Coach Porter Moser’s Sooners mostly looked like themselves, getting off 55 shots, five more than their average 50 per game, which places them among the 5 to 10 least-shooting programs in the nation.

The difference?

They shot the lights out, hitting 9 of 18 3-point attempts and, whoa, 35 of 55 from everywhere, a 63.6 percent clip.

Today, it’s the Sooner women’s turn, also at Lloyd Noble Center, to play a similarly scheduled victory when they tip off against Southern and, barring a debacle on par with Chaminade-Virginia, circa 1982, they’ll emerge lopsided victors, pushing their record to 9-1, the only loss — by 46 points, 124-78, how’d that happen? — at No. 13 and still unbeaten Utah.

They are the last games of the silly season; the last of the contests designed to inch you toward 20 wins, provided conference play goes well enough; the last of the free rides.

Because next for both is against the same school, at the same event, in the same location, a day apart.

The Sooner men meet Florida (7-4) at the Jumpman Invitational in Charlotte, N.C., at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, while the women meet the Gators (10-1) in the same venue at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Both should win.

The Florida men have been knocked around, one of their losses a 29-point decision to unranked West Virginia.

The Florida women have a gaudy tally but continue to receive no votes in the AP or coaches’ top 25s and reign only 79th in the NCAA’s own NET Rankings.

Coach Jennie Baranczyk’s Sooners rank 24th in the AP poll, 20th in the coaches’ and, oddly, just 54th in the NET, but that’s still quite a bit higher than 79th.

Of course, the Big 12 could be bananas for both. Each could have their season made or broken quickly.

The Sooner men begin league play against No. 7 Texas at home, then welcome Iowa State, which just exited the top 25, then visit Texas Tech, which is receiving top 25 votes, before traveling to No. 8 Kansas and coming home for West Virginia.

The Sooner women begin at West Virginia, then welcome No. 18 Baylor and No. 14 Iowa State, then travel to Texas Tech, which has lost just once to date, before playing host to No. 22 Kansas, still momentarily unbeaten.

The OU men may simply have defied gravity until they no longer could last season.

Appearing ready to take flight after Bijan Cortez came off the bench to lead them past then-11th-ranked Iowa State, creating the high-water mark of the season, a 12-3 record and reason to believe other wins would follow, the Sooners instead lost four straight, 7 of 8 and 11 of 13.

Now, thankfully, they have a weapon they did not enjoy a year ago.

By way of Wichita State and Nevada, senior transfer Grant Sherfield reminds of a time OU put severely talented offensive players on the court and is probably the best to come along, without subtracting from his teammates, since Buddy Hield.

Umoja Gibson tried to be that guy last season and was in moments, but was also size-deficient, struggled to create his own shots and, against good teams, struggled to free himself for shots, too.

Conference play’s still in front of him, but Sherfield’s been in double figures every game, has scored at least 16 points in 7 of 11 games and has scored 94 in his last four, against Villanova, Kansas City, Arkansas and Central Arkansas, canning an unthinkable 17 of 25 from beyond the 3-point arc along the way.

How many times last season could one look out onto the court and wonder if any Sooner might be capable of ending an offensive drought?


Now there’s one, at least.

The women are wildly interesting.

They’re scoring a fifth-in-the-nation 88 points per game, making them fun to watch.

Fifth-year sharpshooter Taylor Robertson needs just 29 more 3-pointers to set a new all-time NCAA mark of 498.

Madi Williams is rounding out a resumé that may place her among the top 10 players in program history.

Then there’s the ever dangerous Ana Llanusa, who thanks to injuries and COVID is back on the court after being with the program so long, one of her Sooner moments incudes the day she scored 13 points in 22 minutes against DePaul in the first round of the NCAA tournament, playing for Sherri Coale, on March 16, 2018.

The men have been good enough to dream, and because of Sherfield, offer a great deal more confidence in any tight game. And Saturday, if you can believe it, Jacob Groves poured in 24 points and who saw that coming?

For the women, who were one of 16 squads to begin last season’s NCAA tournament on campus, it’s hard to know where they really are.

Clobbered by the Utes, they should still be improved over last season, but that will require at least 13 conference wins, which is no small chore.

The best news?

We’ve reached the point answers should be forthcoming.

It is, indeed, basketball season.

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