The Oklahoma men’s basketball team figures to be in contention for a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance next season.
The Sooners’ 14-game non-conference schedule, released Wednesday, has plenty of potential to boost OU’s chances.
Oklahoma might play as many as six games against teams that made last year’s NCAA Tournament, starting with the Nov. 19 game at Creighton.
“This is a very challenging schedule,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “But because of the experience we have with our returning players and with what our new guys bring to the table, we think it suits our team extremely well.”
The Sooners return four starters and all but two other rotation players from last year’s team. OU also brings in three high school signees, junior college guard Dinjiyl Walker and potentially transfer TaShawn Thomas.
Thomas started 33 games last season for Houston, averaging 15.4 points per game.
He is petitioning the NCAA for immediate eligibility.
The Sooners’ schedule opens up with exhibition games against Division II teams from Washburn and Southwestern Oklahoma State at home on Nov. 7 and 11.
The game against Southwestern will be played at McCasland Field House. The Sooners have played a Field House Series game at their former gym for three consecutive seasons.
The regular season begins Nov. 16 at Lloyd Noble Center against Southeastern Louisiana State.
Other home games include Northwestern State on Nov. 23; Missouri on Dec. 5 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge; Oral Roberts on Dec. 16, Weber State on Dec. 22; and George Washington on Dec. 31.
The Sooners are 12-2 all-time against ORU, winning the last 12 meetings.
OU will play at Tulsa on Dec. 13. The Sooners haven’t played at the Golden Hurricane since 2008-09.
In addition to the games against Creighton, Tulsa and Weber State, the Sooners could play as many as three more games against NCAA Tournament teams at the Battle 4 Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas, from Nov. 26-28.
The field includes Final Four teams Florida and Wisconsin as well as tournament teams North Carolina and UCLA. Butler, Georgetown and UAB round out the field.
On Dec. 20, the Sooners will play Washington in the MGM Grand Showcase, a fundraiser event for Coaches vs. Cancer. Kruger is heavily involved in that cause.
Season tickets for the 2014-15 season range from $100-$500 per seat. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (800) 456-4668 or contact the OU Athletics Ticket Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school also announced “Sooners Give Back,” a ticket-donation program for season-ticket holders in both men's and women's basketball.
Ticket holders can donate tickets of their choice to local non-profit organizations through the program.
More information on the program will be included in season-ticket renewal applications. Fans can e-mail SoonersGiveBack@ou.edu for more details.
Sooners non-conference schedule
Nov. 7, Washburn (Norman) 7 p.m.^
Nov. 11, SW Oklahoma St. (Norman) 7 p.m.^
Nov. 16, Southeastern Louisiana (Norman) 2 p.m.
Nov. 19, at Creighton (Omaha, Neb.) TBD
Nov. 23, Northwestern State (Norman) 2 p.m.
Nov. 26, TBD (Nassau, Bahamas) TBD*
Nov. 27, TBD (Nassau, Bahamas) TBD*
Nov. 28, TBD (Nassau, Bahamas) TBD*
Dec. 5, Missouri (Norman) TBD
Dec. 13, at Tulsa (Tulsa) TBD
Dec. 16, Oral Roberts (Norman) 7 p.m.
Dec. 20, vs. Washington (Las Vegas) TBD&
Dec. 22, Weber State (Norman) 7 p.m.
Dec. 31, George Mason (Norman) TBD
*Battle 4 Atlantis
&MGM Grand Showcase