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Oklahoma Sooners
RECORD: 24 - 6 REGION: East  SEED: 1
COACH: Kelvin Sampson CONFERENCE: Big 12
RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD | OKLAHOMA INSIDER

Road to the Final Four  ...................................................................................

PREVIOUS GAMES
OPPONENT ROUND RESULT
South Carolina St 1st Round W 71 - 54
California 2nd Round W 74 - 65
Butler Sweet 16 W 65 - 54
Syracuse Elite Eight L 63 - 47


ESPN'S TAKE
 

with Fran Fraschilla

 

When you think of the Sooners, you think of Kelvin Sampson's grit and Hollis Price's heart. Sampson has another hard-nosed team led by the veteran Price, his high school teammate Quannas White and wing scorer Ebe Ere. Kevin Bookout, the potential Olympian some day in the shot put, is a physical presence inside. The key to a long run by OU in the tournament could be more consistent play by Johnny Gilbert and Jabahri Brown inside. But, if things get tight, look for Price to deliver one his trademark "big shots."

Player to Watch

Hollis Price
How great would it be for Price to play for the national title in his home town? Not that we're rooting for anyone.

Team Statistics
 
Points Per Game 77.0
Rebounds Per Game 47.3
Assists Per Game 15.3
Steals Per Game 7.3
Blocks Per Game 4.0
Turnovers Per Game 14.0
Field Goal % .415
Free Throw % .694
3-Point % .409
3-Pointers Per Game 0.9
Scoring Margin 14.9

How They Got Here
The Sooners are, after all still coached by Kelvin Sampson. So there's only one way Oklahoma, a Final Four team a year ago, got here -- with great effort, tough defense and rebounding.

The Sooners have simply walked through most of this season. Of their losses, only one -- at Missouri -- came against an unranked team. Oklahoma led the Big 12 in scoring defense, giving up just more than 60 points per game. Only Kansas, one of the nation's highest scoring teams, was able to reach the 70-point mark and that came in a loss to the Sooners.

After losing to a then-ranked Alabama team to start the season and Mississippi State in December, Oklahoma -- which is inexperienced in the frontcourt -- has improved as the season progressed. The Sooners defeated Michigan State and Connecticut before Big 12 play began. In league play, Sampson's team made things look pretty simple in the nation's most competitive conference.

When Kansas arrived in Norman, the Sooners simply gave the Jayhawks a butt-whipping. Only a late Kansas rally cut Oklahoma's margin of victory to seven.

If there was a weakness on this team it was its regular-season performances against Texas. In the first game, the Sooners were held scoreless for a long stretch of the second half. In the regular season finale, Oklahoma coughed up a double-digit second-half lead and lost in the game's final minute.

What We Like
Two words: Hollis Price. The senior guard who has already lead the Sooners to one Final Four, is simply fantastic. Despite being only 170 pounds, Price is fearless. The guard doesn't worry about driving into the paint and getting contact.

He can also beat defenders off of the dribble, shoot from the perimeter and he gets his teammates involved. Simply put, he's one of the toughest players in college hoops, a kind of guy who can carry a team in March. He is clearly as important to his team as any player in college basketball.

What We Don't Like
Can the Sooners get a key bucket when they need it? While guards Price and Ebi Ere were scorers last season, they also got help a year ago from forwards Aaron McGhee and Daryan Selvy. McGhee could get the Sooners 15 to 20 points a night.

This season, Kevin Bookout, Jabahri Brown and Johnnie Gilbert are Oklahoma's primary big men and they combine to average 19.4 points per game in 72.6 minutes per game. Is that enough?

ROSTER
NO NAME HT WT YR  PPG RPG APG MPG FG% FT% 3PT%
  Hollis Price 6-1  170 Sr 19.53.02.834.2.471.934.444
  Ebi Ere 6-5  215 Sr 13.14.62.027.7.382.748.314
  Kevin Bookout 6-8  270 Sr 9.36.10.528.4.571.545.000
  Quannas White 6-1  190 Sr 8.93.74.129.1.461.623.480
  De'Angelo Alexander G-F  6-5  220 Sr 6.53.51.019.6.364.746.314
  Jabahri Brown 6-10  220 Sr 6.15.21.522.1.430.590.000
  Johnnie Gilbert 6-8  228 Sr 3.74.90.722.3.482.409.000
  Blake Johnston 6-1  170 So 2.30.81.511.0.350.875.366
  Matthew Gipson 6-9  225 Sr 1.91.10.25.4.414.500.375
  Jozsef Szendrei 6-9  240 Sr 1.52.70.19.1.542.500.000
  Larry Turner 6-11  240 Sr 1.31.50.39.2.800.000.000
  Michael Liggett 6-6  190 Jr 0.80.00.01.0.667.0001.000
  Ezra Zoschke 5-9  160 Jr 0.20.50.31.7.000.500.000
  Daryan Selvy 6-6  215 Sr 0.00.00.01.0.000.000.000



LAST 5 GAMES LEADERS
OPPONENT RESULT POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS
TexasL, 76-71   
NebraskaW, 76-51   
@ Texas A&MW, 69-64   
@ MissouriL, 67-52   
KansasW, 77-70   


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GameDay: Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson eyes a Cal challenge with a hobbled Hollis Price.
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