March 2 | 1 p.m. | Norman
SATURDAY’S GAME BASICS
With three games remaining in the 2018-19 regular season, every game matters for Oklahoma (17-11, 5-10 Big 12) in its march to the madness. Next up for the Sooners is a Saturday afternoon matchup against West Virginia (11-17, 3-12 Big 12) at Lloyd Noble Center. The Mountaineers enter Norman without a road victory this season, but topped the Sooners in the first meeting of the season in Morgantown. A win would match the Sooners’ win total (18) from last season. Oklahoma has met or surpassed its win total from the previous year in five of its last six seasons.
ON THE AIR
The Big 12 matchup will tip at 1 p.m. CT and air on the Sooner Radio Network (107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Tune In Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing. Clay Matvick and Tim Welsh will call the action on ESPNU. Fans with proper cable verification can also stream the game on the Watch ESPN app.
Tickets are available starting at just $20 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online here. Lloyd Noble Center’s north and east ticket windows will open at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
OU students without season tickets can gain entry for just $5 with a valid student ID at the north entrance.
Fans looking to also cheer on the Sooners on Tuesday against Kansas can secure a seat to both games with a two-game pack for just $40 here.
IN THE BONUS
• OU Athletics will honor Sergeant First Class (RET) Donna Stewart as the Patriot of the Game. The mother of Rashard Odomes, Stewart is the first parent of an OU student-athlete to be recognized with the honor.
• OU Athletics is now offering happy hour prices for all fans from the moment doors open until tipoff. During the happy hour, discounts will be applied to the following items: hot dogs ($3), popcorn ($3), soda ($3) and beer ($5).
• Fans are encouraged to #ArriveSooner to avoid delays into the gates with enhanced screenings. OU’s clear bag policy will also be in
• Although the Sooners will have one last home game in the 2018-19 season, Saturday will serve as Senior Day for OU’s graduating class. The oldest core in the Big 12, Oklahoma has been paced by its veterans for much of the season. At the heart of the senior class is Christian James, Jamuni McNeace and Rashard Odomes, who have spent at least four seasons in Norman and aided the Sooners in a run to the 2016 Final Four during their freshman seasons. Joining the trio are recent additions Aaron Calixte, Miles Reynolds and walk-on Patrick Geha.
• Sometimes the key to victory can be as simple as making shots. Oklahoma is 17-0 when it holds a better shooting percentage than its opponents and 0-10 when the Sooners have a worse shooting percentage (0-1 when the percentages are equal). Oklahoma is shooting .468 (.369 from 3-point range) in its 17 wins and .395 (.306 from deep) in its 11 losses. The Sooners are 11-2 when they shoots above 45 percent.
• Of the 12 players in the Big 12 averaging at least 10 points and six rebounds, three play for the Sooners. Oklahoma is the only team in the conference with multiple players averaging 10 and six as its roster features Christian James (15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds), Brady Manek (11.6, 6.2) and Kristian Doolittle (10.3, 6.8). OU is second in the Big 12 in rebounding with 38.5 boards per game.
In Monday's game, Christian James became just the seventh guard in OU history to produce 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.
SERIES HISTORY: WEST VIRGINIA
• OU holds a narrow 9-8 lead in the all-time series with the Mountaineers and is 4-2 when facing WVU in Norman. Oklahoma is looking for its first win over WVU since Jan. 18, 2017 (in Morgantown).
• West Virginia has stolen two straight wins at the LNC and has won four straight over the Sooners.
DOOLITTLE DOOING IT ALL
• Junior forward Kristian Doolittle continues to show progress in his game as the season goes along. After averaging 7.2 points and 5.8 boards in the first 12 games of the season, Doolittle has averaged 13.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.9 steals during conference games while shooting .459 from the field. During Big 12 play, Doolittle ranks in OU’s top-three in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, field goal perecentage and free throw percentage.
• Doolittle has reached double-digit scoring in his last six games, including 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting against TCU on Feb. 16 followed by 15 points to defeat Texas the next game.
• During his sophomore season, Doolittle averaged just 2.9 points and 4.3 rebounds.
• Oklahoma is the only school in the country with a win over a team from every major conference (Power Five + Big East).
• OU sits at No. 42 in the NCAA’s new NET Rankings. Oklahoma is the only team in the country that has not played a “Quadrant 4” game. OU’s average opponent NET Ranking of 63 is the second best in the country, and the evaluation tool ranks OU’s schedule as the 16th toughest in the country. OU is 14-2 in “Quadrant 2 and 3” games and 3-9 in “Quadrant 1” games.
• The Sooners are 11-3 when limiting opponents to under 70 points and 4-1 when opponents score less than 60.
• Oklahoma is 16-4 when it scores at least 30 points in the first half.
• The Sooners are 13-1 when outrebounding their opponents. In its 17 wins, Oklahoma is winning the rebounding margin by an average of 5.0 boards.
• OU opponents are shooting 40.1 percent from the field – the second lowest opponent field goal percentage in the conference and 22nd nationally. The Sooners rank 20th in KenPom.com’s adjusted defensive efficiency.
• Oklahoma is 15th in the nation and first in the conference in defensive rebounding with 28.6 defensive boards per game. OU’s 38.5 total rebounds per game rank second in the Big 12 and 40th nationally.
• OU has three players ranked in the top 11 in rebounding in the Big 12: Christian James (sixth, 6.8), Kristian Doolittle (seventh, 6.8) and Brady Manek (11th, 6.2). TCU is the only other school with multiple players (two) ranked in the top 11.
• Oklahoma is 15-4 when outscoring its opponents in the paint. OU is averaging 34.4 paint points per game.
• Christian James ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring (15.4) and sixth in rebounding (6.8). He is the only Big 12 guard averaging at least 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds.
• Sophomore forward Brady Manek has scored in double figures in eight of his last 10 games. One of the most consistent scorers during his two seasons in Norman, Manek boasts 649 career points. With at least four games remaining this season, Manek is 51 points shy of hitting 700 career points. Only four Sooners have recorded 700 total points in their freshman and sophomore seasons during the Big 12 era: Blake Griffin (1,278), Trae Young (876), Willie Warren (868) and Buddy Hield (756).
• Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team with multiple players possessing at least five double-doubles. James leads the Sooners with six games of at least 10 points and 10 rebounds while Manek has produced five. Neither Manek or James owned a double-double in their career prior to this season. James and Manek are two of only four Big 12 players with season averages of at least 11.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. Additioally, Kristian Doolittle has secured three double-doubles.
• The Sooners almost always have team success on nights that Manek is rolling. During his career, OU is 24-10 when Manek scores in double figures, 14-3 when he scores at least 15 points and 8-2 when he hit four or more 3-pointers.
• A program-record six members of the Oklahoma men’s basketball team were named to the 2019 Academic All-Big 12 First Team. The Sooners’ academic accomplishment marks just the second time in league history that a school has had six men’s basketball players named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team (Nebraska in 2004). Earning recognition for the Sooners are seniors Patrick Geha, Christian James, Jamuni McNeace and Rashard Odomes along with junior Matt Freeman and sophomore Brady Manek. Freeman and McNeace have earned Academic All-Big 12 honors for three consecutive seasons.
UP NEXT: KANSAS
• Oklahoma closes out its home slate when Kansas visits Norman on Tuesday. The 8 p.m. CT contest will air on ESPN2.
• Kansas is the only Big 12 team with a winning all-time record against the Sooners, leading the series 148-67.
• KU is 50-43 when facing Oklahoma in Norman. Oklahoma has won three of the last six home meetings against KU, earning victories over KU in 2013, 2015 and 2018.
• Oklahoma has won its final home game of the season in 13 of the last 15 seasons and is 8-0 in such games since 2011.