Oklahoma basketball: Sooner men will open season Thursday with UTSA

After a week’s delay because of COVID issues, the Oklahoma basketball season will tip off the new season on Thursday.

The Sooners will host the University of Texas San Antonio at Lloyd Noble Center. These same two teams were originally scheduled to open the season on Nov. 25, but the game was postponed — as well as a game at Central Florida last Saturday and versus Florida at LNC on Wednesday — because of COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing at OU.

The UTSA Roadrunners have already played two games, winning by 26 points over UT Permian Basin and losing by 17 to UT Rio Grande Valley. Thursday’s game with the Sooners marks a homecoming for UTSA head coach Steve Henson, who was an assistant to Lon Kruger at Oklahoma for five seasons and played for the Sooner head coach at Kansas State in the late 1980s.

This is the fourth straight season Oklahoma has faced the Roadrunners, who are members of Conference USA. The Sooners are 5-0 against UTSA all-time, including an 85-67 win last season. Oklahoma is 8-1 against teams from Conference USA while Kruger has been at OU.

The Sooners are led by returning senior starters Austin Reeves and Brady Manek, who averaged nearly 30 points a game between them a year ago.

UT San Antonio is averaging 80.5 points through two games and shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 30.8 from three-point range. Oklahoma averaged 70.2 points last season and finished with a 19-12 overall record and a third-place finish (9-9) in the Big 12. The Sooners shot 42 percent for the season and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc.

This will be the only tune-up Oklahoma will have before opening the Big 12 season with a game at TCU on Sunday.

The game with Florida has been cancelled and pushed back to the 2021-22 season.