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Oklahoma men's basketball: Sooners go back to the future

OU will face UCO in an exhibition game at McCasland Field House on Wednesday night.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Staff Writer skuzydym@opubco.com Published: November 6, 2012
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photo - OU COLLEGE BASKETBALL: James Fraschilla (13) runs past Je'lon Hornbeak (5) during a University of Oklahoma scrimmage basketball game at McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012.  Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman
OU COLLEGE BASKETBALL: James Fraschilla (13) runs past Je'lon Hornbeak (5) during a University of Oklahoma scrimmage basketball game at McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman

— The sounds from the sneakers of great basketball players used to fill the rafters of McCasland Field House. The sneakers of Oklahoma greats like Scott Martin, Bobby Jack, Bob Pritchard and Alvan Adams.

Now, the sneakers of Oklahoma's Romero Osby and Amath M'Baye will make the noise that fills the newly renovated McCasland Field House in Oklahoma's second exhibition game when the Sooners play Central Oklahoma at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

There isn't a player on the roster that was around when Oklahoma last played basketball on the floor of the field house, but Lon Kruger does have a history with the “small” and “cozy” hall of hoops.

Oklahoma's second-year coach played twice in the field house as a guard for Kansas State. His only win at McCasland for the Wildcats came in 1972, when he led his team with 18 points and nine rebounds to a 80-71 win.

“It was a tough place to play,” Kruger said. “It was a great crowd and Oklahoma's teams were good.”

While the current players are a little more focused on the upcoming games than ones played in the past, Osby said it's exciting to have basketball alumni come back and watch the new team play in the old arena.

In Oklahoma's first exhibition game, the Sooners beat Washburn 83-66. Kruger said for the second exhibition, he's looking for the same thing from his team: another step forward ... except this step will be historical.

“To run out and see the old pictures of how it used to be, it's cool,” Osby said.


Men's basketball

OU vs. Central Oklahoma

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: McCasland Field House, Norman.

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)

Radio:  KOKC-AM 1520

Three things to know

*Oklahoma won its first exhibition game of the season against Washburn. That game was played at Lloyd Noble Center. However, second-year coach Lon Kruger said that while the effort was good, the players were “careless with the ball.”

*Freshmen will have a big impact — both in the starting rotation and from the bench — like they did in the first exhibition game when Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Je'lon Hornbeak combined to go 8-for-10 beyond the arc.

* Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma will meet for the third time in program history. The Sooners are 2-0, with an exhibition win at Lloyd Noble Center in 2004 and a regular-season win at McCasland Field House in 1973.

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