NORMAN – In coach Lon Kruger's second season at Oklahoma, the Sooner men's basketball team will look for its first winning season in four years, since NBA star Blake Griffin played in Norman.
This season, Kruger's team will compete in 14 non-conference games and 17 that will be aired nationally, including three to be aired nationally during Thanksgiving week as part of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. The regular season begins Nov. 11 against Louisiana-Monroe in Norman. All five of last year's starters return, but here are five things OU fans should know about the Sooners' 2012-2013 basketball schedule.
1. vs. Texas A&M (Saturday, Dec. 15, in the All-College Classic): There isn't even time to miss the Aggies after their move to the SEC. Led by senior guard Elston Turner, the Aggies are looking to improve on their 15-18 (4-14 Big 12) record. The Aggies return two other key players from last season – center Keith Davis and guard Ray Turner, who will have to work together to make up for the loss of three of the top five scorers on the team. OU will also be the only Bedlam team playing at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
2. at Arkansas (Tuesday, Dec. 4): In the third true road game of the season, OU will head to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the Razorbacks, who look to avenge their loss in Norman last season.
3. vs. Ohio (Saturday, Dec. 29): The 2012 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 participant pays a visit to Norman. The Bobcats are entering their first season under former TCU coach Jim Christian in their quest to become a mid-major powerhouse program like Butler and Gonzaga.
4. TV time: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will televise 16 (and possibly 17) games for the Sooners, not including the Big 12 Tournament. Two games (possibly three) will be aired on ESPN – once against Texas and Kansas and a possible second against KU. Fourteen others will be aired on ESPN2 and ESPNU, including several conference games and nonconference games against UTEP, Arkansas and Texas A&M.
5.Sunshine State: After two regular-season games, the Sooners will head to Orlando, Fla., for the Old Spice Classic from Nov. 22 to Nov. 25. The tournament will feature games against UTEP, either Clemson or Gonzaga and a third game with an opponent still to be determined. Gonzaga went the farthest last postseason with a third-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
OU basketball schedule
Day, Date, Opponent, Time, TV
Friday, Nov. 2, Washburn (Exhibition), 7 p.m., SSTV
Wednesday, Nov. 7, Central Oklahoma (Exhibition), 7 p.m., SSTV
Sunday, Nov. 11, Louisiana-Monroe, 2 p.m., SSTV
Friday, Nov. 16, at Texas-Arlington, 7 p.m., TBD
Thursday, Nov. 22, vs. UTEP at Orlando, Fla., 6 p.m., ESPN2
Friday, Nov. 23, vs. Clemson/Gonzaga at Orlando, Fla., TBD, ESPN2
Sunday, Nov. 25, vs. TBD at Orlando, Fla., TBD, ESPN2
Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Oral Roberts, 7 p.m., TBD
Friday, Nov. 30, Northwestern State, 7 p.m., SSTV
Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Arkansas, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday, Dec. 15, vs. Texas A&M at OKC, TBD, ESPNU
Tuesday, Dec. 18, Stephen F. Austin, 7 p.m., SSTV
Saturday, Dec. 29, Ohio, 7 p.m., SSTV
Monday, Dec. 31, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 2 p.m., SSTV
Saturday, Jan. 5, at West Virginia, 3 p.m., Big 12 Network
Saturday, Jan. 12, Oklahoma State, 2 p.m., ESPN2
Wednesday, Jan. 16, Texas Tech, 7 p.m., Big 12 Network
Saturday, Jan 19, at Kansas State, 3 p.m., Big 12 Network
Monday, Jan. 21, Texas, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Saturday, Jan. 26, at Kansas, 3 p.m., ESPN
Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Baylor, 6 p.m., ESPNU
Saturday, Feb. 2, Kansas State, 5 p.m., ESPN2
Monday, Feb. 4, at Iowa State, 6 p.m., ESPNU
Saturday, Feb. 9, Kansas, 3 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Monday, Feb. 11, TCU, 6 p.m., ESPNU
Saturday, Feb. 16, at Oklahoma State, 12:30 p.m., Big 12 Network
Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Texas Tech, 6 p.m., ESPNU
Saturday, Feb. 23, Baylor, 4 p.m., ESPNU
Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Texas, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday, March 2, Iowa State, 12:30 p.m., Big 12 Network
Wednesday, March 6, West Virginia, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday, March 9, at TCU, TBD, SSTV
Wed.-Sat., March 13-16, Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Big 12 Network/ESPN