scoring defense).
• OU has already won as many games away from home this year (6-3 record) as it did over the last two seasons combined (6-25 record). The Sooners will play at least eight more games away from Lloyd Noble Center this season.
• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma leads the league in free throw percentage (.781) and offensive rebounding percentage (.390). OU ranks second in scoring offense (71.2), scoring margin (+12.3), field goal percentage (.455), 3-point field goal percentage (.360) and rebounding margin (+6.0 per game).
• In its two Big 12 road games, OU is giving up an average of 10.5 3-pointers per game (11 at West Virginia and 10 at Kansas State). In its two league home games, it is surrendering an average of 5.5 makes (six by Oklahoma State and five by Texas Tech).
• 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 and Kansas have four, Iowa State, Oklahoma 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.
• 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 six games (five wins), however, have been decided by at least nine points.
• Oklahoma has exhibited a balanced offensive attack through 16 games, with seven players averaging between 5.9 and 13.6 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, seventh and eighth this year in scoring average. The team's four newcomers have accounted for 41 percent of OU's points (447 of 1,100).
• The Sooners own a 251-192 advantage in points off turnovers on the year (15.7 to 12.0 per game) and have been outscored in the category just four times in 16 games.
• The Sooners' bench has been key, supplying 34 percent of the team's points. OU's reserves have been outscored just four times in 16 games.
• Senior forward Romero Osby leads OU in scoring (13.6 ppg), rebounding (6.4 rpg) and field goal percentage (.526) in just 24.6 minutes a contest. Since being held to an average of 10.0 points over the final three games of November, Osby is averaging 15.6 points on .600 (48-for-80) shooting over the last nine contests (has shot at least .500 from the field in all nine). In Big 12 games, Osby ranks fourth in the league in scoring (16.8 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (.571).
• Senior guard Steven Pledger averages 11.4 points in a team-high 26.4 minutes a game. He ranks fourth in the Big 12 with his 2.2 treys per contest and sixth with his .368 3-point percentage. Pledger has scored in double figures in each of the last nine outings (12.6 ppg during the stretch). He has made at least two 3-pointers in eight of the last nine games.
• Preseason Big 12 Rookie of the Year Amath M'Baye is a two-time league rookie of the week (Nov. 26 and Dec. 31). Over the last six games (five wins), he is averaging 11.8 points on .547 field goal shooting and 5.0 rebounds. The junior forward is averaging 9.9 points and 5.6 rebounds on the year to rank third and second on the team, respectively.
• Freshman guard Buddy Hield, who ranks fourth on the team with his 9.3 points, third with his 4.9 rebounds and second with his 2.0 assists, has started the last six games after coming off the bench the first 10. In the six starts, he is averaging 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He owns the team's highest single-game total in rebounds (11 vs. Stephen F. Austin), assists (7 vs. Ohio) and steals (4 vs. Ohio).
• Junior guard/forward Cameron Clark, who started 60 of 63 games and averaged 8.9 points in 30.4 minutes per contest over his first two seasons, is averaging 6.3 points in 17.0 minutes an outing off the bench this year. After shooting .238 from the field (5-for-21) in the first four games, he is shooting .538 in 12 games since (35-for-65).
• Freshman guard Je'lon Hornbeak has contributed across the board in OU's first 16 games, averaging 5.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 22.3 minutes per game. He has started all 16 contests (played point guard the last eight games) and leads the team with his .378 3-point field goal percentage (4-for-6 in Big 12 play).
• A starter every game the previous two years, senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald has come off the bench in 15 of 16 games this season. On the year, he averages 5.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 16.1 minutes an outing. Over the last two games, however, he is averaging 9.0 points on .615 shooting. He needs just two points to become the 39th member of OU's 1,000-point club.
• Senior point guard Sam Grooms started all 31 games last year, led the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8) and ranked second in assists (6.0 per game). He has come off the bench in each of his 15 games this season and has racked up a team-high 41 assists against 17 turnovers (2.4 ratio).
The Sooners go back on the road to face No. 4/4 Kansas on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The contest will be televised by ESPN.