Sooners close exhibition season Wednesday at 7 p.m.; tickets $5 for public, free for OU students.
||Senior forward Romero Osby
The Sooners play their second of two preseason exhibition games when they host Central Oklahoma on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT. Part of OU's inaugural Field House Series, the game will be played at McCasland Field House in the middle of campus. OU, in its second season under head coach Lon Kruger, is coming off an 83-66 win over Washburn on Friday at Lloyd Noble Center. NCAA Division II UCO is playing its first exhibition game after going 15-11 last season. The Bronchos are under the direction of head coach Terry Evans, who starred four years for the Sooners and is OU's career leader in 3-pointers and assists.
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 announcing. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV (FS Oklahoma and FOX College Sports Atlantic) with Chad McKee and Billy Tubbs calling the action. A webcast replay will be offered for free on SoonerSports.tv.
• All tickets for the general public are $5. Tickets are available at the OU Athletics Ticket Office and online at SoonerSports.com. McCasland Field House ticket booths will open at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
• OU students will be admitted free, but must present a physical ticket (can claim on SoonerSports.com or at McCasland Field House's west entrance).
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma have met two times, with the Sooners winning each occasion. Included were a 74-57 regular season win in the 1973-74 season and an 95-71 exhibition victory in 2004-05.
• OU has compiled a 46-2 exhibition record over the last 24 years. Its last exhibition loss came in 2003.
• UCO head coach Terry Evans is OU's all-time leader in assists (651) and 3-point field goals (259), and ranks 14th in points (1,361). He played from 1989-93 and served as the Sooners' director of basketball operations in 2002 when OU went to the NCAA Final Four.
• Opened in 1928, the OU Field House served as the Sooners' home until Lloyd Noble Center opened in December 1975. Oklahoma's all-time record in the building stands at 319-153 (.676).
• Wednesday's game will mark the first inside McCasland Field House since an 86-78 OU exhibition win over Athletes First on Nov. 5, 2001. That game was moved due to finishing renovation touches being applied to Lloyd Noble Center.
| Sooner to Watch
Buddy Hield | Fr. | Guard
• Came off bench to score team-high 16 points vs. Washburn on Friday
• Was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and grabbed 5 rebounds
• Led team by averaging 18.0 points in two public intrasquad scrimmages last month
• Averaged 22.7 points in 21.0 minutes per game as a high school senior
FRIDAY'S WASHBURN RECAP
Oklahoma posted an 83-66 exhibition win over NCAA Division II Washburn on Friday at Lloyd Noble Center, as four newcomers accounted for more than half of OU's scoring. Freshman Buddy Hield finished with a team-high 16 points, junior Amath M'Baye tallied 14 and freshmen Isaiah Cousins and Je'lon Hornbeak netted nine and six, respectively. OU led 40-28 at halftime and was up by as many as 21 in the second half.
• The Sooners outscored the Ichabods by 27 points from 3-point range. OU was 11-for-22 (.500) from deep, while Washburn was 2-for-8 (.250). Hield (3-for-4), Cousins (3-for-4) and Hornbeak (2-for-2) went a combined 8-for-10 from beyond the arc.
• OU posted a modest 40-36 advantage on the boards. M'Baye and Romero Osby led with six rebounds apiece, while Hield and Cameron Clark pulled down five each.
• After going 8-for-16 from the free throw line in the first half, OU went 14-for-16 in the second. It finished 22-for-32 (.688).
Wednesday's game will mark the third between OU and UCO. The Sooners won a 74-57 regular season meeting Dec. 22, 1973, at the OU Field House and claimed a 95-71 exhibition win Nov. 13, 2004, inside Lloyd Noble Center.
KRUGER AT McCASLAND FIELD HOUSE
OU head coach Lon Kruger played in two games inside McCasland Field House as a Kansas State guard in the 1970s. In 1972, he led K-State to an 80-71 win by recording a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds, and went on to be named Big Eight Sophomore of the Year. Two years later in Norman, Kruger contributed 12 points and six boards, but the Sooners pulled out a 65-63 win. Kruger, who was the 1973 and '74 Big Eight Player of the Year, missed the 1973 contest inside the Field House due to injury (OU won 81-69).
• Thanks to the loss of just one scholarship senior from last season (forward C.J. Washington averaged 2.0 points and 3.4 rebounds), the Sooners return the bulk of their production in every statistical category for 2012-13. That includes 88 percent of the team's points, 81 percent of its rebounds, 78 percent of its assists, 77 percent of its blocks and 74 percent of its steals. OU also returns 82 percent of its 3-point field goal and 87 percent of its free throw production.
• OU welcomes back its top six scorers from last season, including all five starters. Andrew Fitzgerald, Sam Grooms and Romero Osby each started all 31 contests. Steven Pledger started 30 games while Cameron Clark started 28.
• The trio of Fitzgerald, Osby and Pledger accounted for 64 percent of the Sooners' points in Big 12 play last season (746 of 1,164) and 49 percent of its rebounds (277 of 567).
• The Sooners welcome nine newcomers to the roster, with four of them expected to play significant roles in 2012-13.
• Junior forward Amath M'Baye (6-8, 208) sat out last year after transferring from Wyoming and was voted the Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year by league coaches. He averaged 12.0 points and a team-high 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore for the Cowboys in 2010-11.
• A trio of 6-3 freshman guards will also see plenty of playing time, with two of them expected to start Friday versus Washburn. Isaiah Cousins is a three-star recruit from Mount Vernon, N.Y., who will likely start at point guard. Cousins averaged 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game last year to earn New York's Section 1 "Mr. Basketball" honors. Je'lon Hornbeak is also expected to start in the backcourt. Hornbeak was rated as the nation's No. 102 recruit last year by Rivals.com and averaged 12.0 points and 7.5 rebounds for a talent-laden Grace Prep Academy squad out of Arlington, Texas. Buddy Hield is a noted scorer who, like Hornbeak, was a four-star recruit by Rivals. Ranked 86th nationally, Hield averaged 22.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in only 21.0 minutes per game last year for Sunrise Christian Academy outside of Wichita, Kan. From the Bahamas, Hield led OU by averaging 18.0 points over its pair of public intrasquad games the last two weeks.
• Also new are sophomore guard Jarrod Kruger (6-1, 181), sophomore Gonzaga transfer Ryan Spangler (6-8, 227), junior college transfer D.J. Bennett (6-8, 210) and freshman walk-on forwards C.J. Cole (6-6, 225) and Steve Noworyta (6-7, 200). Kruger, the nephew of head coach Lon Kruger, began his career at Kansas State in 2010-11 (was on team during fall semester) and sat out at OU last season. Spangler, a forward who averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds as a freshman last year, has impressed in early season practices but will sit out the 2012-13 campaign due to transfer regulations. Bennett will redshirt this season after averaging 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots at Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College. Cole, an Oklahoma native, attended Sperry High School and averaged 21.6 points and a state-high 16.6 rebounds per game last year to earn his third all-state honor. He will also redshirt this season. Noworyta hails from Hainesport, N.J.
The Sooners open the regular season Sunday at 2 p.m. CT when they host ULM (Louisiana-Monroe) at Lloyd Noble Center. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV (FOX Sports Southwest and FOX College Sports Central).
SOONER SPORTS TV
Eight of OU's 2012-13 contests will be televised by Sooner Sports TV powered by FOX Sports. Launched in September 2012, the network provides the most comprehensive coverage of the Sooners ever offered. Distributed on a variety of existing FOX Sports outlets including FS Oklahoma, FS Southwest and FOX College Sports, Sooner Sports TV programming blocks reach approximately nine million homes in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.