Tuesday, December 15, 2015

MBB: Sooners Climb to No. 3 in Latest National Polls

The Oklahoma men’s basketball team (7-0) climbed to No. 3 in both the USA Today Coaches and AP Top 25 polls, announced Monday afternoon.

The No. 3 ranking is the highest for the Sooners since the 2008-09 season (Blake Griffin and company were ranked as high as No. 2 that year). OU is one of eight Division I teams (Iowa State, Little Rock, Michigan State, Purdue, SMU, South Carolina, Xavier) still undefeated this season.

OU, ranked No. 7 the previous week, is coming off of a win in Hawaii against No. 9 Villanova on Dec. 7 and a home victory over Oral Roberts on Dec. 12. Five of OU’s seven victories this season have come by 20 or more points.

Lon Kruger’s squad is led in scoring by Buddy Hield with 22.1 points per game. Isaiah Cousins (14.3), Jordan Woodard (13.0) and Ryan Spangler (12.4) are also averaging double-digit scoring for OU. Spangler paces the team with 9.3 rebounds per contest.

Joining Oklahoma in the AP’s top five are fellow Big 12 members No. 2 Kansas and No. 5 Iowa State. It is the first time since the 2002-03 season that the league has boasted three top-five teams. Additionally, half of the Big 12 ranks in the AP’s top 20 (No. 16 Baylor, No. 20 West Virginia).

• Oklahoma ranks No. 1 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.487). OU has six players currently averaging at least 50.0 percent from downtown. OU ranks No. 8with its 10.7 3-pointers made per game.

• The Sooners rank No. 3 in both field goal percentage defense (.340) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.240).

• OU ranks ninth in scoring offense (87.9) and fourth in scoring margin (24.9).

• Oklahoma ranks No. 3 in total rebounds per game (45.9) and No. 1 in defensive boards per contest (33.6).

• The Sooners rank No. 2 in fewest fouls on the season (115 total).

• Buddy Hield currently ranks 12th nationally with his 22.1 points per game average (leads the Big 12 in scoring). The senior ranks 14th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (.500).

The Sooners get back to action this Saturday, Dec. 19, when they host the Creighton Bluejays at 1 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center (click here for tickets). The two teams have split the all-time series, 2-2. Most recently, Creighton claimed a 65-63 home win over OU last season on Nov. 19.

/// SoonerSports PR

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