Scouting Oklahoma

News, notes and quotes on No. 1 KU's battle versus Oklahoma on ESPN Big Monday at 8 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Brent Musburger, Bob Knight and Holly Rowe will call the action. Kansas (26-1, 12-0 Big 12) can clinch a share of its sixth straight Big 12 championship with a victory over the Sooners.


Oklahoma (13-13, 4-8 Big 12) returns two starters off last season's 30-6 team. OU, which was picked to finish in third place in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches' Poll, is coming off an 83-68 home loss to No. 7 K-State. The Sooners have lost their last four games and seven of their past nine.

In OU's last outing against KSU, the Wildcats broke open a 35-33 halftime lead and outscored Oklahoma 48-35 in the second half. K-State shot 53.3 percent from the field and 10 of 20 from three-point range, while OU made just 43.1 percent of its field goals and shot 34.8 percent from downtown (8-23).

Freshman guard Tommy Mason-Griffin led five Sooners in double figures with 16 points.

OU, which outrebounded KSU 33-26, played without leading scorer Willie Warren for the fourth time in eight games. The sophomore guard had been out with a sprained ankle and mononucleosis. He re-aggravated his ankle against Colorado on Wednesday, and OU head coach Jeff Capel told The Oklahoman after the K-State game Saturday that his star would be "out indefinitely."

Capel has a sure-fire way of motivating his team as the Sooners end the regular season playing four Top-25 teams.

"Scholarships are not guaranteed for next year. There will be some decisions that will be made," Capel told The Oklahoman. "So if guys aren't motivated, then they'll make that decision a little bit easier."

Oklahoma is averaging 73.3 points and allowing 72.9. The Sooners are shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from downtown, and 73.5 percent at the free-throw line (No. 2 in Big 12). They're holding foes to 44.3 percent field-goal shooting and 38.4 percent from three-point range, while being slightly outrebounded, 35.7 to 35.5 boards per game.

OU leads the Big 12 in three-point field goals made per game at 8.4. Five players have made at least 32 threes this season, led by Mason-Griffin with 64.

Warren paces the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game, while ranking second with 86 assists. Mason-Griffin ranks second at 14 points per game, and leads OU with 4.5 assists per game (No. 4 in Big 12). Senior guard Tony Crocker averages 11.6 points, while ranking second in rebounding with 6.5 rebounds per game. He's followed in scoring by freshman forward Tiny Gallon (10.1 ppg, team-high 8.1 rpg and 18 blocks), junior guard Cade Davis (10.0 ppg, team-best 39 steals), freshman guard Seven Pledger (6.0 ppg), senior forward Ryan Wright (4.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and freshman forward Andrew Fitzgerald (4.3 ppg).


KU coach Bill Self is certainly fully aware that the Jayhawks (26-1, 12-0) can clinch a share of the Big 12 championship with a victory tonight.

"That'd be nice, but we're not in it to tie; we're in it to win," Self said. "So we've got to do everything we can to get ready for an Oklahoma team which hasn't had an unbelievable year, but they've got really good players and they're very offensive minded. Maybe one of the best in the league. So we're going to have to guard better."

Self wasn't pleased with KU's defensive effort in its 94-74 victory over Colorado on Saturday. CU shot 44.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.

The KU head man doesn't want the Sooners to have a similar offensive outing.

"I think they have about as good as offensive players as we have in the league," Self said. "With Willie and Tommie, there's not two harder guards to guard in our league. And Tiny is a presence inside. Cade and Crocker can stretch it. They're a hard team to guard, there's no question about that. ... They're still very capable (despite their record)."


Feb. 21-28, 2010, is Love College Hoops...Beat Cancer Week sponsored by the NABC. Fans are encouraged to wear a headband to support Coaches vs. Cancer.

12 & ROLLIN'

Kansas has won 12 straight games since its 76-68 loss at Tennessee on Jan. 10 to close the nonconference season. KU's 12-0 record in Big 12 play is the second best start in Big 12 history next to the Jayhawks' 16-0 mark in 2002.

Self said he won't mention the possibility to his team of going undefeated in Big 12 play "unless we're able to get to the last week." He added the team's conference record has exceeded his expectations.

"(It) is probably a far better start than what we ever thought we could get to," Self said.


Kansas knows how to win on ESPN Big Monday. Since 1997, the Jayhawks have gone 37-14, including 20-1 at home and 17-13 on the road. KU has sported an 18-7 record on ESPN Big Monday during the Self era, including 9-0 in Allen Fieldhouse and 9-7 on the road. Top Stories