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OKLAHOMA ST-NEW LOOK

Oklahoma St preparing early for Winston

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma State is already hard at work trying to figure out how to slow down Jameis Winston.

The Cowboys open the season against last year's Heisman Trophy winner and defending national champion Florida State on Aug. 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Though practice doesn't start until Aug. 1, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer already is stressed about dealing with Winston.

Oklahoma State will face the star passer with a defense that returns just four starters. The secondary, in particular, is inexperienced. Cornerback Justin Gilbert, an All-American, was a first-round draft pick who now plays for the Cleveland Browns. Safeties Daytawion Lowe and Shamiel Gary combined for 62 career starts before exhausting their eligibility. Oklahoma State's defensive coaches say there is plenty of talent waiting in the wings.

MID-AMERICA-NEW PLAYER

Mid-America Christian announces new player

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Mid-America Christian University Evangels golf program has added Kade Rodgers for the upcoming season.

Rodgers, a freshman from Muskogee, prepped at Fort Gibson High School and was an All-Conference selection. He also helped the Fort Gibson Tigers to a second-place finish at the state tournament.

Head coach Allen Dukes called Rodgers "an excellent addition" to the school's golf team.

Rodgers plans to major in business.

OKLAHOMA-ACADEMIC HONORS

Oklahoma men's basketball nets academic honors

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The University of Oklahoma men's basketball program has been recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with the organization's Team Academic Excellence Award.

The recognition was announced Wednesday. The award honors outstanding academic achievement by teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the 2013-14 season.

OU, which recorded a program-record 3.06 GPA, was one of 28 Division I teams to meet the award's criteria.

In order to earn an NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, institutions must count the GPAs of all men's basketball student athletes who competed during the 2013-14 season.

The Sooners went 23-10 overall last year and finished in second place in the Big 12 with a 12-6 mark.

They were a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

UNIVERSITY OF TULSA-TRACK

University of Tulsa track teams net honors

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The University of Tulsa's men's and women's track and field teams have received All-Academic awards.

The honors were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Student athletes Elijah Silva, Julian Frazier, Danny Thater and Katherine Camp also received honors.

Silva, a freshman from Toronto majoring in exercise science, ended the school year with a 3.97 GPA. Frazier, a senior from Tulsa, finished with a 3.68 GPA while majoring in psychology.

Thater, an English major from Springfield, Missouri, completed his junior season with a 3.39 GPA. Camp, from Hamilton, New Zealand, compiled a 3.50 GPA as an exercise and sports science major.

WAKE FOREST-WILBEKIN

Wilbekin finds comfort with Manning at Wake Forest

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Mitchell Wilbekin always has been Danny Manning's kind of point guard.

So when Manning left Tulsa for Wake Forest, it was only natural that Wilbekin would follow.

Now the freshman guard is looking to step out of the shadow of big brother Scottie Wilbekin and make a name for himself in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The older Wilbekin was the Southeastern Conference's player of the year last season at Florida.

Mitchell Wilbekin says the ACC is "the best conference in the country by far" and that he is comfortable running Manning's uptempo, screen-heavy system.

Wilbekin says he ran the same offense the past few years at The Rock School in Gainesville, Florida. He averaged nearly 15 points a game in high school.

CONFERENCE USA MEDIA DAY

C-USA commish sees bright future in changing times

IRVING, Texas (AP) - The commissioner of Conference USA sees his league at a "pivot point" with a bright future at a time when he says intercollegiate athletics are transitioning from conference realignment to system realignment.

While the five power conferences are seemingly close to getting the autonomy to make their own bylaws, Britton Banowsky says that won't prevent leagues like 14-member Conference USA from fielding competitive teams, engaging the fan base and having great programs.

Banowsky said Wednesday at C-USA's football media day that the five higher-resource leagues - the SEC, Big 12, Pac- 12, ACC and Big Ten - have a lot of history with the other five NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leagues. He believes the two sides will continue to co-exist much like they always have.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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