OU basketball: Sooners open home Big 12 season with Bedlam

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 12: Le'Bryan Nash
KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 12: Le'Bryan Nash /

The Oklahoma football season came to a disappointing end in the Rose Bowl on Monday, but OU basketball is making it a smooth transition for Sooner fans from the gridiron to the hardwood with an 11-1 record and a top-10 ranking.

The Sooners went into the Rose Bowl game sporting an eight-game winning streak. The OU basketball squad has done that one better, winners of its last nine games heading into Round 1 of Bedlam basketball Wednesday night against in-state rival Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma has dominated the overall series with its longtime conference rival, winning 136 of the 234 games in the all-time series. That domination has been even more significant in the games played in Norman, the venue for Wednesday night’s game, to be broadcast nationally at * p.m. CT on ESPNU.

The Sooners hold an 84-27 advantage over the Cowboys in games played on their home floor, including 12 of the last 13 at the Lloyd Noble Center. They also have won nine consecutive games at home, six of those this season.

OU had won nine of its last 10 games against Oklahoma State before losing both games a year ago (68-66 in Norman on a last-second three-point shot, and 96-92 in Stillwater).

Lon Kruger’s OU teams are 9-4 against Oklahoma State, but the game Wednesday night will be the first Bedlam encounter for new Cowboys’ head coach Mike Boynton.

Oklahoma (11-1, 1-0), ranked seventh in the country this week, continues to lead the Big 12 and the nation in scoring, averaging close to 95 points a game. That’s seven points better than the next closest Big 12 team, Kansas. Oklahoma State (10-3, 0-1) has allowed opponents just 67.2 points in 13 games this season.

Led by true freshman point guard Trae Young, arguably playing the best basketball of anyone in the college ranks so far this season, the Sooners are putting up the most points of any team in the county largely because of the speed at which they play. According to KemPom.com, which measures possessions per 40 minutes, Oklahoma is averaging 78.1 possessions per game and 13.6 seconds per possession. That ranks first among the major basketball conferences and is the third best in college basketball this season.

Young leads the nation in scoring (29.6 points per game) and assists (10.7 per game), and along with backcourt teammates Christian James and Kameron McGusty the trio is averaging 59.4 combined points in the last five games and nearly 50-percent shooting from three-point range (.495). Three of the Sooners’ last five games have been against ranked opponents.

The Sooners are scoring one-third of their points this season from long range. OU ranks 12th in the nation in made treys, averaging 11.2 per game. A year ago, OU shot just 34.3 percent from three-point range and just 6.1 made three-pointers per game.

A couple of other notable stats to keep in mind for Wednesday’s Bedlam battle:

  • OU is 6-0 in game this season in which the Sooners shoot 50 percent or better, and 6-0 when they post at least 20 assists.
  • Young has scored at least 20 points in all but one of Oklahoma’s games this season.
  • With two more blocked shots, senior Khadeem Lattin will reach 200 for his career. That is fourth best in OU basketball history.