Oklahoma meets UCF in first true road game
With Oklahoma trailing in the first half of Wednesday’s game against Houston Baptiste, Sooners coach Porter Moser ignited his team.
Moser described it as “a very aggressive conversationalist”. It worked, with his players returning to win 17.
The Sooners (5-1) can’t risk another slow start Friday when they face the unbeaten UCF in Orlando, Florida, in their first real road game of the season.
The Musketeers 4-0 for the first time since 2017-18. They haven’t had a better start since winning their first 14 games in 2010-11.
It’s a step forward in the competition for the Knights as well, as they claimed a 75-59 win in Evansville on November 20.
“You want to be at basketball games like that,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. “You know your players want to play in games like that.”
The Knights forced an average of 14 turns per game, showing defensive aggressiveness Dawkins said should continue.
“What this team has built on is a certain pace that we’re trying to play and trying to catch teams with pressure, and the amount of turnovers has resulted in some easy baskets for us, a transition out,” Dawkins said.
Impotent players were vulnerable to turnover, giving them 12.2 times per game.
The UCF is led by Darren Green Jr., who averages 16.3 points per game. The Knights have three players averaging at least 11 points per game.
“They’re a really veteran team,” Moser said. “They brought almost everyone back. They can really shoot. They play fast, shoot all three quickly in the transition.
“It will be a great game for us down the road.”
Leading the Sooners is Tanner Groves, a transmission from Eastern Washington averaging 15.5 points per game.
“It’s very diverse,” Dawkins said. “He can score outside. He can go around the basket and score as well.
“They are probably one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country.”
After shooting 54.4 percent over their first four games, the Sooners have only shot a combined 40.0 percent over the past four games.
This is the second meeting between the two teams. Oklahoma won 53-52 at home on December 21, 2019.
–Field Media Level