NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger and Oklahoma Christian's Dan Hays have been well-acquainted for more than two decades.
In the early '90s, when Kruger was coaching Florida and Hays was well into his career at Oklahoma Christian, the pair coached together for two summers.
Monday night, Kruger's Sooners will host Oklahoma Christian at 7 p.m. at McCasland Field House in Norman.
In 1990, Kruger was the head coach for the North team at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Minneapolis.
The next summer, Kruger coached the United States to a gold medal at the Junior Men's World Championship in Edmonton, Alberta.
Each time, Hays was an assistant.
“I learned a lot from him and what I learned most is just how he handled people and how gracious he was to everybody,” Hays said of Kruger. “I'm a small-college coach from Oklahoma and he treated me as an equal and gave me responsibility and that was very nice and then just the way he handled the players.
“He's got a touch with him where he gets his point across and you just sat back, and maybe I contributed a little bit, but I certainly took some major lessons from him.”
Hays had been working to get the game scheduled for awhile.
The Sooners beat the Eagles 79-51 in an exhibition game in 2006, a year after falling to Eddie Sutton's Oklahoma State team 84-62.
Hays had been talking to Sooners assistant Mike Shepherd, hoping to work out a game.
“We're always looking to do it but for some reason we haven't been able to do too many of these,” Hays said. “I was just hoping we'd get a chance and they were kind enough to let us exhibition against them.”
For the Sooners, the game will be a final tuneup before Friday's season opener against Alabama in Dallas.
The game is the only exhibition game for the Eagles, who were just able to begin practice in mid-October as they made the transition to NCAA Division II.
“We need to see where we are,” Hays said. “I think we'll be representative. We've got good plays. We're kind of small but I know we're going to play hard and we just want to play sound. I'll be curious to see how we handle their pressure.”
The Sooners, who are adjusting to a more up-tempo offense, had success Saturday against Washburn in their first exhibition, topping the century mark in a 104-76 win.