No. 25 OU Returns Home to Host TCU
January 22, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
SOONERS SPORTS RELEASE
In a three-way tie for third place in the Big 12, No. 25 Oklahoma (14-4, 3-2) returns home following a two-game road swing to host TCU (9-8, 0-5) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners, who have beaten two top-12 teams in their last three outings, are coming off a 66-64 win at No. 12 Baylor on Saturday. TCU, which is 3-2 in true road games (0-2 in Big 12), is coming off a 60-49 home loss to Texas Tech on Saturday.
ON THE AIR
Wednesday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM "The Franchise" in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck calling the action. The game will be televised by ESPN with Clay Matvick and Darrin Horn announcing.
• Tickets are available for $10, $20 and $30 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online at SoonerSports.com. Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
• OU student tickets cost $10.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Oklahoma owns a 12-2 all-time record against TCU and is 6-0 in Norman (3-0 at Lloyd Noble Center). The Sooners have won four of the last five meetings, including a 75-48 decision last season in Norman when OU held the Horned Frogs to .302 field goal shooting (they didn’t score in the game’s first 8:08). TCU won the rematch in the regular season finale, 70-67, in Fort Worth.
• The Sooners are ranked No. 25 in this week’s AP and USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls, No. 14 in ESPN’s RPI and No. 16 in the NCAA’s and CBS Sports’ RPI (with the nation’s No. 6 strength of schedule). OU made its season debut in the AP top 25 last week, its first appearance in either major poll since Nov. 23, 2009.
• OU is shooting a stellar .419 from 3-point range in its 10 home games this season. The starting trio of Isaiah Cousins (.478; 11-for-23), Cameron Clark (.455; 15-for-33) and Buddy Hield (.444; 28-for-63) is shooting a combined .454 from behind the arc at Lloyd Noble Center. Opponents are shooting .347 in the building from long distance.
• Sophomore forward Ryan Spangler has performed at a first-team All-Big 12 level the past three games, averaging 14.7 points and 12.7 rebounds while shooting .706 from the field against then-No. 9 Iowa State, at Kansas State and at then-No. 12 Baylor. His 15 boards vs. the Cyclones were a career high and so were his 21 points against the Wildcats. Spangler leads the Big 12 with his 9.4 rebounds a game and with his seven double-doubles, and has shot at least 50 percent from the field in every game this season (his .664 field goal percentage leads all Big 12 players who average more than 4.0 makes per game). He is shooting .852 (23-for-27) from the free throw line in Big 12 play after shooting .540 (27-for-50) in pre-conference action.
• Hield has scored at least 18 points in four of OU’s five Big 12 games and ranks fourth in the league (conference games) with his 18.6 average. He leads the league with his 3.8 3-pointers per Big 12 contest and is shooting .422 from behind the arc in those games. Hield, who broke his foot against TCU in Norman last February and missed the next five games, has scored in double figures in 17 of 18 outings this season after doing it just seven times all of his freshman year.
• Second-year Big 12 member TCU won nine of its final 10 pre-conference games but has started Big 12 play 0-5. The Horned Frogs have fallen at home to West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas Tech in league action, and have lost at Baylor and Oklahoma State. On the season, they rank last in the Big 12 in scoring offense (65.9 ppg), field goal percentage (.412) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.313), but rank fourth in scoring defense (68.1 ppg) and third in free throw percentage (.721).
• Junior guard Kyan Anderson is averaging team highs of 14.6 points, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting .475 from the field and .353 from 3-point range (18 makes). A starter in 71 consecutive games, he averaged 24.3 points in TCU’s final three pre-conference games but has been held to a 10.2 average in Big 12 action (shooting .349). Junior forward and Oklahoma City product Amric Fields, a high school teammate and friend of OU’s Tyler Neal, averages 13.7 points and 5.6 rebounds a contest. Freshman forward Brandon Parrish contributes 10.2 points a game and has made a team-high 24 3-pointers (shooting team-best .369 from deep).
• Trent Johnson is in his second year as TCU’s head coach and owns a 20-29 record. He is in his 15th year overall (also coached at Nevada, Stanford and LSU) and owns a 246-214 mark.
• After averaging 70.6 points per game last season, this year’s Sooners are averaging 84.7 points through 18 regular season games to rank eighth nationally. The last time OU averaged more than 80.0 points per game for an entire season was in 1994-95 (81.7 ppg in Kelvin Sampson’s first year as head coach; see chart above right).
• Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team that has used the same starting lineup in every game this year. Each OU starter is averaging double figures in scoring, and the quintet has accounted for 79 percent of the team’s points on the year. The Sooners are the only Big 12 team with five players averaging double figures in points.
• OU leads the Big 12 with its 9.2 treys per game in league action, 1.0 more than the next highest average (8.2 by Baylor).
• Despite standing just 6-8, sophomore forward Ryan Spangler has won the opening tip in 13 of 18 games this year (as well as the overtime tip against Louisiana Tech).
• Oklahoma players have recorded 12 double-digit rebounding totals through 17 games, compared to seven all of last year (in 32 games). Romero Osby paced OU with three games of 10 or more boards last year. Spangler already has nine such games this season.
• OU reached the 80-point mark seven times last season. This year’s Sooners have already hit 80 points in 13 of 18 games.
• The Sooners have scored at least 40 points in 26 of 35 halves this season. Last year, they scored 40 in a half 17 times all season.
• OU has had at least five double-digit scorers in seven games this season after it accomplished the feat three times all of last year.
• As a junior last year, Cameron Clark attempted one 3-point field goal (he made it). This season, he is 20-for-48 (.417) from deep. Clark’s scoring average is up by 10.3 points from last season (6.8 ppg to 17.1). The last Sooner to increase his scoring average by double digits from one year to the next was Ryan Minor (4.7 ppg as a freshman in 1992-93 to 16.2 as a sophomore in 1993-94).
• Clark joined OU’s 1,000-point club Dec. 30 against Louisiana Tech and ranks 35th on the all-time scoring list with 1,076 points.
• Freshman Jordan Woodard leads the Big 12 in free throw makes (102) and ranks second in attempts (132) despite averaging 3.7 attempts the last three games. Named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week on Dec. 17 by CBSSports.com and the USBWA, Woodard has attempted 10 or more free throws six times this season. Interestingly, 71 percent of his free throw attempts have come after halftime. Woodard is averaging 11.3 points and 4.7 assists (leads all Big 12 freshmen and sophomores) while ranking eighth in the league with his .773 free throw percentage. He has made more free throws than all but five Big 12 players have attempted.
• After averaging 2.7 points last season and never scoring more than 10 points in a game prior to Nov. 22 of this year, sophomore guard Isaiah Cousins has netted at least 10 points in nine of the last 15 contests. He scored a career-high 19 against Seton Hall on Nov. 22 (7-for-8 field goal shooting) and followed with 15 against Michigan State the next night. In the Jan. 11 upset of No. 9/7 Iowa State, he was 5-for-8 from the field and tallied 17 points.
• Four Sooners have each already scored significantly more points through 18 games this year than they did all of last season (32 games). Clark has tallied 308 points this year (207 last year; 49% increase), Buddy Hield has netted 299 (211 last year; 42% increase) and Cousins has registered 190 (85 last season; 124% increase). Senior forward Tyler Neal has scored 105 points (30 last year; 250% increase). Cousins shot .279 from the field and .250 from 3-point distance a year ago but is shooting .455 and .413 this season. Similarly, Neal shot .214 and .261 as a junior but sports respective .494 and .455 figures this year.
• OU has surpassed 100 points twice this year after doing it once over the previous eight seasons. The last season the Sooners had two 100-point games was 2004-05. The last time they scored 100 points at least three times in a season was 2001-02.
OU hits the road again for a Saturday 3 p.m. game at Texas Tech. The game will be televised by the Big 12 Network.