Oklahoma basketball notebook: Are the Sooners legit Big 12 contenders?


Believe it or not, there is still college basketball being played during a very football-heavy time of the year.

The Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball went on an NCAA record 39-0 run against the Weber State Wildcats last Monday, but their efforts weren’t reflected greatly in the new AP poll.

Big 12 play is right around the corner, which is where the Sooners will get to prove themselves, but they still have one more out-of-conference game on their 2014-15 slate.

Sooners move up to No. 18 in AP Poll

After Oklahoma’s win over Weber State a week ago, OU moved up to No. 18 in the latest AP poll.

It wasn’t a significant jump, but Oklahoma has a lot of season left to get closer to cracking that coveted top ten range.

OU is joined by Iowa State (9), Texas (11), Kansas (13), West Virginia (17), and Baylor (22) in the poll. TCU is still undefeated, but they dropped out of the AP Top 25.

Worth noting, Kansas was whipped by the Temple Owls, 77-52, last Monday, but only dropped three spots in the poll. Kansas looks a lot more human, and maybe that’s something OU can take advantage of if the OU offense continues to blossom like it has with more involvement from Ryan Spangler and Tashawn Thomas.

Are the Sooners serious title contenders?

I was scouring the internet for Big 12 power ranking opinions, and I came across this one from OurDailyBears.com, a Baylor Bears blog on SB Nation.

They are one of the better Bears websites, and they have OU at No. 3 in their Big 12 power rankings behind Texas and Kansas.

The Longhorns and Jayhawks appear to be the frontrunners for the conference title, and rightfully so, both teams are loaded with talent. But while the Sooners are ranked No. 3 by ODB, here’s an interesting blurb regarding the 2014-15 Sooners:

"This team has scoring threats all over the floor, and the aforementioned defense has been stout. Oklahoma doesn’t quite have the look of a conference winner about them, but they’ll be a very tough team to beat night in and night out."

This makes me curious of the opinion of Sooner fans who’ve watched this team all season, does OU look like a conference contender so far?

I’m in the opinion that OU is still a work in progress. I think at times they’ve shown the capability to be the best team in the Big 12, but losing close games to highly-ranked opponents doesn’t make them look any more appealing as a possible Big 12 champion.

Staten earns back-to-back player of the week honors

West Virginia’s Juwan Staten has now claimed back-to-back Big 12 Player of the Week honors.

Staten, an early favorite to win the Big 12 Player of the Year, has been on a tear lately. OU will get their first crack at the senior guard on Jan. 13 in Morgantown, W. Va.

I was crossing my fingers a Sooner might get the player of the week nod after their record-setting day, but no luck and no worries.

Staten is a great ball player, and I’m really excited for Big 12 play, because of all the talent OU will get to face this season.

The Sooners haven’t had a player of the week since Buddy Hield won it on Nov. 17, which was the first week for the award this season.

The Big 12’s plethora of talent will make it hard for another Sooner to win, but I’d still be on the lookout for OU to receive plenty of recognition this season.