OU-Coppin State Hoops Preview

NORMAN, Okla. — SI breaks down OU's second game of the season against the Coppin State Eagles.


The Sooners return to action for the second of two consecutive home games to open the season when they host Coppin State (1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday night inside the Lloyd Noble Center. OU is coming off a 78-74 triumph over Idaho State a week ago in which it trailed by as much as 10 in the first half. The Eagles, on the other hand, are trying to bounce back from a 78-68 loss to Loyola Maryland, which came after a 80-65 victory against Cheyney University. It's the 15th overall meeting between the two programs, and OU leads it 14-0, with 13 of those 14 victories coming in Norman and the other in the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City during the 1997-98 season.

Sooner Notes:

--Defense has led to offense so far for the Sooners, who have managed 21.0 points per game off 18 turnovers on average throughout the first three contests (two exhibition games).

--One of the major concerns heading into 2011-12 for OU was rebounding, but so far OU has fared well in that department, winning the battle by four the other night and 13.0 boards per contest in the two exhibition battles.

--Guard Steven Pledger, who was suspended in the regular season opener versus Idaho State, will be back in action Friday night.

--So far, in three outings seven different Sooner players have managed double figures.

Looking at the Eagles:

--They are located in Baltimore, Md. and members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

--The Eagles finished 16-14 with an 11-5 league record in 2010-11, return 10 letterwinners and four starters and are picked third out of 13 in the MEAC poll.

--Senior guard Tony Gallo leads the team with 20.0 points and 2.5 assists per game, and he's already canned seven treys and posted a 23-point performance in their most recent game.

--Senior guard Michael Harper also provides some point production, managing 12.5 per game to this point.

--Head coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell is 396-358 in his 25th year at Coppin State.

Projected Starters:


F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 247, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 2.0 bpg)

F Romero Osby (6-8, 232, Jr., 17.0 ppg, 10.0 rbg)

G Sam Grooms (6-1, 203, Jr., 11.0 ppg, 8.0 apg)

G Steven Pledger (6-2, 205, Jr., suspended game one)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 198, So., 2.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

Idaho State:

F Mike Simpson (6-6, 185, So., 3.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg)

F Logan Wiens (6-8, 230, Sr., 4.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

F Antonio Williams (6-6, 230, Sr., 2.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg)

G Tony Gallo (5-11, 190, Sr., 20.0 ppg, 2.5 apg)

G Akeem Blis (6-6, 210, Sr., 14.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

The Sooners get their second cupcake early in the season and behind much better execution, they're able to get a solid victory this time around. It closely resembles last year's victory over the Eagles, where they won handily. Sooner fans should not sweat this one out at any point in the contest.

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