Capel era begins tonight against Norfolk St.

Jeff Capel's Sooners will tip-off against Norfolk State at 7:08 p.m. tonight inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The matchup marks the beginning of the 100th season of Oklahoma basketball. The Sooners are 1,429-909 all-time and 398-65 at the Lloyd Noble Center.

The Matchup
Oklahoma (0-0) vs. Norfolk State (0-0) -- 7:08 p.m. (CST) -- Norman, Okla. -- Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)

Tonight's game marks the beginning of the 100th season in the history of Oklahoma basketball. The Sooners are 1,429-909 all-time and 398-65 at the Lloyd Noble Center. The matchup, which is the first-ever meeting between the two schools, is also the earliest regular season opener in school history by two days. The Sooners have won 19 of their last 21 season openers and 26 of their last 27 home openers, with the lone loss coming at the hands of John Calipari, Marcus Camby and UMass in 1993.

Friday's game will televised by the Sooner Sports Network on KAUT 43, Cox 16 in OKC, Cox 3 in Tulsa and ESPN's Full Court package. Bob Carpenter and Charlie Spoonhour will call the action. The game can be heard on the Sooner Radio network on KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City. To listen the game online, click the 'Listen Online' link below and then click the top picture on the page.

Live Stats | Listen Online

About the Spartans
Norfolk State returns four players with starting experience from last season's 13-18 team that posted a 10-8 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Spartans are led by junior guard Tony Murphy, who was a first-team All-MEAC selection last year. Head coach Dwight Freeman is 53-64 entering his fifth season. Tonight's game will be their first of the season, as they have yet play an exhibition or regular season game this season.

Oklahoma Game Notes

Jeff Capel on Norfolk State
"They're a good team. They have a kid that was an all-conference guy last year in Murphy, who can really score the basketball. They have a big kid inside that is good and they added some new guys.

"Coach (Ben) Betts (OU assistant) coached against them twice last year. He was in the MEAC, which is their league. We played against Hampton when I was at VCU. Hampton won their league last year and I knew them pretty well.

"I know their coach, Dwight Freeman, is a good guy, good coach. There's a lot of talent right there in that Tidewater area of Virginia, which they've been able to get some guys from there.

"We know that they're going to be excited, especially knowing that Mike Neal's not playing they'll probably be even more excited. We should be really excited and ready to go because it's our first game."

Capel on losing Mike Neal for two games
"Any time you lose a guy like Mike Neal, he was our best returning player and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last year and double-figure scorer, you don't just lose points you lose experience.

"You lose big game experience, you lose a guy that's hit big shots, played big minutes and done things for an NCAA Tournament team last year. And with us being so young and everything being so new, it's a huge loss. But it is what it is and we have to be able to move on.

"We won't use it as a crutch. It is what it is and we have to be prepared to play our first game against Norfolk State."

Oklahoma Projected Starters (Exhibitioin Stats):
F -- 32 --Taylor Griffin -- 6-7, 232, So. -- 8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
C -- 30 --Longar Longar -- 6-11, 228, Jr. -- 12.5 ppg, 9.5 rbg
G -- 15 -- David Godbold -- 6-5, 215, Jr. -- 8.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg
G -- 5 --Tony Crocker -- 6-5, 187, Fr. -- 11.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G -- 20 -- Austin Johnson -- 6-3, 160, So. -- 10.5 ppg, 3.5, rpg

More on the Sooners
Roster | 2005 Stats | Schedule/Results

Norfolk State Projected Starters (05-06 Stats):
F -- 22 -- Tynell Dunkley -- 6-6, 225, Sr. -- 4.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg
C -- 23 -- Corey Lyons -- 6-4, 185, So. -- 3.6 ppg, 0.8 rpg
G -- 42 -- Calvin Brown -- 6-9, 255, Sr. --9.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg
G -- 5 -- Tony Murphy -- 6-4, 220, Jr. -- 15.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
G -- 10 -- Rashid Cann -- 6-0, 185, Jr. -- 0.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg

More on the Spartans
Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats (2005-06)

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