Oklahoma basketball: Sooners open Big 12 play against Red River rival

Feb 15, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Jordan Goldwire (0) drives to the basket against Texas Longhorns guard Marcus Carr (2) in the first half half at the Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via USA TODAY NETWORK
Feb 15, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Jordan Goldwire (0) drives to the basket against Texas Longhorns guard Marcus Carr (2) in the first half half at the Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via USA TODAY NETWORK /
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While college football takes center stage on New Year’s weekend, the men’s Oklahoma basketball team will quietly open conference play with a Big 12 opener hosting the No. 6 Texas Longhorns.

The Sooners are 9-3 through the nonconference portion of the schedule while Texas brings an 11-1 record to Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday.

Oklahoma owns a 57-44 all-time record against its Red River rival, but Texas swept the two-game series last season and has posted wins the last three times the Longhorns have played in Norman.

The Longhorns will be operating under an interim head coach. Rodney Terry has replaced Chris Beard, who was suspended indefinitely as a result of being charged with domestic violence earlier this month.

The Sooners are led in the scoring column by Nevada transfer Grant Sherfield, averaging 18.0 points a game, third best in the Big 12. The reigning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week has broken the 20-point barrier in each of his last three games. Fifth-year senior Tanner Groves is averaging 11.1 points per game.

Oklahoma is shooting 39.8 percent behind the three-point line, seventh-best in the nation. Sherfield is firing in three-balls at a 56.5 percent clip through 12 games.

What makes Texas so dangerous is its balance at both ends of the floor. The Longhorns ranks No, 12 in the country in both offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency. Texas is ranked in the top-25 nationally in eight different NCAA Division I categories.

Marcus Carr is Texas’ leading scorer, averaging 17,8 points and close to two steals per game. Tyrese Hunter, a transfer from Iowa State averages 11.3 points and 3.2 assists per game, and Timmy Allen hauls down 6.0 rebounds and dishes out 4.3 assists per contest.

The game will take a backseat as far a network television this week but will be streamed on ESPN+ beginning at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. Pete Sousa and Lance Blanks will be on the call.