Coppin State (2-10) at (4) Oklahoma (12-1)
Saturday, January 3rd, 1:30 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000) -- Norman, Oklahoma. Television: Local. Home Record: Coppin St. 0-0, Oklahoma 7-0. Away Record: Coppin St. 0-8, Oklahoma 2-1. Neutral Record: Coppin St. 2-2, Oklahoma 3-0. Conference Record: Coppin St. 0-1, Oklahoma 0-0. Series Record: Oklahoma leads 12-0.
GAME NOTES: The fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners are set for what appears to be a tremendously lopsided non-conference affair, as they welcome the Coppin State Eagles to Norman this afternoon.
Coppin State has yet to play a single home game this season, and the team could certainly benefit from some crowd support. The Eagles lost 10 consecutive games after opening the season with a victory, but they finally halted their losing ways on Tuesday with a 59-53 decision over George Washington. In seven of the 12 games, Coppin State has been held to fewer than 60 points, and the lack of offensive punch has hurt the squad.
Oklahoma won its first 12 games this season, including statement victories over the likes of USC, Purdue and Davidson. Unfortunately, the Sooners had their winning streak snapped on Tuesday at the hands of the Arkansas Razorbacks in a 96-88 final. Jeff Capel and his players are 7-0 in Norman this season and are heavily favored today.
Oklahoma has won all 12 previous meetings with Coppin State, the most recent of which took place in 2006.
Coppin State has been a poor offensive team through the first 12 games of the season, as the team is only generating 60.8 ppg on 39 percent shooting from the field. Defensively, the club is allowing 70.0 ppg, and a rebounding deficit of nearly eight boards per game has hurt the cause. Tywain McKee remains the only reliable scorer for the Eagles, as he is generating 19.3 ppg. Far from just a scorer, McKee contributes 5.1 rpg, 38 assists and 40 steals. The only other double-digit scorer on the roster is Sam Coleman with his 10.3 ppg. In the much-needed victory over George Washington, Coppin State jumped out to a 14-point lead at intermission after shooting 55.6 percent from the floor in the first half, including 5-of-10 from three-point range. The Eagles only shot 24 percent in the second half, including 0-of-6 from behind the arc, but the large halftime lead proved to be enough. McKee tallied 16 points, and Coleman added 14 points off the bench.
Oklahoma was blitzed by Arkansas in the first half of Tuesday's game, as the Razorbacks connected on 63.3 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half and led by 15 points at intermission. The Sooners did play better in the second half, but they weren't able to overcome the early deficit. For the second straight game, freshman guard Willie Warren set a career high in scoring, as he poured in 35 points against Arkansas. Star forward Blake Griffin pitched in 21 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out, and Tony Crocker added 18 points on the strength of six three-pointers. Overall this season, Griffin is averaging 22.8 ppg on 66.9 percent shooting from the field, and he is pulling down 14.0 rpg. He is considered by many to be the best frontcourt player in college basketball and may be the top player taken in the next NBA Draft if he decides to give up his last two years of collegiate eligibility. As for Warren, he is netting 16.5 ppg and is clearly one of the nation's elite freshmen.
There is no way that Oklahoma is going to lose a second straight game, especially against an inferior Coppin State squad. Griffin and Warren will be dominant as usual.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 89, Coppin State 52
01/03 10:25:38 ET