Sun, 23 Jan 2022

Oklahoma meets UCF in first true road game

Field Level Media
27 Nov 2021, 03:19 GMT+10

With Oklahoma trailing at halftime of Wednesday's game against Houston Baptist, Sooners coach Porter Moser lit into his team.

Moser dubbed it a "very aggressive conversation." It worked, with his players coming back to win by 17.

The Sooners (5-1) can't risk another slow start on Friday when they face unbeaten UCF in Orlando, Fla., in their first true road game of the season.

The Knights are 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 up in competition for the Knights as well, as they're coming off a 75-59 win at Evansville on Nov. 20.

"You want to be in basketball games like that," UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. "You know your players want to play in games like that."

The Knights have forced an average of 14 turnovers per game, showing a defensive aggressiveness Dawkins said needs to continue.

"What this team is built on is a certain pace we're trying to play and trying to get after teams with pressure, and the amount of turnovers has led to some easy baskets for us, getting out in transition," Dawkins said.

The Sooners have been vulnerable to the turnover, giving it up 12.2 times per game.

UCF is led by Darin Green Jr., who is averaging 16.3 points per game. The Knights have three players averaging at least 11 points per game.

"They're really a veteran team," Moser said. "They've got almost everyone back. They can really shoot it. They play fast, they shoot the three quick in transition.

"It's going to be a great game for us on the road."

The Sooners are led by Tanner Groves, an Eastern Washington transfer who is averaging 15.5 points per game.

"He's so versatile," Dawkins said. "He can score outside. He can go around the basket and score as well.

"They're probably one of the most efficient teams offensively in the country."

After shooting 54.4 percent over their first four games, the Sooners are shooting just 40.0 percent combined over their past two.

This is just the second meeting between the teams. Oklahoma won 53-52 at home on Dec. 21, 2019.

--Field Level Media

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