It has been noted many times so far this season that Thunder starting wing Terrance Ferguson has been struggling. While he is a weapon defensively, given that he is a long 6-foot-7 guard with quick feet, his offense has been slow to come around. For the month of October, Ferguson shot just 30.4 percent from the floor, including just 1-for-13 from three. Coming into Thursday, Ferguson’s high point total of the season was only nine and there have been murmur’s about his starting job being at risk. Ferguson silenced critics, at least for a few days, on Thursday night after posting his best game of the season. He scored a season-high 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-9 from 3. After the game, Ferguson was asked about how he felt being a box score contributor for the first time this season. “Do whatever I need to do to get my team that win or contribute to the team. I don’t care about the box scores because most of that stuff they don’t show on the box scores so I’m just doing my job.” After a dreadful month of October, Ferguson is beginning to turn it around. Let’s hope that Ferguson can carry his momentum from Thursday night into Saturday when the Thunder take on the Mavericks in Dallas as they look to win eight in a row.
Oklahoma (1-0) defeated Western Kentucky (0-2) 90-83 to earn a win in their first game of the season Friday night. The Sooners started the game off slow but were able to go on a 11-0 run as the first quarter neared the end. Freshman guard Taylor Robertson came off the bench and sparked the run hitting two three-point shots. Oklahoma was able to carry the momentum into the second quarter as Taylor Robertson continued her shooting performance connecting on two more from behind the arc. Sophomore guard Shaina Pellington started to get in the mix in the quarter, driving into the lane picking up fouls and also connecting on her first career three-pointer. They picked it up halfway through the quarter but let Western Kentucky come back into the game. Offensively the Hilltopers started to come alive as they were able to end the quarter on a buzzer beating three-point shot. Although, the Hilltopers were not able to continue chipping into the lead as Pellington then connected on back-to-back three pointers. Oklahoma then put Western Kentucky away closing the game on at the free-throw line. Oklahoma will host Northwestern State at home, Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.
Charles Barkley had some high praise for the Thunder. During halftime of the Thursday night game between the Thunder and Rockets, Chuck had some nice things to say about the Thunder and the offseason they had. The halftime crew led by Ernie Johnson were discussing the Thunder and Barkley offered up some praise for Thunder point guard Dennis Schroder, as he called him one of the best backup point guards in the league. “Dennis Schroder is a good player, like all NBA players are good players, but to me, he might be the best backup point guard in the NBA,” Barkley said. “He understands his role. … Sam Presti did a fantastic job. The kid [Hamidou] Diallo from Kentucky can play, but the biggest pickup, in my opinion, is that kid [Nerlens] Noel. … That kid is a rebounding machine.” Of course, Schroder has been handling starting point guard duties lately with Russell Westbrook nursing a sprained left ankle and Schroder has filled in superbly so far. On Wednesday night, Schroder recorded 28 points and seven rebounds as he led the Thunder to their sixth consecutive win against the Cavaliers and he appeared to pick up where he left off on Thursday night in the first half. While Barkley has certainly had some interesting takes over the years, we fully agree with his latest take on the Thunder.
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers remained hotter than a blast furnace, extending their winning streak to five games Thursday night by mashing the Panthers — they entered the game on a three-game win streak of their own — 52-21. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger completed 22 of 25 throws for 328 yards and five touchdowns to five different receivers. Best game ever, Ben? Pittsburgh merely responded by scoring 24 consecutive points, including two touchdowns on the two plays after the Panthers' initial possession: a 75-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster followed by linebacker Vince Williams' 17-yard touchdown off a Cam Newton interception on the subsequent snap. “It’s a good feeling to (beat) a good football team," said Roethlisberger. McCaffrey racked up 60 of the 75 yards, capping it off with a 20-yard scoring pass from Newton, who's having a campaign approaching his 2015 MVP effort. But the Pittsburgh defense has been resurgent during the team's winning streak and quickly buckled down, starting with Williams' pick six, and kept the Panthers' star duo largely in check (though McCaffrey did also score a cosmetic TD in the second quarter, he only totaled 78 yards after his initial touchdown). Still, he's got a good team that simply got steamrolled on an off night. However the Panthers do need to learn how to prevail on the road given they've never won a playoff game away from Charlotte in the Cam Newton era. *** If you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you.
Emotions tend to run high when the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys meet every year on the gridiron. Once again, neither team is playing well on defense this year, raising the possibility of yet another marathon game. The Cowboys themselves do it well. OSU also has allowed nearly that many sacks, 27, this season. How the Sooners combat OSU’s pressure and get after Cowboys QB Taylor Cornelius will help determine the outcome of this game in a big way. Outside of six sacks against Baylor, Oklahoma has managed just six in five other Big 12 games. Keeping Kyler Murray calm Murray is actually one of the coolest customers you’ll find in college football this season – or any other, for that matter. He seemed out of sorts to start last week’s game at Texas Tech, however, completing two passes to the wrong team in the first quarter. The health of Oklahoma’s secondary Five-star freshman defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles missed OU’s game last week with a foggy injury that has left him day-to-day this week. — Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Carmelo Anthony laughed a year ago when he was asked about the possibility of coming off the bench for his new team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. After a season of struggles with the Thunder, Anthony returns to Oklahoma City with his new team, the Houston Rockets, on Thursday when the teams meet at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Anthony never quite found a rhythm with the Thunder, shooting a career-low 40.4 percent from the field and averaging a career-low 16.2 points per game, starting 78 games. Through nine games this season -- seven off the bench -- Anthony is averaging 14.7 points and shooting 36.2 percent from behind the 3-point line. A year ago, Anthony didn't have much time to process things after being traded from the New York Knicks to the Thunder in a package that included Enes Kanter just before training camp started. In Westbrook's absence, point guard Dennis Schroder -- who was the main piece of the Thunder's return in the Anthony trade to Atlanta -- scored a season-high 28 points in Wednesday's win. Anthony has helped the Rockets during the winning streak, averaging 17.7 points per game and 39.1 percent from behind the arc. Oklahoma City has won six consecutive games since starting the season 0-4. While things didn't go well for Anthony in Oklahoma City, he's looking forward to making his return. "Going back to OKC, that (holds) a special place because that was the kind of organization, the team, the community that opened their arms up to me last year, brought me in, took me in," Anthony said.
Despite being part of all three victories against the Sooners’ in-state rival the past three seasons, Riley views the Cowboys as quite formidable. He’s not sure why OU has OSU’s number. Entering his 14th year leading the program, OSU coach Mike Gundy’s 69 Big 12 wins were fourth in league history. They’re winning games. I don’t know [the answer],” OU co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh said. “We’ve obviously got good players. We had a good day [last year] but they are a lot better on defense. And playing OSU still matters to the Sooners. “I’ve been around the state a little bit. You want to win, you want to be the best in your state.”
undefinedPlay VideoPlayMuteAd (0:00)Current Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00Playback Rate1 Chapters Chapters descriptions off, selected Descriptions subtitles off, selected Subtitles captions settings, opens captions settings dialog captions off, selected CaptionsAudio TrackFull Screen This is a modal window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteTransparencyOpaqueBackgroundColorBlackTransparencyOpaqueWindowColorBlackTransparencyTransparentFont Size50%Text Edge StyleNoneFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifDefaultsDone If you're a Floyd Mayweather fan, don't go booking your trip to Japan for the New Year's Eve return to the ring that he announced Monday at a news conference in Tokyo. Mayweather on Wednesday pulled back from his announcement, posting on Instagram that he had never agreed to a formal bout with Japanese kickboxing phenom Tenshin Nasukawa and that he and his team were "completely derailed" by the magnitude of the event announced. "Now that I am back on U.S. soil after a long and disappointing trip to Tokyo, I now have the time to address you, my fans and the media in regard to the upcoming event on December 31st that was recently announced," Mayweather wrote. Mayweather, the 20-year-old Nasukawa, Mayweather business associate Brent Johnson -- who helped put the deal together -- and executives from the Rizin Fighting Federation appeared at Monday's news conference and announced the fight for Dec. 31 at the 37,000-seat Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, about a half-hour drive outside of Tokyo. Rizin is a Japanese promotional company founded in 2015 that puts on MMA and kickboxing events. But in his social media post on Wednesday, Mayweather backtracked, even though he spent several minutes at the news conference lauding his opponent and answering questions about the event and his decision to come out of retirement for the fight. "Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going and we should have put a stop to it immediately," he said. I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions." Since his retirement, there has been no record of Mayweather participating in boxing or any other combat sports exhibitions.