Hoops Preview: Texas Tech

Texas Tech enters Saturday's game with a 12-12 overall record and a 2-7 Big 12 mark. The Red Raiders started the year 10-4 but are just 2-10 since. They are 0-8 on the road this season, losing by an average of 13.8 points per game.

GAME SPECIFICS

Teams: No. 2/2 Oklahoma (24-1, 10-0) vs. Texas Tech (12-12, 2-7)

Date: Saturday, Feb. 14

Tip: 12:47 p.m. CST

Site: Norman, Okla. (Lloyd Noble Center)

Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in OKC; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Sirius 91)

TV: Big 12 Network (KOCB 34 in OKC; KJRH 2 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court)

Series: OU leads 27-16

TICKET INFORMATION

Reserved seats are sold out.  Restricted admission tickets ($10 each) will go on sale Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center beginning at 11 a.m. 

PREVIEWING SATURDAY'S GAME

Winner of 13 straight regular season Big 12 games going back to last year, No. 2/2 Oklahoma (24-1, 10-0) plays host to Texas Tech (12-12, 2-7) Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CST.  The Sooners are riding a second 12-game winning streak this year and are coming off a 78-63 road victory over Baylor Wednesday.  Texas Tech, which has lost five of its last six, dropped an 85-73 decision at Kansas State Wednesday.  Saturday's game will be regionally televised by the Big 12 Network (KOCB Ch. 34/Cox 11 in OKC; KJRH Ch. 2/Cox 9 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court) with Bob Carpenter and Stephen Howard announcing.  It will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC AM 1520 in OKC; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 91) with Bob Barry, Sr. and Mike Houck calling the action.

TEXAS TECH'S PROJECTED STARTERS           

F  15  Robert Lewandowski (6-10, 240, Fr., 7.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg)   

F  30  Michael Prince (6-7, 208, Sr., 4.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg)    

F  41  Damir Suljagic (6-9, 250, Sr., 2.4 ppg, 1.7 apg)     

G  20  Alan Voskuil (6-3, 181, Sr., 14.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

G  21  John Roberson (5-11, 165, So., 14.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg)            

OKLAHOMA'S PROJECTED STARTERS           

F  23  Blake Griffin (6-10, 251, So., 22.1 ppg, 13.8 rpg)   

F  32  Taylor Griffin (6-7, 238, Sr., 8.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg)    

G  5   Tony Crocker (6-6, 206, Jr., 10.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg)     

G  13  Willie Warren (6-4, 207, Fr., 14.9 ppg, 2.8 apg)

G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 176, Sr., 8.9 ppg, 4.4 apg)

FOR STARTERS

• Oklahoma's 24-1 start to the season is the best in school history.  The program's previous highest number of wins against one loss was 21 in the 1985-86 season.

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

• The Sooners' 10-0 conference start is their best since beginning 11-0 in the Big Eight in 1985.  They have won 13 straight regular season league games dating back to last year.

• Oklahoma's 10-0 conference start is tied for the second best in Big 12 history.  Kansas went undefeated (16-0) in 2002 and started 10-0 in 2005.

• 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).

• The 19 combined league wins of OU's men's and women's basketball teams are the most to start a conference season in Big 12 history.  Baylor's men's and women's squads combined to start 12-0 last year, as did Kansas State's.

BODY BY BLAKE

• Sophomore Blake Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.1 ppg), rebounding (13.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (.632), while ranking fourth in blocks (1.4 bpg).  The 6-10 forward 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 25 games and at least three in 13 outings.

• Nationally, Griffin ranks first in rebounding and double-doubles (21), second in free throw attempts (9.8 per game), fifth in field goal percentage and 14th in scoring.

• Griffin's 21 double-doubles are tied for the most in OU single-season history.  Garfield Heard recorded 21 double-doubles in 27 games during the 1969-70 season while Alvan Adams had 21 in 26 games during the 1973-74 campaign.

• Griffin's current streak of seven double-doubles is tied for the fourth longest in OU single-season history.  He has also assembled a pair of six-game streaks this year.

• Griffin has 68 more points (552) and 45 more rebounds (346) in 25 games this year than he did in 33 games last season.

• Griffin has recorded 11 games of at least 20 point and 15 rebounds 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 41 percent of its defensive boards in 17 percent of the team's minutes played.

"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 24-1, OU is tied with Utah State for the best record in the country.  No other team enters weekend play with 24 wins.

• The Sooners own the nation's third-longest home court winning streak (18 games).  They have won 128 of their last 142 at home.

• Oklahoma has assembled two 12-game winning streaks this season.  Entering the year, OU had posted just four single-season winning streaks longer than 12 games (17 in 1985-86, 14 in 1987-88 and 13 in 1983-84 and 2001-02).

• OU owns a 27-16 series lead against Texas Tech and has won five of the last six meetings.  The Sooners are 18-8 against the Red Raiders since the inception of the Big 12 Conference (9-3 in Norman).

• The Sooners are 136-52 (.723) all-time against Big 12 teams from Texas (Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech).  They are 84-26 (.764) against those programs since the formation of the Big 12 Conference.

• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in all 25 games.

• During their current 12-game winning streak, the Sooners are outshooting their opponents from the field, .510 to .389.  They have shot better than each of those 12 foes.

• In Big 12 play, OU ranks first in field goal percentage (.508) and 3-point field goal percentage (.406) while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.403) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.338).

• Brothers Blake and Taylor Griffin are shooting a combined .593 from the field this year and have teamed to pull down 19.6 rebounds a game (50 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 10.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots in an average of 20.7 minutes over the last six outings.  He is 23-for-35 from the field (.657) and 14-for-16 at the foul line (.875) during the stretch.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

• The Sooners are shooting a Big 12-best .490 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 five of the last six games (.539 combined over those six outings).

• Over the last 15 games, the Sooners are shooting .400 from 3-point range and averaging 7.3 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 67 treys over the last 15 games.  Crocker is 36-for-80 (.450) from deep in those 15 outings while Warren is 31-for-72 (.431).  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 averaged 6.6 points and was 13-for-47 (.277) from 3-point range.  In 10 Big 12 games, he is averaging 12.4 points and is 20-for-44 (.455) from long distance.

• 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 .679 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 238 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 9.5 more per game.  Griffin has attempted 36 percent of the team's free throws (245 of its 679).

• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 409 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 .389 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 10 Big 12 opponents to a combined .404 field goal mark, with Kansas State (.327) and Texas (.338) shooting season lows and Baylor (.346 in the first meeting) posting its second worst mark of the season.

• OU has held 12 of its 25 opponents to a field goal mark under .360.

• OU ranks second in Big 12 with its 4.6 blocked shots per contest.  Juan Pattillo ranks second in league play with his 1.6 rejections per outing, while Blake Griffin and Taylor Griffin rank sixth (1.2 each).  Point guard Austin Johnson has 20 blocks in 25 outings on the year.

WEDNESDAY'S BAYLOR RECAP

• Oklahoma posted its 30th straight win against Baylor (16th consecutive in Waco) with a 78-63 triumph Wednesday.  The Sooners, whose largest deficit was two points (2-0), took the lead for good at the 3:26 mark of the first half.  They led 35-30 at intermission and used a 10-2 game-ending run to seal the victory.

• OU shot .542 from the field and .438 (7-for-16) from 3-point range while holding the Bears to respective .386 and .192 (5-for-26) figures.  After not attempting a free throw in the first half, the Sooners went 19-for-27 from the charity stripe after the break.

• Blake Griffin recorded his seventh straight double-double with team highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds.  He was 6-for-10 from the field and added two blocked shots.  For the second straight game, four of Griffin's baskets were dunks.

• The double-double was Griffin's 21st of the year, tying Garfield Heard and Alvan Adams for the most in OU single-season history.

• Austin Johnson turned in one of his best outings of the season with 17 points on 6-for-8 field goal and 4-for-5 3-point shooting.  He also contributed a team-high five assists while committing just one turnover in 38 minutes.

• Juan Pattillo registered his first career double-double with career highs of 14 points and 10 boards in 28 minutes off the bench.  Pattillo was 6-for-8 from the floor and added two blocks and a steal on defense.

• Willie Warren netted 14 points with the help of 7-for-8 free throw shooting.  He made his last seven foul shots.

PREVIEWING TEXAS TECH

• Texas Tech enters Saturday's game with a 12-12 overall record and a 2-7 Big 12 mark.  The Red Raiders started the year 10-4 but are just 2-10 since.  They are 0-8 on the road this season, losing by an average of 13.8 points per game.

• Tech averages 70.4 points per Big 12 game to rank eighth in the league, shoots .442 from the field (ranks fourth), .373 from behind the 3-point arc (ranks fifth) and .700 from the free throw line (ranks fifth).  It ranks 10th by giving up 77.7 points a game.

• Sophomore guard John Roberson leads three Red Raiders who average double figures in scoring on the year.  Roberson scores 14.6 points per game and adds 3.5 rebounds and a league-high 6.5 assists.  Over the last five outings, he is averaging 16.6 points and 8.8 assists.  Roberson makes 2.3 treys per game (shooting .385 from behind the arc) and sports a .826 figure from the free throw line.

• Senior backcourt mate Alan Voskuil averages 14.2 points, 4.3 boards and 2.1 assists while leading the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (.450) and ranking fourth in 3-pointers per game (2.8).  He is also shooting .900 from the foul line (54-for-60).

• Sophomore forward Mike Singletary has come off the bench in 20 of 24 games on the year and averages 10.0 points, a team-high 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists.  He has attempted a team-high 106 free throws and is shooting .726 from the charity stripe.

• Junior guard Nick Okorie contributes 9.4 points a game and is 20-for-60 from 3-point distance.  The junior college transfer is coming off a career-high 21-point game at Kansas State after averaging 2.8 over the previous four outings.  Okorie was 5-for-9 from behind the arc against the Wildcats.

• Pat Knight is in his first full season as Texas Tech's head coach.  The 1995 Indiana graduate was 4-7 as the Red Raiders' coach at the end of last season.

SERIES WITH TEXAS TECH

Oklahoma holds a 27-16 all-time record against Texas Tech and is 16-5 in Norman.  Since the formation of the Big 12 Conference, OU leads the series 18-8 and owns a 9-3 advantage in Norman.  Jeff Capel is 3-1 against the Red Raiders as OU's head coach.

LAST YEAR AGAINST THE RED RAIDERS

• The Sooners swept the regular season series against Texas Tech last year, winning 63-61 in Norman Jan. 19 and 66-64 in Lubbock Feb. 16.

• OU played without an injured Blake Griffin in the first meeting and rallied from a 45-38 deficit with 9:48 remaining to post the victory.  Taylor Griffin scored 13 of his then-career-high-tying 16 points in the second half (11 in the final 8:43) and grabbed a then-career-high 12 rebounds.  Longar Longar finished with 16 points, nine boards and three blocks while Tony Crocker was 3-for-4 from 3-point range en route to 15 points.  OU outrebounded Texas Tech 40-27 and held a 13-2 advantage on the offensive glass.  The Red Raiders, who had no second-chance points, outshot the Sooners from the field, 3-point range and the free throw line in defeat.  Martin Zeno led Tech with 17 points while John Roberson and Alan Voskuil netted 14 apiece.

• In the rematch, David Godbold's 28-footer with 1.4 seconds remaining lifted OU from a one-point deficit to a two-point victory.  Austin Johnson, who assisted on the game-winning hoop, was 6-for-11 from 3-point territory and scored a then-career-high 20 points.  Longar chipped in with 10 points while Blake Griffin finished with nine points and a then-career-high 17 boards.  Zeno paced Tech with 18 points and was followed by Damir Suljagic's 12 and Voskuil's 11.

NOTING OU'S 30-POINT PERFORMANCES

• Sophomore Blake Griffin and freshman Willie Warren have each posted back-to-back 30-point performances this season.  Griffin netted a career-high 35 points against Gardner-Webb Nov. 22 before scoring 32 four days later against UAB.  Warren went for 31 at Rice on Dec. 22 before pouring in a career-high 35 on Dec. 30 at Arkansas.  Only one other team in the country has had a player combo accomplish the feat this season (Notre Dame's Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney).

• The last time two Sooners each had back-to-back games of at least 30 points in the same season was in 1993-94 when senior forward Jeff Webster and junior guard/forward Calvin Curry did it.

• The last OU player to register two 30-point games his true freshman season was Tim McCalister in 1983-84.  The last OU true frosh to register at least three 30-point games was Wayman Tisdale in 1982-83 (he had a freshman-record nine).

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 25 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 (13.8 rpg and .632 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 9.8 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 seven straight double-doubles (Adams and Garfield Heard are the others).  Griffin has also assembled two six-game streaks this season. 

• Griffin has 67 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.7 per game.  He has 119 slams in 58 career games.

• 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).

AWARDS CENTRAL

Blake Griffin couldn't be off to a better start in terms of turning his Big 12 Preseason-Player-of-the-Year honor into the league's postseason player-of-the-year award.  The sophomore forward was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 1 for the third time in three weeks to start the season and picked up a fourth honor on Jan. 12.  Griffin is only the second player in conference history to earn the weekly honor three straight times (Texas Tech's Andre Emmett did it during the 2003-04 campaign).  Similarly, freshman guard Willie Warren has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week five out of a possible 13 times (Nov. 24, Dec. 1, Dec. 29, Jan. 5 and Feb. 2).  Warren was the unanimous choice as Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year.  Senior guard Austin Johnson picked up his first career Big 12 Player of the Week honor on Jan. 19.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories