Full-court press: OU vs. SE Louisiana

Oklahoma opens the season with a Southland opponent

SoonersIllustrated.com will present three things to watch before every men’s basketball game during the 2014-15 season.

Southeastern Louisiana (0-1) at Oklahoma (0-0)

When: 2:02 p.m. CST

TV/Radio: FS Southwest Plus; FOX College Sports Central/107.7 FM(OKC); 1430 AM (Tulsa)

Starting the season on the right foot

In nearly the past three decades, the Sooners have lost just two season openers. Oklahoma is 27-2 in the past 29 season-opening contests.

Oklahoma, which has won 11 straight games to start the season, last lost to open a season in 2002 against Alabama. The Sooners haven’t lost a home season opener since 1993.

The season starts Sunday for Oklahoma in a year that holds plenty of expectations for the Sooners, who are ranked No. 19 in the preseason. It’s the first time Oklahoma has earned a preseason ranking in five years.

SE Louisiana doesn’t pose the toughest challenge, but it’ll be important for Oklahoma to get off to a good start.

D.J. Bennett’s time to shine

He might not have much time, but for now, Bennett is the starter and has an early chance to prove himself as a contributor for Oklahoma and possibly earn more minutes.

Bennett wasn’t expected to be the season-opening starter with transfer TaShawn Thomas coming onto the roster. By the end of the season, he might not be the first forward off the bench depending on the development of freshman Khadeem Lattin.

But he’s the man now.

Bennett, a junior college transfer, is the only eligible senior on scholarship right now and hasn’t done much during his career with the Sooners. He played 32 games off the bench last year but averaged just 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in nine minutes per game.

Not the toughest starting test

SE Louisiana opened its season just down the road against Oklahoma State, and after jumping out to an early lead, the Lions were dominated in the second half, losing 83-55.

Still, the Lions return only two starts from last year’s team. With a coach in his first season in Division I basketball, the Lions have a lot of work to do in order to move higher than seventh in the Southland Conference, where they were picked to finish in the preseason.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories