Player of the Year candidate Trae Young and No. 24 Oklahoma head to Wichita to face the No. 3 Wichita State Shockers on Saturday. Tip is set for 3 p.m. CT.
It’s the first true road game for the Sooners, though Lon Kruger’s squad has defeated Portland and Oregon during the PK80 tournament (held in Portland, Oregon) and USC at the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in Los Angeles. This will be Oklahoma’s first road game against a top-five team since playing at Villanova in 2005.
Although the season is still young, Trae Young continues to lead the nation in scoring at 28.8 per game and is third in assists at 8.8 per game. College basketball insiders Andy Katz and Rob Dauster have each mentioned Young among the leaders for National Player of the Year. Dauster points out that Young may be having one of the most efficient seasons (126.3 Off. Rating) for a player with such a high usage percentage (36.8 usage rate).
Young gets an intriguing matchup on Saturday with Wichita State sophomore Landry Shamet, who is fresh off a 30-point performance against Oklahoma State. The slender, 6-foot-4 point guard is averaging 16.3 points and 4.3 assists and knocking down a blistering 53.5 percent on three-point attempts.
Like OU, Wichita State (8-1) is offensively talented (86.9 ppg ranks 24th nationally) but the one area that sets the Shockers apart is rebounding. WSU is seventh in the nation in rebounds per game (44.1 rpg) and Gregg Marshall’s team outrebounds opponents by a whopping 14.6 per game – which is the best margin in the NCAA.
A win against the third-ranked Shockers would be the highest-ranked opponent Oklahoma has ever beaten on the road.