No. 7/7 Oklahoma (11-1, 1-0 Big 12) goes for its 10th win a row on Wednesday when it hosts the first Bedlam meeting of 2018. OU and Oklahoma State (10-3, 0-1 Big 12) tip off at 8 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners have skyrocketed from unranked to No. 7 in the AP Top 25 over the course of three weeks, and are back in the top 10. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, Oklahoma has appeared in the AP Top 10 20 times (42.6 percent of the polls). OU’s nation-leading offense hosts a defensive-focused Oklahoma State team, with the Sooners looking to snap the Cowboys’ two-game Bedlam winning streak.
ON THE AIR
Wednesday’s matchup will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing. The game will be broadcasted nationally on ESPNU and WatchESPN with Clay Matvick and Tim Welsh calling the action.
Reserved-seat tickets are sold out. Fans may purchase any returned seats at 10 a.m. CT on the day of each game, exclusively at SoonerSports.com/tickets. Fans may also purchase seats from other fans on Stubhub.
OU student tickets (for non-student season ticket holders) will also be available for $5 at the door, while supplies last (doors open to public 90 minutes before tipoff). OU students with season tickets will need to claim their tickets in advance via email (due by 10 a.m. Wednesday), similar to home football games. Once claimed, those students may simply swipe their Sooner One Cards at the north entrance to enter.
IN THE BONUS
At halftime, fans will be treated to the acrobatic skills of Red Panda - the famous unicycle act known for halftime appearances throughout the NBA and college athletics.
The Sooner Jr. Kids Zone on the south side of the concourse will also feature a poster making station, face painter, balloon artist and free school folders.
Fans are encouraged to #ArriveSooner to avoid delays into the gates with new enhanced screenings. Lloyd Noble Center is opening additional screening points in the lower east and west entrances to help expedite the screening process. The north lobby of the east entry and east lobby of the north entry will be open for ticket will call. Fans are encouraged to not bring bags to help expedite screening.
For more gameday tips at Lloyd Noble Center, visit the LNC's information page.
• Freshman guard Trae Young leads the country in both scoring (29.6) and assists (10.7). The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, Young enters Wednesday’s contest with 11 straight games of at least 20 points. Stacey King (1988-89) and Wayman Tisdale (1983-84) are the only other Sooners to put together such a streak. Should Young eclipse 20 points against the Cowboys, he will be the first player in program history to do so in 12 consecutive games.
• The Oklahoma backcourt trio of Christian James, Kameron McGusty and Trae Young have been heating up this winter. In Oklahoma’s last five games (three of which were against ranked opponents), the trio is averaging a combined 59.4 points and shooting 49-of-99 (.495) from 3-point range.
• Senior forward Khadeem Lattin has blocked 198 shots in his career, and has the opportunity to become just the fourth Sooner to ever reach 200 career blocks. Lattin swatted five shots against TCU in OU’s Big 12 opener, while teammate Jamuni McNeace added four blocks of his own. McNeace (2.1 blocks per game) and Lattin (2.0) are both in the Big 12’s top four for blocked shots. Oklahoma is one of just two teams nationally (joined by California) with two players averaging 2.0 or more blocks.
The trio of Christian James, Kameron McGusty and Trae Young have combined to average 59.4 points in the last five games.
OKLAHOMA'S LAST TIME OUT
• Oklahoma opened Big 12 play with a 90-89 road win over No. 10 TCU on Saturday at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The Sooners trailed by as many as 13 in the second half before coming back to win their ninth straight game.
• Oklahoma, who won at then-No. 3 Wichita State on Dec. 16, has won multiple road games against top-10 teams in the same season for the first time in program history. The Sooners are one of only three teams to win two road games against top-10 foes before the end of December, joining Notre Dame (1976-77) and Ohio State (1961-62).
• TCU led by as many as 13, holding a 67-54 advantage with 10:36 remaining. Oklahoma took the lead for the first time in the second half (88-87) on a 3-pointer from Kameron McGusty with 26 seconds remaining. After the Frogs answered with a jumper from Kenrich Williams with 16 seconds on the clock, OU’s Trae Young got to the foul line and sunk a pair of foul shots to give OU the 90-89 advantage with seven seconds left.
• OU’s comeback was its biggest deficit overcome since coming back from 15 down at West Virginia on Jan. 18, 2017.
• McGusty helped propel the Sooners late in the game by scoring 11 points in the final six minutes. He finished the night with a season-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting (3-of-4 from 3-point range).
• TCU entered the game on a 17-game winning streak (dating back to last season) and ranked first in the conference in field-goal shooting (.527). The Sooners held the Frogs to 30-of-74 shooting (.405) – TCU’s lowest field goal percentage of the season.
• The Sooners were outrebounded 31-19 in the opening half before winning the second half’s rebounding battle 21-15 – cutting the Frogs’ boards in half. Freshman forward Brady Manek pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds.
SERIES HISTORY VS. OKLAHOMA STATE
• Wednesday’s game is Oklahoma’s 234th meeting with Oklahoma State. The Sooners have won 17 of the last 26 Bedlam meetings, including seven of the past nine contests. OU owns a 136-97 all-time advantage in the series and boasts an 84-27 lead when played in Norman. The matchup is the earliest in the season an on-campus Bedlam game has been played since 1965 (also Jan. 3).
• OU is 9-4 against the Cowboys during the Lon Kruger era. Wednesday’s meeting with OSU will be the first matchup since Mike Boynton took over as the Cowboys’ head coach.
• Oklahoma has won 15 of the last 17 Bedlam battles in Norman. The Sooners’ 12-game home Bedlam winning streak was snapped last season when Oklahoma State won, 68-66, on a late 3-pointer. The Cowboys have not won back-to-back seasons in Norman since 1964 and 1965.
BACKCOURT WORTH WATCHING
• Oklahoma guards Kameron McGusty and Trae Young were voted by the Big 12 Conference’s head coaches as Preseason All-Big 12 Team honorable mention selections. The Sooners were one of only two Big 12 teams with two guards on the conference’s preseason honors list. The Sooners also hope to see junior Christian James continue his solid start in the early season. The guard trio of James, McGusty and Young are combining to average 50.5 points per game.
• Oklahoma’s offensive efforts have been led by the scoring and passing of freshman guard Trae Young. In 12 games, the Norman native has put together seven double-doubles, 11 20-plus-point games and five 30-plus-point games. Young is averaging 29.6 points, 10.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals while shooting .475 from the field and .413 from 3-point range. He leads the nation in scoring and averages over 12 points more than any other Big 12 player (Baylor’s Manu Lecomte is second with 17.5). Young’s 10.7 assists also lead the country. No player in recorded NCAA history has finished a season leading the country in both scoring and assists.
• Just 12 games into his collegiate career, Young already ranks in the top 10 among all-time OU freshmen in numerous categories, sitting at seventh in points (355), fourth in assists (128), fifth in made 3-pointers (50) and seventh in made foul shots (95).
• Coming off a summer that included shooting 12-of-13 (.923) from 3-point range during the team’s trip to New Zealand and Australia, James is averaging 12.8 points through four games. James is working toward a bounce-back campaign after ending the 2016-17 season in a shooting slump. As a sophomore, James began the season averaging 11.3 points in his first 15 games, before scoring just 4.6 points per contest in the last 16 games. He has bounced back from the sophomore slump thus far in his junior year, averaging averaging 13.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting .400 from 3-point range.
• McGusty has scored in double digits in his past four games, including a career-high-tying 22 points against TCU on Dec. 30. During the four game stretch, the sophomore is averaging 15.3 points per game.
PLAY FAST, SCORE BUCKETS
• Oklahoma is off to a 11-1 start behind the highest-scoring offense in the nation. The Sooners average 94.7 points per game and have scored at least 90 points in nine of their 12 games - including four games in triple digits. Oklahoma, who ranked 331 (of 351 teams) in assists per game last season (10.6), is ninth in the country with 19.1 assists per contest this year. The Sooners also rank 12th in made 3-point field goals per game with 11.2 treys.
• The Sooners aren’t just scoring in bunches - they’re playing fast. Oklahoma is fifth in the nation and first among major conferences in KenPom.com’s adjusted tempo rankings (possesions per 40 minutes adjusted to the opponenet) with 78.1. Oklahoma’s average possession is 13.6 seconds long, the fastest among major conferences and third-fastest overall.
• Oklahoma is 6-0 when shooting above 50 percent and 6-0 when it hands out at least 20 assists.
• Oklahoma has scored 45 or more points in 15 of its 24 halves this season and has scored at least 40 points before halftime in all but one contest.
• OU opened the season scoring 108 points in wins over Omaha (Nov. 12) and Ball State (Nov. 15). Its just the third time in program history that OU began a season with back-to-back games of at least 100 points. OU’s back-to-back games of triple-digit scoring was its first since December 2001. It is just the third time since 1993 that the Sooners have put together consecutive 100-point showings. The Sooners’ four total games of at least 100 points are their most in a season since 1995-96.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
• Dating back to last season, the Sooners have won nine straight games inside Lloyd Noble Center.
• Oklahoma has gone 67-14 (.827) at Lloyd Noble Center over the past six season. Overall, the Sooners are 79-19 (.806) at the LNC in the Kruger era.
• The Sooners have won 447 of their last 520 encounters at Lloyd Noble Center, good for a remarkable .860 winning percentage. Included in the stretch was a school-record 51-game winning streak (ended in 1990-91). The Sooners also recorded a Big 12 Conference-record 37-game home court winning streak (ended in 2003).
• OU is 13-10 at home against AP Top 25 opponents in the Kruger era and has won 12 of the last 18 such contests.
• Overall, the Sooners own a 542-100 (.844) record in the LNC since the building opened in 1975.
UP NEXT: WEST VIRGINIA
• Oklahoma breaks up its homestand with a trip to Morgantown for a top-10 showdown on Saturday at WVU Coliseum. The Sooners will face No. 6 West Virginia at 6:15 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
• The Sooners own a 9-5 record all-time against West Virginia, and lead the series 3-2 for games played in Morgantown. West Virginia will be ranked in the top 10 while hosting Oklahoma for the third straight season. The Sooners have won two straight in the WVU Coliseum, winning 89-87 (OT) last season (WVU was ranked No. 7) and capturing a 76-62 victory in 2016 (WVU was ranked No. 10).
• The matchup will be OU’s third road game of the season. OU is 2-0 on the road and 3-0 against ranked opponents.
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