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OU basketball to welcome Kentucky, Tennessee in first SEC season

Bob Przybyloby:Bob Przybylo05/13/24


Now it’s starting to feel real for OU basketball to be entering the SEC. Gone are the likes of a Kansas or Baylor or Oklahoma State. It’s a whole new world.

But a world that sees some of the top SEC teams coming to Norman for the 2024-25 season as the conference opponents were announced Monday afternoon.

Entering year No. 4 under Porter Moser, OU will play home-and-home with only three schools: Texas, Texas A&M and Missouri.

The other home opponents for OU? Yep, Kentucky and Tennessee. OU able to get a couple of the big names to Lloyd Noble Center. LSU, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and South Carolina will also be coming to Norman.

Two road trips to circle would be Arkansas and Alabama. OU-Arkansas has been a Tulsa staple the last few years, and now it’s time to go Fayetteville under John Calipari.

Then Bama, who is coming off a trip to the Final Four. OU defeated the Crimson Tide when it was ranked No. 2 in the country two seasons ago in the final Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Conference play tips off on Saturday, Jan. 4 and concludes on Saturday, March 8. Each team will play the other 15 teams at least once during league play. 

Per the SEC, the continuation and renewal of historic rivalries was a point of emphasis when creating the schedule as the conference welcomes Oklahoma and Texas as new members in 2024-25. Additionally, preexisting home-and-away rotations for single-play opponents were preserved.

The SEC Tournament will be held in Nashville, Tenn., at Bridgestone Arena from March 12-16, 2025.

Times, dates and television information will be announced at a later date.

OU is still finalizing its roster for the season, with two open scholarship spots.

OU portal outlook

The Sooners worked the portal well last season, earning the 20 wins in the regular season for the first time in eight years. It just turned out to be not enough, being named the dreaded First Team Out of the NCAA Tournament.

So it’s back to the transfer portal. OU has had four players transfer out (Otega Oweh, John Hugley, Milos Uzan, Javian McCollum), meaning five open scholarships initially remained. Then it was two after Kobe Elvis and Jadon Jones and Brycen Goodine came into the fold. And then it went back to three after Kaden Cooper hitting the portal on the final day. Back to two after the big-time win picking up Duke Miles.

Forward Jalon Moore also announced his intention to go through the NBA Draft process, but he will keep his NCAA eligibility with OU. Moore could absolutely return to the Sooners. Sources believe Moore is expected to be the OU leader in 2024-25.

“There’s gonna be no less acceleration on our efforts for Oklahoma basketball,” said Moser last month. “We’ve got competitors. My staff, myself. Faith, family, friends, togetherness, this awesome University of Oklahoma. The outpouring of people. I’ll say this. My good friend that I’ve really developed a great friendship in the last three years and a friend to everybody here, Bob Stoops. He uses the term OUDNA a lot. We’ve talked about it.

“The OUDNA just doesn’t talk about at the top of the hill. The OUDNA is really strong as you’re climbing the hill. That’s where this staff, these players, this program is going to rely on that OUDNA to fight through this adversity. That OUDNA never has to be more relevant – it’s almost more important on the way up than it is at the top. That’s what we’re going to lean on moving forward.”

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