- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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A battle with a former Big 12 rival highlights the men’s basketball schedule for Oklahoma. The Sooners will take on Texas A&M, who moved to the SEC this year, in the All-College Classic on Dec. 15 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Sooners 14-game non-conference slate features seven home games including a Dec. 29 contest against Ohio, one of the darlings of March Madness 2011. Road games at Arkansas (Dec. 4) and Oral Roberts (Nov. 28) highlight their road slate.
OU will also participate in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. from Nov. 23 thru Nov. 25.
The November schedule sets up well for the Sooners, who return their entire starting five from last season and lost just two contributors from the roster.
After spending their Thanksgiving in Florida, OU faces the toughest stretch of its non conference schedule with games at Arkansas, in Oklahoma City against Texas A&M and back to back home games against Stephen F. Austin and Ohio. Fortunately for Lon Kruger’s squad, those four games will be played in a span of 25 days and make up the majority of OU’s December schedule because of finals.
OU will appear on national television 17 times this season (11 on ESPN or ESPN2, 6 on ESPNU), six more than last season.
The Sooners enter this season with plenty of optimism with the addition of Wyoming transfer Amath M'Baye along with talented freshman guards Buddy Hield, Je’Lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins. They join a roster which returns six players who averaged at least 10 minutes per game in Kruger’s first season.