Oklahoma vs. Florida
Tip: 11:00 AM (Central)
Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas
The Sooners are back in the Bahamas! Oklahoma’s last trip to the Battle 4 Atlantis resulted in a second place finish. Then junior Buddy Hield led OU to victories over UCLA and Butler in the opening two rounds before falling to Wisconsin in the title game. The field is just as thick in 2018 with Oklahoma facing off against Florida in the opener.
The Gators (2-1) opened the season with an 81-60 loss to Florida State but have since dominated Charleston Southern (76-46) and La Salle (82-69). They are led in scoring by senior guard Jalen Hudson who is contributing 12 points, and 2.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Deaundrae Ballard is the only other Gator averaging double figures per game. He’s scoring an average of 10.3 points per contest.
Oklahoma is 0-2 all-time against Florida with the last meeting resulting in a 84-52 romp when the Gators visited Norman in 2017. In 1995 Florida defeated OU in overtime during the All-College Basketball Classic in Oklahoma City. The Gators were coached then by current Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger.
The Sooners traveled to the Bahamas with the Big 12’s leading scorer and rebounder. Senior guard Christian James is averaging 22.7 points per game. Shooting 58% from the floor, James as scored 15 points or more in all three of Oklahoma’s games to start the season.
Sophomore forward Brady Manek is pulling down an average of 11.3 rebounds per game while also scoring 13.3 points. Entering the season with zero career double-doubles, Manek has recorded one in each of OU’s first three games.
The winner of today’s Oklahoma/Florida game will face the winner of Stanford/Wisconsin 12:30 PM on Thursday. The two losers will play against each other at 6:00 PM Thursday evening.