Hoops Preview: Baylor (2-11-09)

Baylor enters Wednesday's game with a 15-8 overall record and a 3-6 Big 12 mark. Starting with the Jan. 24 game in Norman, the Bears have lost five straight contests. They are 11-3 at home this season with all three losses coming in their last five games there.

GAME SPECIFICS

Teams: No. 2/2 Oklahoma (23-1, 9-0) at Baylor (15-8, 3-6)

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 11

Tip: 8:10 p.m. CST

Site: Waco, Texas (Ferrell Center)

Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM in OKC; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa)

TV: ESPN2

Series: OU leads 34-5

Series Note: OU has won the last 29 meetings

PREVIEWING WEDNESDAY'S GAME

Off to its best start in school history, No. 2/2 Oklahoma (23-1, 9-0) plays at Baylor (15-8, 3-6) Wednesday at 8 p.m. CST.  Riding an 11-game winning streak, the Sooners are coming off a 77-72 home win over Colorado Saturday.  Baylor, which has dropped five in a row after a 15-3 start, lost 83-76 at Texas Tech Saturday.  Wednesday's game will be nationally televised by ESPN2 with Terry Gannon and Stephen Bardo announcing.  It will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KRXO FM 107.7 in OKC; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa) with Bob Barry, Sr. and Mike Houck calling the action.

OKLAHOMA'S PROJECTED STARTERS           

F  23  Blake Griffin (6-10, 251, So., 22.3 ppg, 14.0 rpg)   

F  32  Taylor Griffin (6-7, 238, Sr., 8.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg)    

G  5   Tony Crocker (6-6, 206, Jr., 10.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg)     

G  13  Willie Warren (6-4, 207, Fr., 15.0 ppg, 2.8 apg)

G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 176, Sr., 8.6 ppg, 4.4 apg)   

BAYLOR'S PROJECTED STARTERS           

F  4   Quincy Acy (6-7, 205, Fr., 6.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg)   

F  23  Kevin Rogers (6-9, 250, Sr., 12.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg)    

G  0   Curtis Jerrells (6-1, 205, Sr., 16.4 ppg, 5.3 apg)     

G  5   Henry Dugat (6-0, 173, Sr., 12.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

G  20  Tweety Carter (5-11, 185, Jr., 10.7 ppg, 3.2 apg)

"NOTE"WORTHY

• Oklahoma's No. 2 AP ranking is its highest since the final poll of the 1989-90 season when it was No. 1.

• At 23-1, Oklahoma is tied with Utah State for the best record in the country.  No other team entered the week with 23 wins.

• Only the 1996-97 Kansas team (34-1) has posted a better start to a season in Big 12 history.

• The Sooners' 9-0 conference start is their best since beginning 11-0 in the Big Eight in 1985.  They have won 12 straight regular season league games dating back to last year.

• OU owns a 34-5 series lead against Baylor and has won the last 29 meetings.  It is the only series in the history of the Big 12 Conference where one team has beaten the other in every matchup (OU is 25-0).

• The Sooners are 135-52 (.722) all-time against Big 12 teams from Texas (Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech).  They are 83-26 (.761) against those programs since the formation of the Big 12 Conference (1996-97 was the first year of the league).

• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in all 24 games.

• During their current 11-game winning streak, the Sooners are outshooting their opponents from the field, .507 to .390.  They have shot better than each of those 11 foes.

• OU is one of five teams nationally that is undefeated in conference play.  The others are Gonzaga (West Coast Conference), Memphis (Conference USA), Princeton (Ivy League) and Utah State (WAC).

• Blake Griffin and Willie Warren have accounted for 57 percent of OU's points in its seven road games.  Griffin is averaging 23.0 points (shooting .618) and 12.6 rebounds in those contests while Warren is averaging 19.9 points (shooting .547) and 3.7 assists.

• Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.3 ppg), rebounding (14.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (.633), while ranking fourth in blocks (1.3 bpg).  The 6-10 sophomore also averages 2.5 assists per contest, more than any other league player taller than 6-foot-5.  He has recorded at least two assists in 19 of 24 games and at least three in 13 outings.

• Nationally, Griffin ranks first in rebounding and double-doubles (20), second in free throw attempts (9.7 per game), fifth in field goal percentage and 12th in scoring.

• Griffin has already registered 50 more points (534) and 35 more rebounds (336) this season than he did all of last year.

• Griffin has recorded 11 20-point, 15-rebound games of this season, more than any player nationally since the 1996-97 season.  Tim Duncan (Wake Forest in 1996-97) and Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech in 2005-06) registered nine 20/15 games. 

• Griffin has accounted for 28 percent of OU's points, 38 percent of its rebounds and 42 percent of its defensive boards in 16 percent of the team's minutes played.

• Brothers Blake and Taylor Griffin are shooting a combined .588 from the field this year and have teamed to pull down 19.9 rebounds a game (55 percent of the team's total).

• Junior college transfer Juan Pattillo, who came out of a redshirt season in time for the Jan. 12 Texas game but totaled just four minutes over the next three games, is averaging 9.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots in an average of 19.2 minutes over the last five outings.  He is 17-for-27 from the field (.630) and 12-for-14 at the foul line (.857) during the stretch.

• OU will play 21 of its 31 regular season games against teams that made the 2008 postseason (15 against NCAA Tournament teams, four against NIT squads and two against College Basketball Invitational teams).  As of Tuesday, the Sooners are ranked No. 3 nationally by CollegeRPI.com.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

• The Sooners are shooting a Big 12-best .488 from the field.  The last time OU shot better for an entire season was 20 years ago (.491 in 1988-89).  It has shot at least .500 in four of the last five games (.539 combined over those five outings).

• Over the last 14 games, the Sooners are shooting .398 from 3-point range and averaging 7.4 treys.  Over the first 10 games this season, they shot .311 from behind the arc and averaged 6.4 3-pointers.

• Tony Crocker and Willie Warren have combined for 64 treys over the last 14 games.  Crocker is 34-for-76 (.447) from deep in those 14 outings while Warren is 30-for-68 (.441).  Over OU's first 10 games, each owned a .273 season 3-point figure (12-for-44).

• In OU's 15 non-league games, Austin Johnson was 13-for-47 (.277) from downtown.  He is 16-for-39 (.410) in nine Big 12 games.

• Last year, Blake Griffin became the first player in school history standing at least 6-foot-10 to log three or more handouts in 11 games.  He has done it in 13 games this season.

• Despite a modest .678 team free throw percentage (they rank ninth in the Big 12), the Sooners have made 20 more foul shots than their opponents have attempted.  OU has shot 230 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 9.6 more per game.  Griffin has attempted 36 percent of the team's free throws (233 of its 652).

• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 408 consecutive games (last one without a trey was at Memphis on Dec. 23, 1996).

DEFENSIVE NOTES

• Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 (all games) with its .390 field goal percentage defense.  The last time OU held opponents to a lower collective figure for an entire season was 48 years ago (.377 in 1960-61).

• The Sooners have held their first nine Big 12 opponents to a combined .404 field goal mark, with Kansas State (.327) and Texas (.338) shooting season lows and Baylor (.346) posting its second worst mark of the season.

• OU has held 12 of its 24 opponents to a field goal mark under .360.

• OU ranks third in the Big 12 (all games) with its 4.6 blocked shots per contest.  Blake Griffin ranks fourth (1.3) while Taylor Griffin ranks seventh (1.2).  Juan Pattillo is averaging 1.6 rejections in his seven games and point guard Austin Johnson has 19 blocks in 24 outings.

SATURDAY'S COLORADO RECAP

• After leading 65-51 with 6:50 remaining, the Sooners watched Colorado get to within three twice in the waning moments of their 77-72 home win on Saturday.  OU's only deficits of the game were 10-9 and 18-17.

• Oklahoma, which shot .571 from the field on the day, posted a .727 first-half figure but led just 38-33 at the break.  It used a 14-6 run over a five-minute, second-half span to stretch a 51-45 lead to 65-51.

• Blake Griffin recorded his sixth straight double-double with game highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds.  He made his first nine field goal attempts and finished 11-for-14.  Four of his baskets were dunks.

• Tony Crocker poured in 24 points (his third highest career total) with the help of a career-high seven 3-pointers (on 11 attempts).  His outburst broke a three-game string of single-digit scoring (had averaged 5.3 ppg). 

• Juan Pattillo played a career-high 27 minutes off the bench and logged eight points, three blocked shots and career highs of five rebounds and three assists.

• Willie Warren netted just five points on 2-for-7 shooting but finished with a game-high six assists.

• After getting outrebounded by 14 by Texas A&M the game before, OU posted a 33-20 advantage on the glass against Colorado.

• The win was Oklahoma's 23rd straight and 35th in the last 36 meetings against the Buffaloes in Norman.

WHO'S HOT

• A strong candidate for national-player-of-the-year honors, sophomore forward Blake Griffin has scored at least 20 points in 17 of 24 games this season, including eight of the last 10.  The 6-10, 251-pounder has registered 20 double-doubles (last year he had 10) and has led OU in rebounding 22 times.  Over the last six games, Griffin is averaging 23.0 points, 15.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

• After averaging 6.6 points and 4.3 assists per game in non-conference play, senior guard Austin Johnson is averaging 11.9 points and 4.6 assists in nine league games.  He has scored in double figures in five of the last eight contests.  Johnson is 16-for-39 from 3-point range in OU's nine Big 12 outings and owns a .451 field goal mark.

• Over the last 13 games, freshman Willie Warren is averaging 16.2 points and 2.9 assists.  He is shooting .508 from the field and .431 (28-for-65) from behind the arc in those contests.  Warren has scored at least 29 points three times in those 13 games.

• Junior forward Juan Pattillo is averaging 9.2 points over the last five games off the bench.  He is 17-for-27 from the field (.630) and 12-for-14 from the free throw line (.857) over those the five outings.  Pattillo also has 10 blocks during the stretch.

PREVIEWING BAYLOR

• Baylor enters Wednesday's game with a 15-8 overall record and a 3-6 Big 12 mark.  Starting with the Jan. 24 game in Norman, the Bears have lost five straight contests.  They are 11-3 at home this season with all three losses coming in their last five games there.

• One of the most efficient offenses in the Big 12, Baylor averages 80.7 points a game to rank third in the league, shoots .469 from the field (ranks fifth) and .382 from behind the 3-point arc to rank second.  It also ranks second with its 8.7 treys per game.

• Senior guard Curtis Jerrells leads five Bears who average double figures in scoring.  Jerrells averages 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and a team-high 5.3 assists per contest (ranks fourth in Big 12).  He is shooting .348 from 3-point range (40 makes) and .748 from the free throw line (averages a team-high 6.2 attempts per outing).

• Sophomore guard LaceDarius Dunn comes off the bench to average 16.2 points and 4.4 rebounds.  He leads the team with 72 treys and is shooting .414 from long distance.

• Senior forward Kevin Rogers is Baylor's chief inside threat and supplies 12.9 points  and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game.  The lefty is shooting .539 from the field.

• Senior guard Henry Dugat contributes 12.2 points, 3.5 boards, 2.5 assists and a team-high 1.9 steals per outing.  Another long-distance threat, Dugat has canned 31 3-pointers on the year and is shooting .369 from behind the arc.

• Junior guard Tweety Carter averages 10.7 points a game and ranks second with his 46 treys (shooting .418 from long range).

• Scott Drew is in his sixth year as Baylor's head coach and owns a 72-88 (.450) record there.  The 1993 Butler graduate is in his seventh season as a collegiate head coach (he was at Valparaiso for one year) and owns a 92-99 (.482) career mark.

SERIES WITH BAYLOR

Oklahoma owns a 34-5 series advantage against Baylor and has won the last 29 meetings.  The Sooners possess a 15-2 series lead in games played in Waco and have won 15 straight there.  The last Baylor win against OU came on Dec. 6, 1977, in Norman (75-67).  OU is 25-0 against the Bears since the inception of the Big 12 Conference and has won its 12 series road games during the span by an average of 9.6 points.

EARLIER THIS YEAR AGAINST THE BEARS

• Oklahoma shot a season-high .583 from the field Jan. 24 in Norman to beat Baylor for the 29th straight time, 95-76.  The Sooners, who used a 27-9 first-half-ending run to lead 58-31 at the break, held the 23rd-ranked Bears (coaches poll) to their second-lowest field goal mark of the season (.346).  It was Baylor's worst defeat in two years.

• The Sooners' 95 points marked a Baylor opponent season high.  The Bears entered the game giving up 67.7 points a game.

• OU shot .667 from the field in the first half to rack up its most points in a half of a Big 12 game in three years (59 vs. Baylor in 2006).

• After the Bears scored the game's first five points, the Sooners outscored them by 32 the rest of the first half.

• Blake Griffin recorded a double-double with team highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds.  He was 8-for-10 from the free throw line and added four assists and a steal.

• Taylor Griffin scored 18 points (one shy of his season high) on 7-for-9 field goal and 4-for-4 free throw shooting, and added seven boards, a career-high-tying four blocked shots and three steals.

• Willie Warren netted 13 of OU's first 26 points and finished with 17 on 6-for-9 field goal and 2-for-4 3-point shooting.

• Tony Crocker canned five of his eight shots (2-for-3 from behind the arc) and finished with 12 points and five rebounds.

• Austin Johnson scored eight points and handed out seven assists against just one turnover.

• Juan Pattillo, playing in his third game as a Sooner, totaled nine points, three rebounds, a block and a steal (all in the first half).  Pattillo had played a total of four scoreless minutes on the season before his 14 minutes against Baylor.  He finished 4-for-5 from the field and made his lone free throw attempt in 14 minutes of action.

• Curtis Jerrells led Baylor with 26 points while LaceDarius Dunn added 20.

MORE BLAKE

• Lost in Blake Griffin's gaudy scoring and rebounding statistics are some pretty impressive assist numbers.  The forward ranks third on the team with 2.5 assists per game this season and has registered at least one handout in all 24 outings.  Last season, Griffin became the first Sooner standing 6-foot-10 or taller to ever dish at least three assists in a game 11 times.  He has recorded at least three assists 13 times already this year.

• Griffin (14.0 rpg and .633 FG%) is on pace to shatter the single-season school records for rebounding average and field goal percentage.  The standards of 13.3 boards per game and .627 from the field were set by Alvan Adams in 1974-75 and Al Beal in 1978-79.  Griffin is also averaging 9.7 free throw attempts a game (ranks second nationally), a figure that would break Stacey King's 1988-89 school record of 8.9 foul shots per outing.

• Griffin is just the third Sooner to record six straight double-doubles (Adams and Garfield Heard are the others).  Griffin has assembled three six-game streaks this season. 

• Griffin has 63 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.6 per game.

• Griffin owns the best vertical leap (no step) on the team at 37.5 inches, as well as the best max leap (no limit on steps) by reaching 27 inches above the rim.  He also owns an 84.5-inch wingspan (seven feet and one-half inch).


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories