Oklahoma basketball: Cade Davis leads Crimson squad to Alumni Game win

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 02: Buddy Hield
HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 02: Buddy Hield /

With anticipation for the college football season building to a fever pitch, Oklahoma basketball was back in the spotlight over the weekend as former Sooners returned to Norman for the annual Alumni Game.

This time, though, it wasn’t the current stars of Sooner basketball getting the attention and giving out the thrills, it was the OU stars of yesteryear getting in on all the fun.

The Crimson team, led by former Sooner sharpshooter Cade Davis and coached by two-time Big 12 Player of the Year and Buddy Hield, now in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings, outlasted the Cream team, coached by Bo Overton (1980-83), 91-80. Davis, who played at OU from 2007 to 2011, fired in 11 3-pointers on his way to 43 points and nearly half of the Crimson team’s point total.

The Crimson squad outscored the Cream team 18-6 over the final five minutes to pull away for the victory. Michael Neal (2005-07) added 19 points and Eduardo Najera (1996-2000), an All-Big 12 First-Team selection when he played, contributed 15 as the trio of Davis-Neal-Najera accounted for 77 of the team’s 91 points.

Tyler Neal (2010-14) and Chris Black (1993) scored 27 and 24 points, respectively, for the Cream team.

Hield was able to even his coaching record in the Alumni Game at 1-1. The Big 12’s all-time scoring leader and No. 2 in career scoring at Oklahoma, was the losing coach a year ago to the team coached by Blake Griffin (2007-09), yet another Big 12 Player of the Year as well as consensus National Player of the Year in 2008-09.

The annual Alumni Game is always a big hit, not just for the returning Sooner alumni but for the fans as well. The game on Saturday at Lloyd Noble Arena capped off a Sooner basketball family weekend.

“It means a lot for our guys to watch and see how much it (the Alumni Game) means to those former players.” –OU head coach Lon Kruger on the annual Sooner basketball weekend

“They want to come back and they look forward to the reunion every year,” said head coach Lon Kruger to members of the OU athletic department staff after Saturday’s game. “It means a lot for our guys to watch and see how much it means to those former players.”

One of the current players that really enjoyed this year’s game, and has for a number of years, is freshman Tre Young, who as a Norman resident has had the opportunity to come to the Alumni basketball weekend for a number of years.

“Being able to be a representative (of OU basketball) now is pretty cool,” Young said. “Being able to see guys like Eduardo and seeing Buddy again…seeing shooters like Cade Davis. I remember watching him as a kid play. It’s fun to watch and be a part of.”

Some of the other former Sooners who participated in this year’s game were Daryl “Choo” Kennedy, David Godbold, Skeeter Henry, Beau Gerber and Kermit Holmes.

Asked about this year’s Oklahoma team, Hield offered this observation to Oklahoma City Oklahoman staff writer Ryan Aber:

"“Trae Young is great,” Hield said. “Christian James looks way better, Khadeem (Lattin), Jamuni (McNeace), they’ve just got to keep going and I have confidence they’ll turn this thing around.”"