All-College Classic Hoops Preview

NORMAN, Okla. — SI breaks down OU's weekend game against the Houston Cougars inside.


The surprisingly 7-1 Sooners take the court in their 29th straight All-College Classic Saturday at 7 p.m. CT when they meet the Houston Cougars inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. OU has won three straight, all home triumphs, after its first loss of the season and most recently defeated Arkansas 78-63. Houston, on the other hand, has been off for 10 days since dropping a 71-68 decision to Texas State. It's the third meeting between the two, who have split a pair of previous decisions.

Sooner Notes:

--OU ranked eighth in the nation heading into the week in rebounding margin at +9.8 per game. It is also in the Top 20 in 3-point field goal percentage, where it sits at 15th at 41.9 percent.

--Only one Sooner team in the last 16 years has averaged more points per game over a season than this year's club, which has netted 78.1 per game. That was the 2008-09 squad, who managed 78.7.

--OU has shot 53.2 percent from the field and 51.2 percent from behind the arc since losing its only contest this year to Saint Louis in the 76 Classic.

--Guard Steven Pledger, who leads the team in scoring, has scored in double figures in all seven of his games and is shooting 57.7 percent from the field, second in the nation among guards. Pledger also ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference at 47.2 percent from 3-point range.

--Guard Cameron Clark has managed 49.1 percent shooting over the last six outings and has finished in double figures in five of those six contests.

Looking at the Cougars:

--Houston has lost four of the last five by a combined seven points since starting 3-0. They've lost two games by one point, another by two and their latest by three.

--They shoot 47.3 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from behind the arc.

--Forward Alandise Harris leads the way for the Cougars with 16 points per game. He's also second on the team with 6.5 boards per contest.

--James Dickey, former Texas Tech head coach and Oklahoma State assistant, is in his second year at the helm for the Cougars with a 16-22 overall record.

Projected Starters:


F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 247, Jr., 11.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg)

F Romero Osby (6-8, 232, Jr., 10.6 ppg, 7.5 rbg)

G Sam Grooms (6-1, 203, Jr., 6.6 ppg, 4.8 apg)

G Steven Pledger (6-2, 205, Jr., 17.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 198, So., 9.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg)


F Alandise Harris (6-6, 230, So., 16.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg)

F TaShawn Thomas (6-8, 215, Fr., 10.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg)

G Joseph Young (6-3, 185, Fr., 9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg)

G Darian Thibodeaux (6-3, 175, Sr., 6.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg)

G Jonathon Simmons (6-6, 195, Jr., 13.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

The Sooners move to 8-1 with yet another non-conference victory, their fourth straight. With how well they've been playing lately, there's no reason to believe they'll slip up in front of a sizable amount of the Sooner faithful in Oklahoma City. Head coach Long Kruger really has the club playing excellent team basketball, and that should continue especially since OU has had a week to prepare. This one actually might not even be that close.

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