OU Hoops: Senior Night, Blake Griffin Jersey Retirement & Must-Win Baylor Matchup


Tuesday, March 1st 2016, 5:44 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


Tonight is an important night for the No. 6 Oklahoma basketball team as the Sooners will be hosting a solid Big 12 opponent in No. 19 Baylor while also honoring a few people along the way. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

Here are a few things to know about the must-win matchup for OU.

One last home game

With the regular season winding to an end, the Sooners will host their last game of the season inside of the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman on Tuesday night, therefore it will be the last time seniors Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Ryan Spangler run the hardwood in front of the Sooner faithful.

There will be three other seniors honored (Dinjiyl Walker, C.J. Cole and Austin Mankin), but none more important than the previously mentioned trio who were behind the program’s turnaround efforts when Lon Kruger took over as coach.

Hield has done wonders for the basketball team by not only providing the program with a recognizable face, but by bringing his best effort throughout four dedicated years. Both Cousins and Spangler were huge pieces in the success as well, and all three deserve the honor and recognition they’ll receive during the Senior Night ceremony that will take place before the game.

Honoring a legend

OU’s seniors won’t be the only people getting a standing ovation on Tuesday, as former National Player of the Year and OU legend Blake Griffin will be in the building as his number 23 jersey will be lifted into the rafters at halftime.

Griffin averaged 18.8 ppg to go with 11.8 rpg in his two seasons in Norman, while leading the Sooners to an Elite 8 appearance against North Carolina back in 2008. This will be the first time in a while that Griffin will be applauded in his home state, seeing he was the No. 1 pick by the Los Angeles Clippers after his sophomore season and has had more than a few heated battles against Oklahoma City’s beloved Thunder.

To top off the jersey retirement, it looks like Griffin has hooked up the Sooners with the Jordan brand sneakers they’ll sport throughout the game.

Must-win game

OU will need to stay focused on the game at hand despite facing the necessary distractions that will surround the matchup with the Bears.

The Sooners’ strength throughout most of the season has been its accuracy from behind the arc, where OU shoots 42.8 percent and makes 10.6 per contest. That shooting stroke will come in handy against a very porous Baylor defense, which ranks last in the conference in perimeter defense by allowing opponents to shoot 40.9 percent from downtown.

Baylor is still a very good team and have won three of their last four outings. Playmakers such as Jonathan Motley, Taurean Prince and Rico Gathers are more than capable of causing problems for OU, and they are just three of the five Baylor players who average at least 9.4 points or more.   

While the OU seniors will likely be attempting to light up the scoreboard on the offensive end, the Sooners will need to make sure they lock down on defense so ensure the last game inside of LNC will be a memorable one. 

Hield has done wonders for the basketball team by not only providing the program with a recognizable face, but by bringing his best effort throughout four dedicated years. Both Cousins and Spangler were huge pieces in the success as well, and all three deserve the honor and recognition they’ll receive during the Senior Night ceremony that will take place before the game.

Honoring a legend

OU’s seniors won’t be the only people getting a standing ovation on Tuesday, as former National Player of the Year and OU legend Blake Griffin will be in the building as his number 23 jersey will be lifted into the rafters at halftime.

Griffin averaged 18.8 ppg to go with 11.8 rpg in his two seasons in Norman, while leading the Sooners to an Elite 8 appearance against North Carolina back in 2008. This will be the first time in a while that Griffin will be applauded in his home state, seeing he was the No. 1 pick by the Los Angeles Clippers after his sophomore season and has had more than a few heated battles against Oklahoma City’s beloved Thunder.

To top off the jersey retirement, it looks like Griffin has hooked up the Sooners with the Jordan brand sneakers they’ll sport throughout the game.

#Sooners to sport these ?? on Tuesday thanks to @blakegriffin32 and @Jumpman23 ?????? pic.twitter.com/oAe6f3ex3G

— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) February 29, 2016

Must-win game

OU will need to stay focused on the game at hand despite facing the necessary distractions that will surround the matchup with the Bears.

The Sooners’ strength throughout most of the season has been its accuracy from behind the arc, where OU shoots 42.8 percent and makes 10.6 per contest. That shooting stroke will come in handy against a very porous Baylor defense, which ranks last in the conference in perimeter defense by allowing opponents to shoot 40.9 percent from downtown.

Baylor is still a very good team and have won three of their last four outings. Playmakers such as Jonathan Motley, Taurean Prince and Rico Gathers are more than capable of causing problems for OU, and they are just three of the five Baylor players who average at least 9.4 points or more.   

While the OU seniors will likely be attempting to light up the scoreboard on the offensive end, the Sooners will need to make sure they lock down on defense so ensure the last game inside of LNC will be a memorable one. 

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Tonight is Senior night for the No. 6 Oklahoma basketball team as the Sooners host No. 19 Baylor while also retiring Blake Griffins' jersey at halftime. 

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