Dallas was the closest Calixte had sniffed the Sooner State. Saturday, the Stoughton, Massachusetts, native will start for the Sooners in a 1 p.m. Bedlam bout in Norman.
“This is what I imagined, just getting to a team and having success,” Calixte said. “I’m still in awe that I’m here.”
He left a Maine program that is 2-13 this season to join an Oklahoma team that is squarely in the NCAA Tournament mix.
Calixte has started every game for the 23rd-ranked Sooners (11-2, 0-1 Big 12). He leads OU with 43 assists against 32 turnovers. Bieniemy and reserve forward Matt Freeman are the only other Sooners with more assists than turnovers.
His 8.8 points per game is a significant dip from the 16.9 he averaged last year at Maine, but Calixte said it comes with being surrounded by better players. He’s still shooting 37 percent from three.
“He runs the offense,” McNeace said. “He makes sure everybody’s getting touches. Coming from Maine where he was the leading scorer, he’s also got a little dog in him.”
That dog is what Kansas coach Bill Self saw in Calixte on Wednesday night in Lawrence. After his Jayhawks dropped the Sooners 70-63, Self was asked what he thought of the Sooners.
“Those two little fast guys out there totally change the way they pick up,” Self said, referencing Calixte and fellow grad transfer Miles Reynolds. “They pressured our point guard, who’s fast, the entire night and didn’t let him ever get comfortable.”