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Getting to know: Oklahoma basketball

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) and Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) look to tie up Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) and Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) look to tie up Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

After a much-hyped matchup between Oklahoma and Kansas at the end of January, the Sooners have moved in the wrong direction. Trae Young is having a harder time producing his unimaginable numbers. The Sooners have lost five straight games and winless in their last seven road games.

Once a Top 5 team in the nation, Oklahoma will likely drop out of the Top 25 polls entering Monday’s game (8 p.m., TV: ESPN) at Allen Fieldhouse. Since Oklahoma’s win over KU, when Hack-a-Dok was introduced, the Sooners own a 1-6 record.

“We are going to play a team that obviously beat us the first time we played them and we need to figure out a way to guard their guys,” KU coach Bill Self said. “If we do that, we will set up a big game Saturday (vs. Texas Tech).”

Once in the conversation of teams to compete for a Big 12 title, Oklahoma (16-10, 6-8 in conference) is tied for sixth place in the Big 12 standings alongside TCU and Texas. KenPom has the Sooners ranked 38th, sixth among conference teams.

“We need to do things better, make shots and get our spirits back up a little bit,” OU coach Lon Kruger told the Oklahoman. “When you're not making shots, it changes a lot of what you can do — what you want to do. You just keep trying to promote confidence, promote aggressiveness, keep promoting good basketball plays.”

Fun fact: Since Bill Self became the head coach at Kansas, the Jayhawks have never been swept by a Big 12 opponent in the regular season.

Series history: Kansas leads 146-67. The Sooners haven’t won in Allen Fieldhouse since 1993. Bill Self owns an 17-4 record vs. the Sooners while at Kansas.

BREAKING DOWN OKLAHOMA

TOP PLAYER

No. 11 — PG Trae Young | 6-2, 180, fr.

Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) celebrates a bucket during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) celebrates a bucket during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

In a funk from the 3-point line, Young is still averaging 30.1 points and 8.4 assists per game in Big 12 play. He’s shooting 15 percent from deep in his last three games combined. He’s committed 90 turnovers in 14 conference games, adding 4.5 rebounds each outing.

Even if the Norman native has started to touch a freshman wall, he’s still on pace to shatter several records. With 100 made 3-pointers this year, he’s only 22 behind the NCAA freshman record, set by Steph Curry in 2006-07. He’s four made free throws from breaking the Oklahoma program record in a season (211, Stacey King in 1988-89).

Against KU this season: Scored 26 points on 7 of 9 shooting (10 of 12 at the free-throw line) with nine assists, four rebounds, two steals and five turnovers.

  • "I'm getting guarded like nobody else in the country is being guarded, scouted on like no one else in the country is," Young said. "It's a mystery coming out each and every game to try and figure out how a team is going to guard me and how I'm going to dictate how my team wins."

SUPPORTING CAST

No. 35 — F Brady Manek | 6-9, 210, fr.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) comes in for a shot against Oklahoma forward Brady Manek (35) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) comes in for a shot against Oklahoma forward Brady Manek (35) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

When Manek plays well, the Sooners usually are at their best. An efficient shooter, he’s connected on 41.4 percent of his triples in Big 12 play, averaging 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds. From Harrah, Okla., he’s made three-or-more 3-pointers in nine games this season.

Against KU this season: Made 4 of his 6 shots from the 3-point arc, finishing with 14 points and seven defensive rebounds in 31 minutes.

No. 0 — G Christian James | 6-4, 211, jr.

Oklahoma guard Christian James (0) hooks a pass behind Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma guard Christian James (0) hooks a pass behind Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

Scoring 20-plus points in two of the team’s last three games, James is averaging 11.8 points and 5.1 rebounds against Big 12 opponents. James is shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from the 3-point arc.

Against KU this season: Shooting 5 of 14 from the floor, he had 15 points, four rebounds and three turnovers.

No. 3 — F Khadeem Lattin | 6-9, 220, sr.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) and Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) battle for position in the paint during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) and Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) battle for position in the paint during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

The only senior on Oklahoma’s roster, Lattin is one block shy of tying the program’s career record. With 229 swatted shots, Lattin ranks eighth in Big 12 history. Lattin, who has a 7-foot-2 wingspan, is averaging 5.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in Big 12 play, leading the Sooners with 34 blocks. His mother, Monica Lamb, played for the WNBA’s Houston Comets.

Against KU this season: Only playing 20 minutes, he recorded eight points, three rebounds and two turnovers.

No. 1 — G Rashard Odomes | 6-6, 217, jr.

Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) fights for a ball with Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) and Oklahoma guard Rashard Odomes (1) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) fights for a ball with Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) and Oklahoma guard Rashard Odomes (1) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

Odomes takes 73 percent of his shots at the rim, according to hoop-math.com. Known as a strong defender, Odomes is averaging 8.8 points during Big 12 play while shooting 52 percent from the field. He leads the Sooners in conference play with 26 offensive rebounds.

Against KU this season: He found his way to the free-throw line, making 7 of his 8 attempts on his way to nine points. He added three assists and three rebounds in 27 minutes.

ONE THING OKLAHOMA DOES WELL

Looking to run out in transition as much as possible, the Sooners remain a strong rebounding team. The Sooners are rebounding 69.9 percent of their opponents’ missed shots, which ranks third in the Big 12. They lead the conference with 27.9 defensive rebounds per game.

ONE AREA OKLAHOMA STRUGGLES

Starting to play teams for the second time in Big 12 play, the Sooners have been unable to register stops on the defensive end. Opposing teams have shot at least 45 percent from the floor in six of their last seven games. During that seven-game stretch, opposing schools are averaging more than 35 points in the paint per game.

MEET THE NEW RECRUITING CLASS

The Sooners signed Jamal Bieniemy, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, during the early signing period. The Katy, Texas native is ranked 126th in the nation by Rivals.

Oklahoma added a commitment from Kur Kuath, a 6-foot-9 forward with a 7-5 wingspan from Salt Lake Community College. He was averaging 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks at the beginning of February.

VEGAS SAYS…

Kansas by 8.5. The biggest question with Oklahoma is whether its defense can regain its footing and pick up key stops. The Sooners’ offense looks a little worn down which was probably expected in the grind of a conference season. Desperate to end the losing streak, I expect Trae Young to have a big game, in the 35-point range, for his first game in Allen Fieldhouse. I just don’t think that’ll be enough to beat KU.

My prediction: Kansas 79, Oklahoma 74. Bobby’s record vs. the spread: 14-12.

Reply 1 comment from Dirk Medema

Getting to know: Oklahoma basketball

Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) drives while being defended by West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game,0 Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in Morgantown, W.Va.

Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) drives while being defended by West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game,0 Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in Morgantown, W.Va.

During the streak of 13 consecutive Big 12 titles, Kansas has faced its share of must-see players: Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Blake Griffin, Marcus Smart and Buddy Hield. Next up: Oklahoma superstar Trae Young.

Leading the nation in points and assists, Young will try to close the gap in the Big 12 standings when the two schools tip off at 6 p.m. Tuesday (TV: ESPN) at Lloyd Noble Center. The Jayhawks (16-3, 6-1 in Big 12) have a two-game lead as teams near the halfway point.

The 12th-ranked Sooners (14-4, 4-3) have surpassed most expectations this season, despite losses last week to Kansas State and Oklahoma State. They were sixth in the preseason Big 12 coaches poll.

“He’s not a one-man team,” said KU coach Bill Self, referring to Young. “They’ve got other guys that are good. We’ve got to figure out a game plan on how we can try to slow them all down, not just focus in on one.”

Oklahoma, the second-highest scoring offense in the country, is ranked 20th by KenPom (fifth in Big 12). Kansas is ranked eighth, two spots ahead of Texas Tech.

Fun fact: The Sooners have scored 100 or more points in six games this season. It’s the second-highest total by any Big 12 team since the conference was formed in 1996, only trailing the 2001-02 Kansas squad (12 games).

Series history: Kansas leads 146-66. The Jayhawks have won the last four meetings and own a 19-17 record inside of the Lloyd Noble Center. Bill Self has a 17-3 record vs. the Sooners while at Kansas.

BREAKING DOWN OKLAHOMA

TOP PLAYER

No. 11 — PG Trae Young | 6-2, 180, fr.

Oklahoma guard Trae Young stands with head coach Lon Kruger during the second half in an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas during the Phil Knight Invitational Tournament, in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Troy Wayrynen)

Oklahoma guard Trae Young stands with head coach Lon Kruger during the second half in an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas during the Phil Knight Invitational Tournament, in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Troy Wayrynen)

In an era of star one-and-done freshmen, nobody has dominated college basketball like Young. He’s leading the country in points (30.5) and assists (9.7) per game. Since he started Big 12 play, he’s actually scoring more: averaging a ridiculous 33.3 points in seven games.

The Norman native is shooting 39.6 percent from the 3-point arc and 83.6 percent at the free-throw line while attempting nearly 21 shots each night. His biggest negative against conference opponents is turnovers, committing 28 turnovers in his last three games.

His dad, Rayford, played at Texas Tech and scored 41 points in a game against Kansas. Young picked the Sooners in his recruitment over KU and Oklahoma State. He’s the fourth McDonald’s All-American to play at Oklahoma.

  • “What I was most impressed with is his touch on passing,” said Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall after his team lost to OU in December. “He’s got a real feel for the game and he sees things a little bit before most young players see them. Then he has a great touch. He’s kind of a combination between Chris Paul and Steve Nash, along with a Steph Curry jump shot.”

SUPPORTING CAST

No. 35 — F Brady Manek | 6-9, 210, fr.

Oklahoma forward Brady Manek (35) dunks in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern State in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Oklahoma won 105-68.

Oklahoma forward Brady Manek (35) dunks in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern State in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Oklahoma won 105-68.

Averaging 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds, Manek takes most of his shots from behind the 3-point line. He’s the team’s most efficient shooter from deep, connecting on 41.9 percent of his 3-pointers.

From Harrah, Okla., he’s scored more than 20 points in four of the last 10 games. In Big 12 play, he’s shooting 56 percent from the field in wins and 36 percent in losses. His older brother, Kellen, plays basketball at Oral Roberts.

No. 0 — G Christian James | 6-4, 211, jr.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) gets up for a jam against Oklahoma guard Christian James (3) and forward Dante Buford (21) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) gets up for a jam against Oklahoma guard Christian James (3) and forward Dante Buford (21) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. by Nick Krug

In a shooting slump, James is averaging nine points in Oklahoma’s last five games. With that included, he ranks second on the team in scoring (11.9 points per game) while averaging 4.7 rebounds.

James doesn’t make it to the free-throw line often, but has made 40.7 percent of his 3-point attempts. He ranks second on the team with 23 steals. Against KU last year, James scored 15 points on 4 of 10 shooting.

No. 3 — F Khadeem Lattin | 6-9, 220, sr.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) goes up to the bucket against Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) goes up to the bucket against Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. by Nick Krug

The only senior on Oklahoma’s roster, he ranks third in program history with 215 career blocks (15 behind the school record). He’s averaging 7.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. According to hoop-math.com, he’s converted on 72 percent of his shot attempts at the rim.

Lattin, from Houston, leads the Sooners with 44 offensive rebounds using his 7-foot-2 wingspan to his advantage. His mother, Monica Lamb, played college basketball at Houston and USC before playing for the WNBA’s Houston Comets. His grandfather, David “Big Daddy” Lattin, was a starter on Texas Western’s famed 1966 team.

No. 1 — G Rashard Odomes | 6-6, 217, jr.

Known as Oklahoma’s best perimeter defender, Odomes is averaging 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He’s a strong offensive rebounder and slasher, he takes his shots almost exclusively at the rim.

Odomes is only making 53.5 percent of his free throws in 43 attempts. He’s grabbed a combined 21 rebounds in the last three games. Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said he was “one of the best players in the Big 12 that doesn’t really get talked about.”

ONE THING OKLAHOMA DOES WELL

It’s a simple concept, but Oklahoma does job of giving Trae Young room to operate and camping shooters at the 3-point line. The Sooners are making 41 percent of their shots from deep during Big 12 play. They even made 19 3s in an overtime win against TCU earlier this month.

ONE AREA OKLAHOMA STRUGGLES

The Sooners are suited to run as much as possible and play at a quick pace, but they’ve struggled to create turnovers lately. In their seven conference games, opposing teams are averaging 11.7 turnovers per game. Oklahoma is averaging 10.4 fast-break points this season, but has only surpassed that mark twice against Big 12 teams.

MEET THE COACH

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger reacts to a play against TCU during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Oklahoma won 95-72. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger reacts to a play against TCU during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Oklahoma won 95-72. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Lon Kruger, now in his seventh season with the Sooners, ranks ninth among active coaches with 615 career wins. He’s led five schools to the NCAA Tournament, which includes a Final Four run with the Buddy Hield-led team in 2016. Before he became a coach, he he was the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1973 and ’74.

Since 1995, when Kruger was at Florida, he’s never missed the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons.

VEGAS SAYS…

Oklahoma by 1.5. It’s probably the most highly-anticipated Big 12 games since Buddy Hield was playing in Norman. After two straight losses, I think the Sooners view this matchup as an opportunity to put their season back on the right track. I’m not sure the Jayhawks have shown they can truly stop penetration from elite point guards (see Tra Holder at Arizona State or Keenan Evans at Texas Tech), so I’ll give the edge to OU at home.

My prediction: Oklahoma 94, Kansas 88. Bobby’s record vs. the spread: 9-9.

Reply 6 comments from David McNickle Chandleraccipiter Robert  Brock Bobby Nightengale Gmill888 Realpete

Bob Huggins: ‘Right now, Oklahoma is the best team in the league’

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets a shot to drop before Oklahoma guard Christian James (3) during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets a shot to drop before Oklahoma guard Christian James (3) during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. by Nick Krug

It was no surprise when the Kansas men’s basketball team was a unanimous selection to win the Big 12 in the preseason coaches poll. Bill Self, unable to vote for his own team, cast the only vote against the Jayhawks in early October.

Entering Big 12 play this week, as the Jayhawks aim for their 14th consecutive conference title, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said he would change his vote if he was given the chance.

“I mean if I had to revote, I’d pick Oklahoma right now,” Huggins said on the March Madness 365 podcast with Andy Katz earlier this week.

Oklahoma (10-1, ranked No. 12) will open Big 12 play on the road against unbeaten TCU at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Sooners have caught everyone’s attention with sensational freshman point guard Trae Young and their high-flying offense.

In non-conference play, the Sooners earned wins over Wichita State, USC, Northwestern and Oregon.

“I would say right now, Oklahoma is the best team in the league,” Huggins said. “They’ve got a great coach in Lon Kruger. They’ve got the best player, probably, in the country surrounded by a whole bunch of veteran guys. … They are loaded inside. They do a great job with their post guys.”

Young leads the nation with 28.7 points and 10.4 assists per game. He tied an NCAA record with 22 assists in a win against Northwestern State earlier this month.

The 6-foot-2 point guard has scored at least 26 points in his last nine games. That includes a 29-point, 10-assist performance vs. Wichita State in a 91-83 victory. The Shockers had already picked up wins over a pair of Big 12 teams, Oklahoma State and Baylor, giving coach Gregg Marshall a unique look at how Young may look in Big 12 play.

“What I was most impressed with is his touch on passing,” Marshall said of Young on the podcast. “He’s got a real feel for the game and he sees things a little bit before most young players see them. Then he has a great touch. He’s kind of a combination between Chris Paul and Steve Nash, along with a Steph Curry jump shot.”

Earlier this week, ahead of the start of Big 12 play, Self said he thought a 13-5 record would win the conference “free and clear.”

“Everybody in the league is going to lose two in a row,” Self said before the Jayhawks’ win at Texas. “That's going to happen. The league's too good. How you respond to those negative performances will probably be very important.”

In this week’s AP poll, six Big 12 teams are ranked in the Top 25, including four in the top 12. Two more schools are receiving votes, but outside of the Top 25.

At the beginning of the season, there was belief that it would be a rebuilding year for most Big 12 schools. Look no further than Oklahoma State, which lost its coach and best player from last year, and posted a 10-2 record entering league action.

Before West Virginia’s 85-79 road win over Oklahoma State on Friday, Huggins praised the Cowboys as proof of how strong the Big 12 will look this year.

“They got picked 10th in our league and I guess it was, ‘We don’t know whether the guy can coach or not,’” Huggins said, referring to first-year OSU coach Mike Boynton. “I can help them with that now after watching the tape. He can really coach. If they are the 10th best team in our league, which they are not … I don’t know who is 10, though. Maybe us. What a great league.”

Reply 18 comments from Carsonc30 Dirk Medema Joe Ross Andy Godwin Jay Hawkinson Barry Weiss Austin Lopez Texashawk10_2 Rockchalk1990 Eastbayhawk and 1 others

Getting to know: Oklahoma basketball

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger questions a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger questions a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

On a six-game losing streak, including the first three games of Big 12 play, the Oklahoma Sooners look like a much, much different team than the Final Four squad last year.

The Sooners, playing without star point guard Jordan Woodard (leg injury), rank at the bottom of the Big 12 in several categories, including scoring offense and scoring defense heading into Tuesday's matchup against Kansas at 8 p.m. (ESPN 2).

In their three conference games (Baylor, at TCU, at Kansas State), the Sooners have lost by an average of 14.7 points. Oklahoma, ranked 75th in the KenPom rankings, doesn’t shoot the ball well as a team (44 percent) and hasn’t had much success on the defensive end.

Then there’s the issue of playing without Woodard, which has forced players to step into uncomfortable roles over the last four games.

“I think some guys individually are battling some confidence factors,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “We have to keep pushing and keeping working every day and stay positive.”

Interesting note: With a win, Kansas coach Bill Self will win his 400th game with the Jayhawks, becoming the third coach in school history to reach that milestone. Roy Williams had 418 wins and Phog Allen had 590.

Interesting note, part II: Self notched his 600th win of his career in early December. Kruger will likely become the next coach to pass the milestone, sitting four wins away at 596.

Series history: Kansas leads 144-66. The Jayhawks won both matchups last year, including the three-overtime classic in January at Allen Fieldhouse.

Vegas says: Kansas by 10.5.

OKLAHOMA STARTERS

No. 0 — G Darrion Strong-Moore | 6-1, 180, jr.

Oklahoma guard Darrion Strong-Moore (0) and Kansas State guard Kamau Stokes (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

Oklahoma guard Darrion Strong-Moore (0) and Kansas State guard Kamau Stokes (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

  • A transfer from Coffeyville CC, Strong-Moore is averaging 4.6 points and 1.9 assists through 14 games (one start). He’s shooting 25-of-54 from the floor (46 percent) and 14-of-32 from deep (44 percent). He’s dished 27 assists to 21 turnovers.

  • According to hoop-math.com, Strong-Moore avoids the mid-range jumper. He’s only taken 6.6 percent of his shots in that area this season, the second-lowest mark on the team.

  • His father, Adrian Moore, played basketball at Iowa State. But in a story from the Oklahoman, the two didn’t have a relationship until he was a teenager, which eventually prompted the addition his hyphenated last name.

  • In his first start Saturday against Kansas State, Strong-Moore scored 10 points with four assists and one turnover in 27 minutes.

  • QUOTE: “We’ll get there. It’s all about staying in the gym and listening to coach and doing what he wants,” Strong-Moore said.

No. 3 — G Christian James | 6-4, 218, soph.

None by Oklahoma Sooners

  • Played 17 minutes against Kansas last season, scoring seven points with four rebounds.

  • With Johnny Woodard sidelined, James has struggled with his shot. In the last four games, James is shooting 9-for-32 from the floor (28 percent) and 5-for-16 from deep (31 percent). The Oklahoman said he’s working through a hitch in his shot.

  • Throughout the season, he’s averaging 10.9 points on 48 percent shooting from the 3-point line.

  • According to hoop-math.com, James takes 34 percent of his shots at the rim, converting on 51 percent of those layup/dunk attempts.

  • QUOTE: “Lot of people say me and Buddy (Hield) play alike, but I think our games are totally opposite,” James said. “I think we just shoot the ball whenever we’re able to shoot the ball and knock down shots.”

No. 1 — G Rashard Odomes | 6-6, 212, soph.

Oklahoma guard Rashard Odomes (1) and Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

Oklahoma guard Rashard Odomes (1) and Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

  • From Copperas Cove High in Texas, Odomes is the first player in school history to play in a Div. I basketball program.

  • A left-handed slasher, Odomes is averaging 9.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14 games. He’s shooting 47 percent from the floor, 61 percent from the free-throw line and has only attempted three 3-point attempts.

  • Odomes has attempted 83 percent of his shots at the rim, according to hoop-math.com, by far the highest mark on the team. He’s converted on 52 percent of those attempts.

  • His mother, Donna Stewart, is a retired Army first-class sergeant. His brother, Raheem, played at Sterling College in Kansas.

  • QUOTE: “Each game we come out confident,” Odomes said. “I feel like we have confident players that are working to try and get it done. Game after game we try to improve.”

No. 11 — F Kristian Doolittle | 6-7, 236, fr.

Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle (11) and Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle (11) and Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

  • The Edmond, Okla. native, from the same high school as Bill Self, Doolittle is averaging 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game. He has 12 steals and 15 assists.

  • In three of the past four games, Doolittle has scored at least seven points and grabbed six rebounds.

  • According to hoop-math.com, 48 percent of the shots that Doolittle takes are mid-range jumpers and only 38 percent are at the rim.

  • Won a high school state title during his freshman season alongside teammate Jordan Woodard. His older brother, Kameron, was a wide receiver for Oklahoma State.

  • QUOTE: “He’ll get more comfortable as we go,” Kruger said. “He’s got such a good skill set and good feel for the game. He’ll make a ton of progress with every game.”

No. 12 — F Khadeem Lattin | 6-9, 212, jr.

Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) dunks as Baylor forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (0) and guard Manu Lecomte (20) watch during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Friday, Dec. 30, 2016

Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) dunks as Baylor forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (0) and guard Manu Lecomte (20) watch during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Friday, Dec. 30, 2016

  • In two games against the Jayhawks last year, Lattin scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and grabbed 19 rebounds with seven blocks in 76 minutes.

  • Lattin — and his 7-foot-2 wingspan — is averaging 8.4 points and 5.6 rebounds this season in 23.4 minutes per game. He leads the Sooners with 26 offensive rebounds, 27 blocks and 23 steals.

  • He’s off to a slow start in Big 12 play, averaging six points and 4.3 rebounds in the last three games.

  • His mother, Monica Lamb, played college basketball at Houston and USC before playing in the WNBA for the Houston Comets. His grandfather, David “Big Daddy” Lattin was a starter on the famed Texas Western team that beat Kentucky in the 1966 NCAA title game.

  • QUOTE: “It’s just our overall play,” Lattin said. “We can’t blame a specific play or a specific player or anything like that. It’s just we have to figure out what it takes to figure out these games and we’ve got to figure it out ASAP.”

OKLAHOMA BENCH

No. 20 — G Kameron McGusty | 6-5, 191, fr.

None by Oklahoma Basketball

  • A freshman from Sunrise Christian Academy near Wichita, McGusty is averaging 7.1 points on 42 percent shooting (34 percent from deep) in 14 games off of the bench.

  • He scored a season-high 20 points in Saturday’s loss at Kansas State. It was the fourth time he’s scored in double figures this year.

  • His father, Kerol, played college basketball at Stephen F. Austin.

  • QUOTE: “I’ve been picking and choosing my spots very well. So have my teammates," McGusty said. "We’ve just been doing a good job of swinging the ball and, at this point, it’s all about hitting shots. We have a lot of guys on the team stepping up and hitting shots.”

No. 4 — C Jamuni McNeace | 6-10, 215, soph.

Oklahoma center Jamuni McNeace (4) shoots over Baylor forward Terry Maston (31) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. Baylor won 76-50.

Oklahoma center Jamuni McNeace (4) shoots over Baylor forward Terry Maston (31) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. Baylor won 76-50.

  • McNeace is only averaging 15.9 minutes per game, but he ranks second on the squad with 18 blocks, third with 21 offensive rebounds and third with 39 personal fouls. He’s averaging 3.9 points and 4.5 rebounds.

  • Only started playing organized basketball during his sophomore year of high school. He was cut from his school’s freshman team, but grew from 5-10 his freshman year to 6-7 by the end of his sophomore year.

  • He only played three minutes against Kansas last year, missing two free throws and grabbing an offensive rebound.

No. 13 — G Jordan Shepherd | 6-2, 180, fr.

Oklahoma guard Jordan Shepherd (13) brings the ball up as Baylor guards Ishmail Wainright (24) and Manu Lecomte (20) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.

Oklahoma guard Jordan Shepherd (13) brings the ball up as Baylor guards Ishmail Wainright (24) and Manu Lecomte (20) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.

  • A freshman out of Asheville, N.C., Shepherd averages 4.2 points and 1.6 assists in 14.6 minutes per game. He’s made four starts this year.

  • He’s shooting 45 percent from the floor (20 of 44). According to hoop-math.com, he only takes 24 percent of his shots at the rim.

  • Originally committed to James Madison, but reopened his recruitment after a coaching change prior to signing with Oklahoma.

No. 5 — F Matt Freeman | 6-10, 224, r-fr.

Oklahoma forward Matt Freeman (5) is stripped of the ball by Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

Oklahoma forward Matt Freeman (5) is stripped of the ball by Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

  • The New Zealand native redshirted he second semester last season after enrolling in January 2016. He enrolled late because the New Zealand school system ends in November.

  • Averaging 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14 games (two starts). Primarily a 3-point shooter, Freeman is 14-of-32 from deep.

  • He landed on the radar of many college basketball programs after averaging 17.8 points at the 2015 Adidas Global Nations in California.

  • QUOTE: “I think all New Zealanders who have any potential to be good at basketball are going to be compared to Steve Adams, just because he's the New Zealand god of basketball,” he said.

No. 10 — G Jordan Woodard | 6-0, 187, sr.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) drives against Oklahoma guard Jordan Woodard (10) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) drives against Oklahoma guard Jordan Woodard (10) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

  • Woodard has missed the last four games with a leg injury. Lon Kruger told reporters on Monday that he returned to practice but won’t be available against Kansas.

  • Averaging 17.6 points and 5.2 rebounds through 10 games while shooting 43 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

  • Against KU last year, Woodard scored 37 points on 12-of-32 shooting in 80 minutes with 11 assists.

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