MBB Preview: Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech

The Sooners (12-8, 3-4) and Red Raiders (15-7, 4-3) will tip-off at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night in Norman. See inside for several pregame news and notes, including quotes from OU head coach Jeff Capel on the matchup.

The Teams
Oklahoma (12-8, 3-4) vs. Texas Tech (15-7, 4-3) -- 7:05 p.m. -- Norman, Okla. -- Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)

Saturday's game will be televised regionally on ESPN Plus (KOCB 34/Cox 11 in OKC and KJRH 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa). The game is also available with the ESPN Full Court package. Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Reid Gettys (analyst) will call the action. The game can also be heard on the radio on KOKC 1520 AM.

Radio stations in your area | Live Stats

Jeff Capel on Texas Tech
"For us, it's a very, very important game. They're 4-3 in the standings and we're 3-4, so there's a log jam right there in the middle. Obviously, you want to take care of your home court and they're a very good basketball team. They've played well — beat Kansas and Texas A&M in the same week.

"They're an older team so they're used to going on the road. We know they'll be very well-prepared and they have arguably the greatest coach in college basketball on the sideline. So it's going to be a big game for us. We're excited about it.

"Obviously, I would be silly if I didn't understand the emotion that some of our fans probably have but we don't want to put emotion in it. We want to be focused on the task at hand and what we need to do.

"Honestly, we have tried to forget about that. It's been difficult, but we're trying to forget about it. I'm not going to have Longar talking to the media days because I don't want him thinking about that. I know it's going to be hard, but I want him focused on what he has to do to win this basketball game. I just think if we continue to talk about the incident that happened it deflects the attention and the focus that our guys need on what we need to do to win this game.

"When we played them down at their place I thought we did a good job on (Jarrius) Jackson, but (Martin) Zeno hurt us. (Jon) Plefka, that was the game where he really got going. He came off the bench and really hurt us. They have a very balanced team.

"I think Martin Zeno may be the most underrated player in this league. And they're very well-coached. They can hurt you in a variety of ways."

The Matchup
The Sooners and Red Raiders will be battling for fifth-place Saturday night at the Lloyd Noble Center, where the Sooners are 10-1 this season. OU is 3-0 in Big 12 home games, while the Red Raiders are 1-2 on the road in conference play.

Tech won the first matchup in Lubbock on Jan. 6, 68-54, in the infamous game in which led to the two-game suspension of leading scorer and OU center Longar Longar. Since that game, in which he scored just two points, the Sudan natives' average has dropped from 13.3 per game to his now 11.3 average.

The Red Raiders, who come into the game on a two-game losing streak with losses at Missouri (71-58) and to Texas Wednesday in Lubbock (76-64), boast the second-most potent scoring duo in the conference in guards Jarrius Jackson and Martin Zeno. Jackson 3rd in the league in scoring, while Zeno checks in at 9th.

Tech comes into the game ranked 7th in the Big 12 in scoring offense (72.5) and 7th scoring defense (67.2). Oklahoma is 9th in the league in scoring (69.8) and 2nd in scoring defense (57.2). The Red Raiders also lead the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.437).

And not to be forgotten is the always controversial Tech coach Bob Knight, who is the all-time winningest coach in Division-1 history (884). By comparrison, Knight has 793 more wins than OU first-year head coach Jeff Capel.

Oklahoma leads the all-time series 24-16 and 14-5 in Norman. OU is 15-8 overall and 7-3 in Norman since the inception of the Big 12.

Oklahoma Game Notes | Texas Tech Game Notes

Oklahoma Projected Starters:
F -- 30 --Longar Longar -- 6-11, 228, So. -- 11.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 bpg
F -- 24 --Nate Carter -- 6-6, 220, Sr. -- 9.9 ppg, 4.4 rbg
G -- 2-- Michael Neal -- 6-3, 198, Sr. -- 10.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.2 apg
G -- 5 --Tony Crocker -- 6-5, 187, Fr. -- 9.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg
G -- 20 -- Austin Johnson -- 6-3, 160, So. -- 83 ppg, 3.4 apg

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

Texas Tech Projected Starters:
F -- 32 -- Jon Plefka -- 6-8, 245, Sr. -- 5.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg
F -- 30 -- Michael Prince -- 6-7, 210, So. -- 2.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg
G -- 3 -- Martin Zeno -- 605, 208, Jr. -- 16.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.3 apg
G -- 22 -- Jarrius Jackson -- 6-2, 185, Sr. -- 20.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg
G -- 42 -- Charlie Burgess -- 6-1, 190, Jr. -- 9.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg

More on the Red Raiders
Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories