Full-court press: Creighton

Oklahoma goes on the road to face a modified Bluejays squad

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

Oklahoma (1-0) at Creighton (2-0)

When: 7:01 p.m. CST TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1/107.7 FM (OKC); 1430 AM (Tulsa); Sirius 108; XM 199 A bigger Cousins is better for OU

It’s already very clear that Oklahoma has benefitted immediately from getting bigger in the starting line-up, but it’s not just because of transfer TaShawn Thomas.

Guard Isaiah Cousins, who didn’t have much of an inside game last year, has bulked up in the offseason and given the Sooners a legitimate slashing guard.

He’s also helping in the rebounding stat column, grabbing 10 in the season-opener and recording a double-double.

Cousins already sets the tone defensively on the perimeter for the Sooners, but now he has a thirst to go inside when he can find a size mismatch and give Oklahoma another way to generate offense. “You see a little wiggle guard and I know that I can bully him a little bit,” Cousins said. “I think that helped me to get stronger and be tight with the ball.”

Oklahoma on the road early

The Sooners proved last year to be a solid road team, finishing the year with just four road losses – one each coming against Michigan State and Kansas.

They’ll go back on the road again early, playing their first game away from Norman in only the second game on the schedule.

Some of the Sooners’ prefer it.

“I like it,” forward Ryan Spangler said. “I like going to other places and winning there. I think it’s good for us. We have a lot of people back, but at the same time, we’re a young team. It just shows us where we’re at right now and the things we have to work on.”

Wednesday is one of only two true road games for the Sooners in the non-conference season and by far the longest trip. Oklahoma will go on the road to Tulsa in mid-December, where the Sooners might have more fans than the Golden Hurricanes.

This is Oklahoma’s one chance to feel what it will be like on the road in Big 12 play.

Bluejays a very different team

Creighton lost its biggest weapon from last season – the No. 11 overall pick in the NBA Draft and the nation’s leading scorer, Doug McDermott.

If it was just McDermott, Creighton would look a lot different. The Bluejays also lost four of their top five scorers and returns just one starter from last year’s team.

Creighton is also much different than the last time these two teams played. Oklahoma won the last game during the 1973-74 season, and Creighton hasn’t beaten Oklahoma since 1920 – although the teams have played just twice since then.

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