OU faces 9-0 Bearcats in All-College Classic Saturday night in Oklahoma City.
||Carl Blair is averaging 8.0 assists the last two games
SATURDAY'S GAME BASICS
Oklahoma (5-5) plays in its 35th All-College Classic when it takes on Cincinnati (9-0) Saturday at 8 p.m. CST inside Oklahoma City Arena. The Sooners are coming off back-to-back home wins, while the Bearcats have won their nine games by an average margin of 22 points. The contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 125) with Bob Barry Sr. and Mike Houck announcing. The game will be televised by ESPNU with Jon Sciambi and Hubert Davis calling the action.
• The Sooners own a 52-13 (.800) all-time record in the All-College Classic and have won 15 of their last 17 games in the event.
• Oklahoma ranks fifth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.469), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.374) and third in free throw percentage (.727). Last year, the Sooners shot .430 from the field and .350 from 3-point distance.
• The Sooners are 5-0 at home this year and 0-5 away from Norman.
• The only game this season in which Oklahoma has failed to shoot at least 44 percent from the field was against North Carolina Central on Nov. 15 (OU shot .328). Excluding that contest, OU owns a .489 field goal mark on the year. For perspective, the Sooners have shot better than .489 for a season just once in the last 21 years (.492 in 2008-09).
• Sophomore guard Steven Pledger is averaging a team-high 17.8 points in OU’s wins, but has been held to a 6.4 average in its losses.
• Oklahoma has outscored opponents 88-77 in points off turnovers in its five wins, but has been outscored 97-50 in the category in its five defeats.
• In their five wins, the Sooners are shooting .420 from 3-point range (42-for-100) and .792 from the free throw line (80-for-101). In their five losses, they’re shooting .322 from behind the arc (29-for-90) and .634 from the foul line (45-for-71).
| Sooner to Watch
Cameron Clark | Fr. | Guard/Forward
• Coming off back-to-back career scoring highs (13 Dec. 9 vs. Gardner-Webb and 17 Dec. 11 vs. Oral Roberts)
• Shooting 60 percent from field over last two games (8-for-11) vs. ORU
• Also has five steals over the last two outings
• Has committed just eight turnovers on the season
• Oklahoma bounced back from a five-game losing streak by posting a pair of home wins last week over Gardner-Webb (71-58) and Oral Roberts (73-60). The Sooners shot .500 from the field, .485 from 3-point range and .765 from the free throw line on the week. They held the Bulldogs and Golden Eagles to combined .385 field goal shooting and outrebounded them by an average of 6.5 boards.
• OU has shot 47 percent or better from the field in each of its last five games. Turnovers have been an issue this year, however, as the Sooners average 14.8 per game. They’ve committed at least 10 turnovers in all but one outing.
• Sophomore forward Andrew Fitzgerald has shot .500 or better from the field in eight of 10 games and owns a .546 season percentage to rank sixth in the Big 12. He leads the team with his 15.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. His free throw percentage (.711) is up significantly from last year (.638).
• Over the last four games, Fitzgerald is averaging 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting .762 from the free throw line (16-for-21). He registered his first career double-double (18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds) Dec. 1 at Arkansas and followed with a career-high-tying 22 points and five boards Dec. 5 at Arizona.
• Guard Cade Davis is averaging 15.8 points over the last eight outings on .474 field goal and .472 (25-for-53) 3-point shooting. Included were games of 21 points against Texas Southern, 23 points versus No. 8 Kentucky and a season-high 24 points against Chaminade. On the year, OU’s lone senior averages 14.3 points to rank 14th in the Big 12.
• Davis ranks third in the Big 12 with his 2.7 treys per game and fourth with his .435 percentage. Going back to last year, he has made 58 3-pointers over his last 22 games. Davis ranks ninth on OU’s career 3-point field goals list with 144 (needs nine to move into eighth place).
• In OU’s five wins (all at home), sophomore guard Steven Pledger has scored no fewer than 13 points and is shooting .410 from 3-point range (16-for-39) and .905 from the free throw line (19-for-21). In five games away from home (all losses), Pledger has been held to single digits four times and is shooting .222 from deep (4-for-18) and .500 from the foul line (2-for-4).
• Freshman Cameron Clark is coming off what are arguably his two most productive games as a Sooner. After averaging 5.5 points on .450 field goal shooting over OU’s first eight games, the wing is averaging 15.0 points on .600 shooting over the last two. He recorded consecutive career highs of 13 points against Gardner-Webb and 17 versus Oral Roberts (he had been held to single digits in each of the previous seven games). Clark has five steals over the last two contests after registering just one over OU’s first eight games.
• Sophomore point guard Carl Blair has rebounded nicely from a tough start to the year by averaging 9.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists (against 2.0 turnovers) over the last two games. He had six points, five rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers in 23 minutes off the bench in the Dec. 9 win over Gardner-Webb and followed with 12 points, five boards and nine assists in 37 minutes off the bench Saturday against Oral Roberts. Blair recorded 15 assists over his first six games but has 16 over the last two. He is also shooting .536 from the field on the year.
• Cincinnati enters Saturday’s game with a 9-0 record and has beaten its opponents by an average of 21.7 points. The Bearcats have played seven home games (Mount St. Mary’s, IPFW, Florida A&M, Savannah State, Wright State, Utah Valley and Georgia Southern), one on the road (at Toledo) and one at a neutral site (vs. Dayton in Cincinnati).
• UC is shooting .456 from the field, .385 from 3-point range (7.8 makes per game) and .644 from the free throw line (15.4 makes per game). Opponents are shooting .381 from the field and .303 from behind the arc (4.1 makes per outing).
• Junior guard Dion Dixon leads four Bearcats who are averaging double figures in scoring. Dixon, who is 15-for-35 (.429) from 3-point range on the season, averages 12.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. Over the last five games he is averaging 15.0 points.
• Junior forward Yancy Gates, who recorded double-doubles in two of Cincinnati’s first three games, contributes 11.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and a team-high 1.9 blocks per outing.
• Redshirt freshman guard Sean Kilpatrick comes off the bench to average 10.7 points in 21.0 minutes per game. Kilpatrick, who has performances of 21 and 26 points to his credit, leads the team with 17 makes from 3-point range and is shooting .415 from behind the arc.
• Sophomore point guard Cashmere Wright is averaging 10.0 points and team highs of 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He is shooting .585 from the field and .407 from 3-point distance (11 makes).
• Head coach Mick Cronin is 70-68 in his fifth year at Cincinnati. The former UC assistant coach returned to the Bearcats following a three-year stint as head coach at Murray State (posted a 69-24 record there).
OU-CINCINNATI SERIES HISTORY
Saturday’s game will mark the fifth between Oklahoma and Cincinnati, with each team owning a pair of wins. OU won the first two meeting, 78-65 in 1985-86 in the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City, and 89-81 (in overtime) in the second round of the 1991 postseason NIT in Norman. The third-ranked Bearcats posted a 72-59 win in Cincinnati during the 1998-99 season and, as the nation’s No. 4 team the following year, beat the No. 21 Sooners by a 72-57 score in Norman.
OU’S ALL-COLLEGE HISTORY
This year’s All-College Classic marks the 35th such event for Oklahoma and the 28th straight. The Sooners own a 52-13 (.800) all-time record in the All-College and have claimed 21 championships. They have won 15 of their last 17 games in the event. This marks the 10th year that the All-College features a “classic” or non-tournament format. OU lost to UTEP (89-74) last year, beat VCU (81-70) two years ago, bettered Gonzaga (72-68) three years ago, downed Tulsa (58-48) in 2006-07, lost to West Virginia (92-68) in 2005-06, and beat Tulsa (70-64) in 2004-05, Princeton (58-55) in 2003-04, Michigan State (60-58) in 2002-03 and Texas Southern (97-55) in 2001-02.