Oklahoma Sooners head coach Kruger gestures toward players while playing against San Diego State Aztecs during NCAA basketball game in Philadelphia

No. 23 Oklahoma uses high-powered offense to run past No. 8 Oklahoma State

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Oklahoma is 12th in the nation in scoring at 83.8 points per game and the Sooners usually shoot the ball around 15 seconds into the shot clocks on many of their offensive possessions.

The Sooners like to push the tempo and find good, quick shots and when those shots are falling like they were on Monday against in-state rival Oklahoma State, No. 23 Oklahoma is a tough team to beat.

Thanks to an aggressive offensive attack that kept the Cowboys in foul trouble for much of the game, Oklahoma was able to hold on for the 88-76 win over No. 8 Oklahoma State on Monday night in a Big 12 home win for the Sooners.

With Marcus Smart and LeBryan Nash saddled with first-half foul trouble, Oklahoma took advantage and led for the entire game after taking an 12-10 lead on a Ryan Spangler three-point play with 14:21 left in the first half.

Spangler had his way with the depleted Cowboy frontline, scoring 15 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in an impressive Monday night effort in which Oklahoma State, at times, resorted to four-guard lineups because of foul problems.

Oklahoma got the benefit of the doubt on some calls, but their aggression and attacking mentality on offense kept Oklahoma State on its heels the entire game.

Oklahoma freshman point guard Jordan Woodard (18 points, 9-for-13 free throws) is an impressive floor leader that leads the Big 12 in free throws made per game and his steady presence with the ball in his hands is a big key for the Sooners as the season wears on.

When you add in scoring from players like Buddy Hield and Cameron Clark and Oklahoma is a very potent offense that can run with any team in the country.

It remains to be seen if Oklahoma can get enough stops to win deep into March, but this is a big Bedlam win over a top-10 team and Oklahoma has to be feeling good about its tournament resume heading towards February.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.