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Men’s hoops: OU vs. Texas game notes

by Mike Sherman Modified: April 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm •  Published: February 22, 2008

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Here are are the game notes for OU’s game against Texas

Teams: Oklahoma (18-8, 6-5) vs. No. 7 Texas (22-4, 9-2)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 23
Tip: 2:39 p.m. CST
Site: Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7-FM in OKC; KMOD 97.5-FM in Tulsa; Sirius 122)
TV: ABC (KOCO Ch. 5/Cox 8 in OKC; KTUL Ch. 8/Cox 8 in Tulsa)
Series: Oklahoma leads 45-25

GAME PREVIEW
Oklahoma (18-8 overall, 6-5 Big 12) has answered a three-game losing streak with three consecutive victories and will travel to meet an even hotter Texas team (22-4, 9-2) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CST in Austin. The Sooners, who hold a No. 28 CollegeRPI.com rating (the third best in the Big 12) through games of Thursday and stand in a fourth-place tie in the league standings, are 4-4 in true road games on the year (2-3 in the Big 12). Two of those four wins came against ranked opponents at the time. Texas, which is ranked No. 7 in both major polls, has won six straight games and is tied for first place in the conference with Kansas. The Longhorns are 14-1 at home this season (5-0 in the Big 12).

Saturday’s game will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7-FM in Oklahoma City; KMOD 97.5-FM in Tulsa; Sirius 122) with Bob Barry Sr. and Mike Houck announcing. It will be televised regionally by ABC (KOCO Ch. 5/Cox 8 in OKC; KTUL Ch. 8/Cox 8 in Tulsa) with Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes calling the action.

NOTEWORTHY
• Oklahoma is 45-25 all-time against Texas and 16-13 against the Longhorns in Austin.
• OU is 78-24 (.765) against Big 12 teams from Texas since the league was formed.
• Oklahoma has clinched its 27th consecutive winning season (longest current streak in the Big 12).
• After going 10-for-50 (.200) from 3-point range in losses to Texas and Colorado, OU has gone 26-for-56 (.464) over the last three games (all wins). The 26 treys are its second most over any three-game span this year.
• Blake Griffin is averaging 17.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in Big 12 play (not including the Jan. 14 Kansas game when he played only five minutes before leaving with a knee injury).
• Austin Johnson and Tony Crocker are averaging 17.3 and 17.0 points, respectively, during OU’s three-game winning streak. Prior to the streak they averaged 7.9 and 10.8 points on the season.
• In their eight losses, the Sooners are shooting .268 from 3-point range. They are shooting .407 from long distance in their wins.
• Heading into Saturday, Oklahoma’s five remaining opponents have a combined Big 12 record of 27-28 (.491).

OKLAHOMA PROJECTED STARTERS F 23 Blake Griffin (6-10, 243, Fr., 15.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg)
F 32 Taylor Griffin (6-7, 230, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
G 2 Tony Neysmith (6-5, 203, Fr., 0.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg)
G 5 Tony Crocker (6-6, 193, So., 11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
G 20 Austin Johnson (6-3, 165, Jr., 9.0 ppg, 2.5 apg)

TEXAS PROJECTED STARTERS
F 5 Damion James (6-7, 230, So., 13.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg)
F 32 Connor Atchley (6-10, 226, Jr., 10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
G 3 A.J. Abrams (5-11, 155, Jr., 17.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg)
G 14 D.J. Augustin (6-0, 180, So., 19.2 ppg, 6.1 apg)
G 24 Justin Mason (6-2, 198, So., 6.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg)

TUESDAY’S BAYLOR RECAP
• In what is sure to be one of the most thrilling finishes in school history, Oklahoma squandered a nine-point lead with 3:30 left in regulation and later came back from a seven-point overtime deficit to notch a 92-91 home win over Baylor on Tuesday.
• The Sooners fell behind by six points with 58 seconds left in overtime on a Curtis Jerrells jumper before making three 3-pointers in the final 48 seconds (one by Austin Johnson and two by Tony Crocker). The final trey came from Crocker with 7.3 seconds on the clock and was part of a four-point play that put OU ahead by one.
• Jerrells was fouled on his way to the basket with 1.0 second left in overtime, but missed both free throws. A Kevin Rogers put-back attempt was also off the mark. Jerrells was 6-for-7 from the stripe on the night prior to his final two attempts.
• The win was OU’s 28th straight against the Bears.
• Blake Griffin scored a career-high 29 points and pulled down 15 rebounds while adding two assists and two blocked shots. He made a career-high 13 free throws on 17 attempts.
• Crocker finished with 20 points with the help of 5-for-7 3-point shooting. After scoring 10 first-half points, he was held scoreless until sinking two free throws with 10 seconds remaining in regulation. Crocker scored the game’s final seven points over the contest’s final 21 seconds.
• Austin Johnson scored 19 points (one shy of his career high) and handed out five assists while committing just one turnover in 41 minutes of action. He nailed three 3-pointers (two in overtime) and was 4-for-4 from the foul line.
• Johnson’s 6-for-10 field goal performance snapped a 12-game streak in which he shot under .500 from the floor.
• Baylor scored the first seven points of the game, the first four points of the second half and the first seven points of overtime.
• OU improved to 2-0 in overtime games this season.

TEAM UPDATE
• With its Tuesday win, Oklahoma (6-5) moved into a fourth-place tie with Texas A&M in the Big 12 race. OU stands two games behind third-place Kansas State (8-3) and a game in front of sixth-place Baylor and Texas Tech (both 5-6). After Saturday’s Texas contest, the Sooners finish the regular season with games at Nebraska (4-7), at home against Texas A&M (6-5), at Oklahoma State (4-7) and at home against Missouri (4-7).
• As of Monday, CollegeRPI.com projects OU as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament while ESPN.com has it as a No. 9 seed.
• Oklahoma has won four true road games this year (two versus ranked opponents) after winning just one road contest last year. Prior to this season, the last time OU won a true road game over a ranked foe was during the 2000-01 campaign.
• After shooting .500 or better from the field in nine of its first 16 games, OU has done it once in the last 10 outings.
• OU is shooting .486 from the field and .407 from 3-point range in its wins but just .390 and .268, respectively, in its losses.
• Three different Sooners are averaging at least 17.0 points during the team’s current three-game winning streak. Austin Johnson is averaging 17.3 points while Tony Crocker and Blake Griffin are both averaging 17.0.
• Johnson (11-for-24) and Crocker (8-for-15) are a combined 19-for-39 (.487) from 3-point range over the last three outings.
• Oklahoma has scored more than 70 points 14 times this season after doing it eight times all of last year. It has already won two more games this season than it did all of last year when it finished 16-15.
• OU has won its last two games despite its opponent shooting at least .500 from the field in both contests. They are the only two games of the Jeff Capel era his squad has won when the opponent shoots .500 or better. Texas Tech shot .500 last Saturday and Baylor posted a .508 figure on Tuesday.
• Either Blake Griffin (nine times) or Taylor Griffin (six times) has led OU in rebounding in 15 of the last 16 contests.

FRONTCOURT UPDATE• In his nine full Big 12 games, freshman Blake Griffin is averaging 17.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists. OU’s leading scorer (15.2) and rebounder (9.1) on the year, he has scored in double figures in 15 of his last 17 games (not including the Jan. 14 Kansas contest when he left five minutes into the game with a sprained MCL in his left knee) and has netted at least 15 points in 10 of his last 13 outings.
• Five of Griffin’s eight double-doubles have come against teams who have been ranked at some point this season. He had 15 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Gonzaga, 18 points and 16 boards in a win at West Virginia, 27 points and 14 rebounds in a two-point loss to Kansas State, 17 points and 15 rebounds in a victory at Baylor and 29 points and 15 boards in a home win over Baylor. Griffin also registered 19 points and nine rebounds against No. 12 Texas on Feb. 6.
• Despite not scoring and grabbing just one rebound in his five minutes against Kansas, Griffin ranks ninth in the Big 12 in scoring (15.2 ppg), fourth in rebounding (9.1 rpg) and fourth in double-doubles (eight). He also leads the league in field goal percentage (.562).
• The last OU true freshman to average as many points and rebounds as Griffin for an entire season was Wayman Tisdale (24.5 and 10.3) in 1982-83 (Tisdale earned first-team All-America honors as a freshman).
• Griffin has twice been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week (Dec. 31 and Jan. 28) and was also named the Jan. 14 league Rookie of the Week.
• Senior center Longar Longar missed two games due to a broken bone in his lower right leg but has returned to average 25.7 minutes over the last three games. The team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder on the year with his 12.5 and 5.6 respective averages, he is averaging 7.7 points and 4.0 boards during the three-game winning streak. Longar is shooting .518 from the field on the season and has scored at least nine points in 13 of his last 16 outings. Longar also leads the squad with his 27 blocks.
• Seeing a major increase in minutes the last few weeks, junior forward Taylor Griffin is averaging 9.5 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting .795 (31-for-39) from the free throw line over the last 10 games. Prior to those 10 outings, he was averaging 5.4 points and 3.2 boards while shooting .667 (20-for-30) from the foul line on the year.
• Starting in place of his injured younger brother on Jan. 19 against Texas Tech, Taylor Griffin tied a then-career high with 16 points and grabbed a then-season-high 12 rebounds. On Jan. 28 against Oklahoma State, he was 7-for-8 from the field and scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down a game-high six boards. On Feb. 6 against Texas, he netted 12 points and grabbed a career-high 15 boards as he started in place of an injured Longar.

BACKCOURT UPDATE
• After enduring a three-game stretch in which he shot .176 from the floor and averaged just 3.3 points, junior Austin Johnson is averaging 17.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists over the last three contests while shooting .447 from the field and .458 (11-for-24) from 3-point range. Johnson scored 13 points Feb. 13 against Iowa State, a career-high 20 at Texas Tech last Saturday and 19 against Baylor on Tuesday. He is now averaging 9.0 points per game and ranks second on the team with his 40 treys.
• Johnson made a career-high six 3-pointers at Texas Tech a week ago and canned three more against Baylor (two in overtime).
• OU’s chief ball-handler, Johnson leads the team with his 2.5 assists per game and boasts a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
• Sophomore Tony Crocker, OU’s best 3-point shooter at .459 (50-for-109), has made at least three treys in a game 10 times and is 37-for-60 (.617) in those contests. He has already made 15 more 3-pointers this year than he did all of last season (35) when he shot a team-high .357 from behind the arc. He has scored 300 points this year after scoring 268 last season.
• Since averaging 7.3 points during OU’s three-game losing streak earlier this month, Crocker is averaging 17.0 over the last three contests. Included was a 22-point effort last week against Iowa State and a 20-point game against Baylor on Tuesday. Against the Bears, Crocker scored the game’s final seven points in the last 21 seconds of overtime. His four-point play with 7.3 seconds remaining was the game-winner.
• Crocker is two makes shy of qualifying for the Big 12’s list of 3-point field goal percentage leaders. He would rank second.
• Senior guard David Godbold has come off the bench each of the last three games after starting the previous 14 contests. At Texas Tech last Saturday, he hit a game-winning 28-footer with 1.4 seconds left. Despite not starting in any of OU’s last three games, Godbold is averaging 30.0 minutes during the stretch.
• Godbold shot .233 from 3-point range in OU’s first 14 games (10-for-43) but is shooting .373 over the last 11 (22-for-59).
• Godbold turned in a career-high 22-point outing at Texas A&M on Feb. 2 in which he was 6-for-10 from 3-point range.
• Freshman Tony Neysmith earned his first three career starts in the last week and a half and totaled six points in 20 minutes. Neysmith had played just one minute in Big 12 games entering the Feb. 13 Iowa State game and had scored four points all year.
• Junior Omar Leary is averaging 4.5 points in 17.0 minutes per game. He started eight of the team’s first 10 contests but has come off the bench in each of the last 16. He has seven points over the last seven games.
• Freshman Cade Davis, who scored a career-high 11 points against Iowa State on Feb. 13 when he was 3-for-3 from 3-point distance, is averaging 3.3 points in 11.9 minutes per contest.

PREVIEWING TEXAS
• Texas enters Saturday’s game with a 22-4 overall record and a 9-2 Big 12 mark (tied for first place with Kansas). The Longhorns are ranked No. 7 in both major polls and have won six straight games and nine of their last 10. They are 14-1 at home on the year.
• The Longhorns are coming off a 77-50 home win over No. 22 Texas A&M on Monday. They held the Aggies to .302 field goal shooting and to .071 3-point shooting (1-for-14). Texas also registered 12 blocked shots in the contest.
• Texas ranks fourth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.460), first in 3-point field goal percentage (.391) and third in scoring margin (+12.3). It also leads the country by committing only 9.5 turnovers per game.
• The Longhorns boast two of the Big 12’s top three scorers in guards D.J. Augustine and A.J. Abrams. Augustine, a sophomore point guard, is averaging 19.2 points per game to rank second in the league and paces the conference with his 6.1 assists an outing. He is shooting .359 from 3-point range (1.8 treys per game) and .794 from the foul line (6.5 attempts per game). Augustin finished with game highs of 27 points and nine assists against Texas A&M on Monday.
• Abrams is averaging 17.2 points to rank third in the Big 12 and leads the league with his 3.2 treys per game (he is shooting .383 from long range). Abrams averaged 22.3 points over Texas’ first three games in February but is averaging 12.0 over the last three.
• Sophomore forward Damion James ranks 16th in the Big 12 by averaging 13.0 points per game and ranks second with his 10.6 rebounding average and his 11 double-doubles. He registered 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in Monday’s game.
• Junior forward Connor Atchley averages 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and a team-high 2.0 blocks per game while shooting .590 from the field and .507 (34-for-67) from 3-point range.
• Rick Barnes is in his 10th season as Texas’ head coach and owns a 238-90 (.726) record there. He is in his 21st season as a collegiate head coach and sports a 440-224 (.663) career mark.

SERIES WITH THE LONGHORNS
• Oklahoma owns a 45-25 all-time record against Texas and is 16-13 versus the Longhorns in Austin.
• The Sooners have won 27 of the last 40 overall meetings, but Texas has won the last four (all by double digits).
• Oklahoma won eight straight games over Texas from 2000 to 2002 before the Longhorns won the next five meetings in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
• OU is 16-12 against UT since the inception of the Big 12 Conference (that includes a 4-1 record in the league tournament).

FEB. 6 AGAINST TEXAS
• OU jumped to a 15-5 lead against Texas in the teams’ first meeting on Feb. 6 in Norman and was ahead 29-25 at halftime before eventually falling, 64-54. Texas didn’t take its first lead until 9:48 remained in the contest. It marked the second game in a row OU lost to a ranked opponent after leading at halftime (it led Texas A&M 29-23 in College Station four days earlier).
• The Sooners lost despite holding Texas to .386 field goal shooting. The Longhorns shot .250 from the field in the first half but rebounded for a .560 performance in the second. Texas committed an OU-opponent-season-low five turnovers on the night.
• Only four Sooners scored on the evening. Blake Griffin netted a team-high 19 points and was followed by David Godbold and Taylor Griffin (12 each), and Tony Crocker (11, all in the first half). OU’s five starters played 174 of a possible 200 minutes.
• Taylor Griffin pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds, which at the time tied for the second most by a Sooner on the season. He registered his second double-double of the year and the fourth of his career.
• The Sooners made their first three 3-point tries of the night (all by Crocker) but went 3-for-21 (.143) the rest of the way.
• OU was 12-for-14 (.857) from the free throw line after going 47-for-79 (.595) over its previous four games.
• Without the services of an injured Longar Longar, head coach Jeff Capel went deeper on his bench than usual. He played freshman guard Cade Davis for 10 minutes and walk-on sophomore forward Beau Gerber for six. Davis had not played in OU’s previous three games and Gerber had played 18 minutes all season entering the day.

GRIFFIN GETTING TO THE LINE
Freshman forward Blake Griffin has seemed to develop quite a knack for getting to the foul line over his last 11 outings. Through OU’s first 13 games, Griffin attempted 50 free throws (3.8 per contest) with a single-game high of six. Over the last 11 games, however, Griffin has attempted 116 free throws (10.5 per contest). Included were games of 18 attempts against Mount St. Mary’s, 13 versus Kansas State, 15 against Oklahoma State and 17 versus Baylor.

MORE ON OU’S FRESHMAN PHENOM
• The last Sooner, regardless of class, to average as many rebounds as Blake Griffin is averaging this year (9.1) was then-senior and now-Denver Nugget Eduardo Najera in 1999-2000 (9.2 rpg).
• Griffin holds OU’s top four scoring performances this season. He netted 29 versus Baylor on Tuesday, 27 against Kansas State (Jan. 12), 26 versus Mount St. Mary’s (Jan. 7) and 25 at Colorado (Feb. 9). He also holds eight of OU’s top nine rebounding marks.
• Griffin has already scored 20 more points than OU’s leading scorer last season (Nate Carter finished with a team high of 360 points last year). Carter played in 31 games as a senior last year while Griffin has played in just 25 this season.
• A testament to his overall ability, Griffin has 20 assists over the past eight games (Austin Johnson has a team-high 21 assists over the same period).

DOMINATING THE LONE STAR STATE
OU has had more than its share of success against Big 12 Conference teams from Texas. The Sooners own a 130-50 (.722) all-time record against Baylor (33-5), Texas (45-25), Texas A&M (25-4) and Texas Tech (27-16). Since the inception of the Big 12, OU is 24-0 against Baylor, 16-12 versus Texas, 20-4 against Texas A&M and 18-8 versus Texas Tech for a combined 78-24 record (.765).

OU’S BIG 12 HISTORY
Oklahoma boasts a 123-64 (.658) record in Big 12 Conference regular season games, third best in the league (Kansas is 154-33 while Texas is 132-55). No other team has won more than 111 conference contests. The Sooners earned a regular season league title in 2005 and also won Big 12 Tournament crowns in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

ROAD SCHOLAR
Junior Austin Johnson performed considerably better in home games than road contests during his first two years as a Sooner. That trend has reversed itself this season. In OU’s eight road games this year, Johnson is averaging 10.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting .500 from 3-point range (21-for-42). In 15 home games, the combo guard is averaging 8.2 points, 2.8 boards and 2.5 assists while shooting .246 from long range (15-for-61). Johnson has made more than one trey at home just four times this season, but has made at least two in six of the team’s eight road contests (he canned a career-high six at Texas Tech last Saturday when he scored a career-high 20 points).

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND LOSING
The following notes compare Oklahoma’s stats in its 18 wins and eight losses…
• In its 18 wins, OU is outrebounding its opponents by 6.6 a game. In its eight losses, it is getting outboarded by 2.5.
• OU is shooting .486 from the field and .407 from 3-point range in its wins. In losses, it is shooting .390 and .268, respectively.
• OU’s assist-to-turnover ratio in its victories is +1.1 (266 assists and 236 turnovers). The ratio in losses is 0.8 (82 and 103).
• Tony Crocker is averaging 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting .531 in the Sooners’ wins. In losses, those numbers fall to 7.3 points, 3.1 boards, 1.5 assists and .313 (20-for-64), respectively. Crocker is also shooting .539 from 3-point range in OU’s victories (41-for-76), but just .273 in defeats (9-for-33).

OU BASKETBALL TRADITION
• This is the 101st season of Oklahoma varsity basketball (the program’s first game was Nov. 26, 1907).
• OU owns a 1,462-932 (.611) all-time record, ranking it 30th in NCAA Division I in wins and 39th in winning percentage.
• Oklahoma has participated in four NCAA Final Fours (1939, 1947, 1988 and 2002) and in two NCAA championship games (it lost to Holy Cross in 1947 and to Kansas in 1988).
• OU has made 24 NCAA Tournament appearances and seven postseason NIT showings. Its 20 NCAA Tournament appearances over the last 25 years rank as the ninth most in the nation.
• No team in the country has made more postseason appearances over the last 25 years than Oklahoma (24).
• The Sooners have won 13 regular season conference championships (most recently in 2005) and seven conference tournament titles (including the 2001, 2002 and 2003 crowns).
• The Sooners posted the eighth best NCAA Division I winning percentage (.731) in the 1980s and entered this season with the 11th best winning percentage (.736) since 2000.
• Nineteen different Sooners have earned All-America honors a total of 29 times. They have earned consensus first-team All-America acclaim eight times and consensus second-team honors on four occasions.
• Wayman Tisdale was a three-time consensus first-team All-American during his three seasons at OU (1983-85).
• Oklahoma players have earned first-team all-conference accolades a total of 71 times.
• The Sooners own a winning record against 10 of the other 11 members of the Big 12 Conference (Kansas is the only league team with a series lead against OU).
• OU has played its home games in four different venues: the OU Gymnasium (1907-1919), the R.O.T.C. Armory (1919-1928), the OU Field House (1928-75) and Lloyd Noble Center (1975-present).


by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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