Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

January 25, 2013

Phog fantasy

OU’s Hornbeak and Hield will fulfill a dream when the Sooners play at Kansas Saturday.

NORMAN — Bucket lists are for those who’ve at least reached middle age. College freshmen still have plenty of time to assemble what they want to experience in life.

However, Oklahoma’s Je’lon Hornbeak and Buddy Hield have already started working on what they want to experience during their collegiate careers.

Among them, were to play in some of the most vaunted venues.

“We want to play at Duke and we wanted to play at Kansas. Those were the main two,” Hornbeak said.

A game at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium won’t occur anytime soon, but they can check off Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse when the Sooners (13-4, 4-1 Big 12) face the third-ranked Jayhawks (17-1, 5-0) at 3 p.m., Saturday.

The excitement Hornbeak and Hield have for playing at Kansas is one of the strange dynamics of Big 12 Conference basketball. Oklahoma hasn’t won there since 1993. Back then, Billy Tubbs was head coach, but he had more success in that arena than any OU coach over the last 30 years. Tubbs went 4-10 in games there.

Kelvin Sampson’s squads went 117-59 from 1994-95 through 2005-06. A Final Four banner was hung in 2002, an Elite Eight appearance came in 2003. In 2005, OU shared the Big 12 regular-season title with the Jayhawks. However, Sampson’s teams were 0-6 on Kansas’ court. Jeff Capel went 0-2 during his five seasons.

Lon Kruger in no stranger to taking teams in college basketball’s more treasured arenas. He did it as player at Kansas State in the early 1970s and did it once a year as the Wildcats’ coach from 1986-1990.

Ask Kansas State fans what his biggest win as a coach was and it might be its win at Allen Fieldhouse in 1988 that halted the Jayhawks’ 55-game home winning streak.

Ask Kruger what his toughest loss as a player was and Kansas State’s 60-55 loss in Lawrence in 1974 — his final game there as a player — comes up quickly. There’s no doubt Kruger has a sincere respect for the venue.

“Kansas is a premier place, a tough place and a great atmosphere,” he said.

Despite all the tough losses, OU — and just about everyone else — has experienced there over the years, it still relishes the opportunity to play in front of 16,300 screaming Kansas fans.

“Everyone wants to play in front of a big crowd,” Hield said. “There’s an energy that you can feed off of. Everyone wants to be in games like that.”

How Hornbeak and Hield feel about it early Saturday evening might be different. It’s one thing to see it on television without a rooting interest. It’s another thing when you’re on the team that’s playing Kansas, and all the crowd noise bouncing off the 67-year-old ceiling is meant to destroy any chance of you winning.

Hield and Hornbeak both believe they can block all that out. But don’t be surprised if both have wide eyes when the Sooners are warming up before the game.

“This place at the top of my list,” Hield said.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks