What To Watch For: Northwestern State vs Oklahoma

The Sooner bench reacts after a made three point shot during the college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at the Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

The Sooner bench reacts after a made three point shot during the college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at the Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Norman, Okla.
Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Northwestern State vs Oklahoma

The new Oklahoma basketball season is here as the Sooners will be taking on the Northwestern State Demons. The Sooners are coming off an underwhelming performance in their exhibition game against Washburn last Tuesday, and are looking to improve on that performance and move to 1-0.

Northwestern State

  • The Demons are currently 0-1 after losing to Texas A&M 72-44
  • Return three starters from a team that went 8-20 last year
  • In 2015-2016, the Demons gave up 86.2 points per game
  • Texas A&M held them to 27.9{90cbdbedcebe3734fdfdeb1f9843068779d1ec8d5ef30619baff100fe391d921} shooting and out rebounded Northwestern State 46-29
  • Oklahoma last played Northwestern State in the 2013-2014 season when the Sooners won 90-68.

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma is looking to make it back to the NCAA Tournament last season
  • Khadeem Lattin and Jordan Woodard are the only two starters returning. Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins, and Ryan Spangler combined for 100+ consecutive starts the last three seasons.
  • Christian James has scored a combined 48 points in Oklahoma’s two exhibition games. (Oregon and Washburn)
  • Kristin Doolittle will be the first true freshman to start a season opener since Jordan Woodard did it in the 2013-2014 season against Alabama
  • Lon Kruger has not lost a season opener since becoming the head coach at Oklahoma

This is the game that Oklahoma needs to assert their will early and often. After that underwhelming performance on Tuesday, a complete team win is a must before heading to Orlando. Expect Oklahoma to press, run, and try to wear Northwestern State physically. This is a game that Oklahoma needs to win comfortably and sound.

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