Sun, 17 Jan 2021

Oklahoma takes on UTSA in season opener

Field Level Media
03 Dec 2020, 07:55 GMT+10

Oklahoma hopes to start its season against Texas-San Antonio as expected, just eight days later.

The Sooners and Roadrunners were scheduled to face off Nov. 25 before a rash of COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing wiped out that game a few hours before scheduled tip-off.

The teams will give it another try Thursday when Oklahoma hosts UTSA.

"It was disappointing to the guys, for sure," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "And to be out of practice for a while, not knowing when we'll get back after that. It was tough on the guys, too, especially now they're watching other people around the country play games and we're not able to."

The Sooners had two more games wiped out by the tests and were left scrambling for a non-conference opponent before their scheduled Big 12 opener on Sunday.

After Wednesday's scheduled game against Florida was wiped out, Kruger turned back to a familiar face in Roadrunners coach Steve Henson and UTSA.

Henson played for Kruger at Kansas State and was an assistant under him at several spots, including the NBA's Atlanta Hawks. After the Sooners' 2016 Final Four run, Henson was hired to take over the Roadrunners.

The teams have played each of the last three seasons, with Oklahoma winning each time.

Henson's team has avoided a shutdown due to COVID-19, going several weeks without a positive test heading into this week. But his team was prepared for the disruption to its schedule.

"Every coach has got those concerns right now," Henson said after the opener was postponed. "You try not to dwell on it, just try to stay prepared. We've been talking for months about being ready to pivot, being ready to handle adversity, being ready to make changes. And it's going to happen. It's just the nature of it."

The Roadrunners are 1-1, coming off a Saturday loss at Texas-Rio Grande Valley. UTSA's scoring attack has been balanced so far, with seven players averaging between 12.5 and 8.0 points per game.

The Sooners are coming off a 19-12 season and return more than 70 percent of their scoring from a year ago.

Oklahoma is led by seniors Brady Manek and Austin Reaves, who averaged 14.4 and 14.7 points per game respectively last season.

--Field Level Media

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