One of the keys to Oklahoma’s basketball success so far this season has been its solid fortune with players staying healthy.
The Sooners have lost only five games to injury and none by starters. Je’lon Hornbeak missed four games with a broken foot and Tyler Neal missed the Sooners’ Dec. 8 game against George Mason.
Also, with all the tinkering Lon Kruger and staff have done to Oklahoma’s defense, what they haven’t done it juggle the lineup. Sure, Hornbeak played late in a couple games in place of starter Jordan Woodard but Woodard never was taken out of the starting lineup.
In every game this season, Woodard, Cam Clark, Isaiah Cousins, Buddy Hield and Ryan Spangler have been the Sooners’ starters.
OU is the only team in the Big 12 to use the same starting lineup in every game this season. Nationally, only 19 other teams have used the same starting five all season.
The Big Ten has four such teams–Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin. No other conference has more than two, with only the Big East (Butler, Providence) and Southland (Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin) having multiple teams that have started the same group of five in every game.
Six of those 20 overall teams are ranked–No. 13 Cincinnati, No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 15 Iowa, No. 21 UMass, No. 23 Oklahoma and No. 24 Ohio State.
The Sooners, though, are doing something that no other team has done this season.
Not only have the Sooners used the same starters all year long but all five OU starters are averaging in double figures. Clark leads the way at 16.5 points per game, followed by Hield (16.4), Spangler and Woodard (11.3 each) and Cousins (10.2).
Several other teams have five players averaging double figures but none has used the same starting lineup in every game this season while all five of those starters are averaging in double figures.
Division I teams that have used the same starting lineup in every game:
Sam Houston State
Stephen F. Austin