Hoops Preview: Texas

Oklahoma leads the all-time series with Texas, 46-27, and has won 28 of the last 43 (it is 17-14 versus UT since the inception of the Big 12). OU also holds a 16-14 all-time record against the Longhorns in Austin.

GAME SPECIFICS

Teams: No. 2/2 Oklahoma (25-1, 11-0) at Texas (17-8, 6-5)

Date: Saturday, Feb. 21

Tip: 8:05 p.m. CST

Site: Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)

Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in OKC; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Sirius 123; XM 144)

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD

Series: OU leads 46-27

PREVIEWING SATURDAY'S GAME

Winner of 14 straight regular season Big 12 games going back to last year, No. 2/2 Oklahoma (25-1, 11-0) plays at Texas (17-8, 6-5) Saturday at 8 p.m. CST.  The Sooners are riding a 13-game winning streak and are coming off a 95-74 home victory over Texas Tech Saturday.  Texas, which has lost four of its last six after starting 4-1 in league play, dropped an 81-66 decision at Texas A&M Monday.  The ESPN/ESPNHD "Saturday Primetime" game will feature Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Erin Andrews announcing.  The contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC AM 1520 in OKC; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 123; XM 144) with Bob Barry, Sr. and Mike Houck calling the action.  ESPN College GameDay will also be in Austin on Saturday.  The 10 a.m. CST show will include a feature on national player of the year candidate Blake Griffin.

OKLAHOMA'S PROJECTED STARTERS           

F  23  Blake Griffin (6-10, 251, So., 22.8 ppg, 14.2 rpg)   

F  32  Taylor Griffin (6-7, 238, Sr., 8.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg)    

G  5   Tony Crocker (6-6, 206, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg)     

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

G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 176, Sr., 8.8 ppg, 4.3 apg)

TEXAS' PROJECTED STARTERS           

F  1   Gary Johnson (6-6, 233, So., 11.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg)    

F  5   Damion James (6-7, 222, Jr., 15.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg)   

G  3   A.J. Abrams (5-11, 161, Sr., 16.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg)

G  4   Dogus Balbay (6-0, 176, So., 2.4 ppg, 2.6 apg)     

G  24  Justin Mason (6-2, 194, Jr., 6.8 ppg, 4.8 apg)         

FOR STARTERS

• Oklahoma's 25-1 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' 11-0 conference start is their best since also beginning 11-0 in the Big Eight in 1985.  They have won 14 straight regular season league games dating back to last year.

• Oklahoma's 11-0 conference start is the second best in Big 12 history.  Kansas went undefeated (16-0) in 2002.

• OU is one of three teams nationally that is undefeated in conference play.  The others are Gonzaga (10-0 in West Coast Conference) and Memphis (11-0 in Conference USA).

• The 22 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.  The previous best combined men's and women's start (12-0) occurred last year (both Baylor and Kansas State).

BODY BY BLAKE

• Sophomore Blake Griffin leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.8 ppg), rebounding (14.2 rpg) and field goal percentage (.638), while ranking fourth in blocks (1.3 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 20 of 26 games and at least three in 13 outings.

• Nationally, Griffin ranks first in rebounding and double-doubles (22), second in free throw attempts (9.8 per game), fifth in field goal percentage and 11th in scoring.

• Griffin's 40 points and 23 rebounds (career highs) against Texas Tech last Saturday marked the first time in Big 12 history a player recorded a 40/20 game, and was the first such outing of any player nationally since at least the 1996-97 season.  Only two previous Sooners have accomplished the feat (Wayman Tisdale in 1983-84 and Alvan Adams in 1974-75).  Griffin's 40 points were the most by an OU player in 15 seasons while his 23 rebounds were the most in 20 years.

• Griffin's 22 double-doubles are the most in OU single-season history.  Garfield Heard (21 double-doubles in 27 games during the 1969-70 season) and Adams (21 in 26 games during the 1973-74 campaign) rank second.

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

• Griffin has 108 more points (592) and 68 more rebounds (369) in 26 games this year than he did in 33 games last season.

• Griffin has three games of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds this season.  No other Big 12 player has ever recorded more than two such outings in a career.

• Griffin has recorded 12 games of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds this season, more than any player nationally since at least the 1996-97 season.  Tim Duncan (Wake Forest in 1996-97) and Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech in 2005-06) registered nine 20/15 games, the second most since the start of the 1996-97 season. 

• Griffin has accounted for 28 percent of OU's points, 39 percent of its rebounds and 42 percent of its defensive boards in 16 percent of the team's minutes played.

"NOTE"WORTHY

• The Sooners are the nation's only one-loss team and enter the weekend as one of two 25-win squads (Utah State is the other).

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

• OU has sandwiched 12- and 13-game winning streaks around its only loss this season.  That means two of the seven longest single-season winning streaks in school history have occured this year.  The only longer streaks than OU's current 13-game skein were 18 in 1927-28, 17 in 1985-86 and 14 in 1987-88.

• Oklahoma leads the all-time series with Texas, 46-27, and has won 28 of the last 43 (it is 17-14 versus UT since the inception of the Big 12).  OU also holds a 16-14 all-time record against the Longhorns in Austin.

• OU freshman guards Willie Warren and T.J. Franklin won the 2008 Texas Class 5A state title game at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  Warren scored a game-high 27 points (15 in the fourth quarter) and handed out eight assists in North Crowley High School's 73-67 victory over Fort Bend Dulles High School.

• The Sooners are 137-52 (.725) all-time against Big 12 teams from Texas (Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech).  They are 85-26 (.766) against those programs since the formation of the Big 12 Conference.

• Blake Griffin and Willie Warren have accounted for 55 percent of OU's points in its eight road games.  Griffin is averaging 22.4 points (shooting .616) and 12.3 rebounds in those contests while Warren is averaging 19.1 points (22-for-44 from long range).

• In Oklahoma's five conference road games, Austin Johnson is 14-for-24 (.583) from 3-point range.  He is 13-for-21 from behind the arc over the last four league road outings, good for a .619 mark.

• Oklahoma has used the same starting lineup in all 26 games.

• During their current 13-game winning streak, the Sooners are outshooting their opponents from the field, .512 to .391.  They have shot better than each of those 13 foes.

• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma ranks first in field goal percentage (.511) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (.408) while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.403) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.331).

• Brothers Blake and Taylor Griffin are shooting a combined .599 from the field this year and have teamed to pull down 20.0 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 8.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots in an average of 19.4 minutes over the last seven outings.  He is 24-for-38 from the field (.632) and 14-for-16 at the foul line (.875) during the stretch.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

• The Sooners have been held under 70 points just three times this season (61, 69 and 69), and won all three times.  OU is averaging 80.5 points per game on the year.  It has not finished a season averaging 80.0 or more points a contest since the 1994-95 campaign.

• Oklahoma is shooting a Big 12-best .491 from the field.  The last time OU shot better for an entire season was 21 years ago (.495 in 1987-88 when it played in the national title game).  The Sooners have shot at least .500 from the field in six of the last seven games (.538 combined over those seven outings).

• OU has shot .400 or better from 3-point range in eight of the last 10 contests and owns a .412 mark over the span.  The Sooners rank second in Big 12 play with their .408 3-point mark.

• Tony Crocker and Willie Warren have combined for 68 treys over the last 16 games.  Crocker is 36-for-82 (.439) from deep in those 16 outings while Warren is 32-for-75 (.427).  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 11 Big 12 games, he is averaging 11.7 points and is 21-for-46 (.457) 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 .681 team free throw percentage (they rank eighth in the Big 12), the Sooners have made 16 more foul shots than their opponents have attempted.  OU has shot 240 more free throws than its foes, good for an average of 9.2 more per game.  Griffin has attempted 36 percent of the team's free throws (255 of its 702).

• Oklahoma has made at least one 3-pointer in 410 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 11 Big 12 opponents to a combined .403 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 26 opponents to a field goal mark under .360.

• Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 with its 4.6 blocked shots per contest.  Juan Pattillo ranks fourth in league play with his 1.4 rejections per outing, while Blake Griffin and Taylor Griffin rank sixth (1.2 each).  Point guard Austin Johnson has 21 blocks in 26 outings on the year.

SATURDAY'S TEXAS TECH RECAP

• Blake Griffin registered career highs of 40 points and 23 rebounds to become the first player in Big 12 history and the third in OU annals to record at least 40 points and 20 boards in a game as the Sooners dealt Texas Tech a 95-74 defeat Saturday in Norman.

• Griffin, who became the 13th Sooner to score 40 points in a game, was 16-for-22 from the field and 8-for-10 from the free throw line while adding two assists and two steals.

• Griffin's 40 points were the most by a Sooner since Jeff Webster netted 41 versus Colorado during the 1993-94 season.  His 23 rebounds tied as the fourth most ever by an OU player and were the most since Stacey King grabbed 23 boards against Loyola Marymount in the 1988-89 season.

• Griffin had double-doubles in each half (22 points and 13 rebounds in the first half and 18 points and 10 boards in the second).  His 23 rebounds were one fewer than all of Texas Tech's players combined.

Cade Davis finished the game with a career-high 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting from behind the arc.  It marked his first double-digits scoring outing in 20 contests (10 vs. Purdue on Nov. 28).  Davis' previous career scoring high was 12 points against UAB on Nov. 26.  The sophomore added a career-high-tying four rebounds and two assists.

• OU didn't take its first lead of the game until the 7:42 mark of the first half (25-23).

• The Sooners missed their first four 3-point field goal attempts but made their next five to finish 5-for-9 in the first half.  Their last four treys of the opening half came in a span of 1:28 (three of them by Davis is a span of 50 seconds).

• Oklahoma outrebounded Texas Tech 48-28, tying for its largest board advantage this season (38-18 at Oklahoma State Jan. 26).

SERIES WITH TEXAS

• OU owns a 46-27 all-time record against Texas and is 16-14 versus the Horns in Austin. 

• The Sooners have won 28 of the last 43 overall meetings, but have lost three straight at the Erwin Center.  OU is 5-7 in Austin since the inception of the Big 12 Conference.

• OU is 17-14 against Texas since the formation of the Big 12 (that includes a 4-2 record in the league's postseason tournament).

• In four career games against Texas, Blake Griffin is averaging 18.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists.  He recorded double-doubles in three of those outings and finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in the other.

EARLIER THIS YEAR AGAINST THE LONGHORNS

• Blake Griffin posted his nation-leading 14th double-double Jan. 12 and was one of four Sooners who scored in double figures as OU notched a 78-63 home win over No. 11 Texas to snap a six-game losing streak against the Longhorns.

• Griffin finished with team highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds and added three assists, two blocks and a steal.

• The Sooners held Texas to a season-low .338 field goal mark and a .217 (5-for-23) performance from 3-point range.  OU shot .509 from the field and .400 (4-for-10) from behind the arc.

• Oklahoma jumped out to a 24-8 advantage and led 38-27 at halftime.  Texas cut the margin to four (54-50) with 11:15 left in the second half before a 12-0 run over the next 6:10 put the Sooners back up by 16 (66-50).

• All three of OU's starting guards scored in double figures.  Freshman Willie Warren registered 17 points and a career-high five rebounds, junior Tony Crocker produced 16 points and a career-high-tying nine boards, and senior Austin Johnson finished with 15 points and four assists.  The trio combined for 48 points (on 16-for-32 shooting), 16 rebounds and seven assists.

• Senior forward Taylor Griffin, another starter, tallied seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots.

• Junior college transfer Juan Pattillo came out of a redshirt to play in his first career game.  He saw two minutes and attempted one field goal.

• OU held Texas guard A.J. Abrams to .296 field goal (8-for-27) and .200 (3-for-15) 3-point performances.

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 eight straight double-doubles (Adams and Garfield Heard are the others).  Griffin has also assembled two six-game streaks. 

• Griffin has 70 dunks on the season, good for an average of 2.7 per game.  He has 122 slams in 59 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 has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week a league-record-tying five times, including each of the season's first three weeks.  He picked up his fourth and fifth honors Jan. 12 and Feb. 16.  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 six out of a possible 14 times (Nov. 24, Dec. 1, Dec. 29, Jan. 5, Feb. 2 and Feb. 16).  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 Jan. 19.


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