2020-01-21 sp-emigblog Manek

Oklahoma's Brady Manek (35) shoots during the men's basketball game between Kansas State and Oklahoma at Lloyd Noble in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Brady Manek joined an illustrious and kaleidoscopic club Saturday. Not the 1,000-point career club, although that's a worthy accomplishment.

He became the 59th Oklahoma player to score 30 or more points in a game.

Wayman Tisdale, Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young all scored 30. So did four fifths of Billy Tubbs’ famed starting lineup – Stacey King, Harvey Grant, Dave Sieger and Mookie Blaylock.

Gunners Terry Evans, Brent Prince, Tim McCalister and John McCullough got to 30. Big men Alvan Adams and Gar Heard did as well.

None of these names surprise you. What makes OU’s “59 for 30” club so cool are the names that do.

Jimmy McNutt for instance. The Sooners’ media guide says McNutt scored 30 points in 1940, which is crazy considering OU lost to Oklahoma State that season 26-19.

Here’s one from the 50s – Sherman Norton. Guy went from averaging 5 points per game as a junior to blitzing Stanford for 39 points as a senior in ’51.

Don Sidle, OU’s super scorer of the 60s, had multiple 30-point games. So did 70s stars Heard, McCullough and Adams.

But did you know Clifford Johnson struck for 31 against Bradley in ’77? Johnson scored 85 points the following season, transferred to Stetson and eventually became a minister.

Tubbs arrived in 1980 and it seemed like any Sooner could score 30. In ’81, the year before Tisdale showed up, Larry Hendrix poured in 31 against Purdue. The only thing I know about Hendrix is he transferred to OU from Abilene Christian.

After Tisdale showed up, some guard named Shawn Clark came off Tubbs’ bench to score 37 on Arizona State.

I remember one Saturday afternoon in ’86, my senior year of high school, watching David Johnson light up Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium for 31. I remember watching Calvin Curry light up Colorado for 31 in ’94, on what seemed like 94 shots.

I don’t remember Kelvin Sampson’s best OU teams scoring in bunches, and yet Eduardo Najera, Ebi Ere, Jason Detrick, Aaron McGhee, Nate Erdmann and Corey Brewer all hit 30. Hollis Price and Ryan Minor did so more than once.

Willie Warren and Tommy Mason-Griffin brought more trouble than scoring to the Sooners in 2010, but still popped for 30 points that season.

Manek joins a list of Lon Kruger-coached Sooners to hit that mark. You know about Hield and Young, but do you remember Cameron Clark, Steven Pledger and Romero Osby scoring 30? They did.

It is a wildly diverse club. It will be wild to see who joins next.

To the Big 12 rankings...

1 – Baylor

Record: 15-1 overall, 5-0 in the Big 12

NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) ranking: 1 (was 1)

This week’s schedule: Mon vs. Oklahoma, 8 pm; Sat at Florida, 7 pm

Devonte Bandoo is the latest Bear to come up big, dropping in several clutch 3-pointers late at Oklahoma State Saturday. So much balance, toughness on this team.


2 – Kansas

Record: 14-3/4-1

NET: 4 (was 2)

This week: Tues vs. Kansas State, 6 pm; Sat vs. Tennessee, 3 pm

The Jayhawks won at OU without Devon Dotson, then won at Texas with a C game at best. Grinding weeks out is how you win 14 of the last 15 Big 12 championships.


3 – Texas Tech

Record: 12-5/3-2

NET: 25 (was 36)

This week: Tues at TCU, 7 pm; Sat vs. Kentucky, 5 pm

Sophomore guard Kyler Edwards averaged 23 points and Tech owned the second halves at K-State and against Iowa State to post a 2-0 record. Kentucky should be a blast.


4 – West Virginia

Record: 14-3/3-2

NET: 9 (was 10)

This week: Mon vs. Texas, 6 pm; Sat vs. Missouri, 11 am

The Mountaineers went from their most impressive Big 12 performance (81-49 destruction of TCU) to their least (84-68 loss at K-State) last week. At least Bob Huggins is a patient man.


5 – Oklahoma

Record: 12-5/3-2

NET: 53 (was 46)

This week: Mon at Baylor, 8 pm; Sat vs. Mississippi State, 1 pm (in OKC)

Manek rediscovered his shot against TCU. Now Austin Reaves and Kristian Doolittle must follow suit. If they do, an upset of Baylor isn’t out of the question.


6 – Texas

Record: 12-5/2-3

NET: 59 (was 66)

This week: Mon at West Virginia, 6 pm; Sat vs. LSU, 1 pm

The Longhorns made some shots to win at OSU last week, but still didn’t look graceful. Sure enough, they played ugly against KU Saturday and squandered a game they could have won.


7 – TCU

Record: 12-5/3-2

NET: 65 (was 51)

This week: Tues vs. Texas Tech, 7 pm; Sat at Arkansas, 3 pm

Reality arrived last week as the Horned Frogs were throttled in Morgantown and Norman. If they aren’t careful they could absorb two more heavy blows this week.


8 – Iowa State

Record: 8-9/1-4

NET: 82 (was 70)

This week: Tues vs. OSU, 7 pm; Sat at Auburn, 11 am

Piece of advice to Steve Prohm, who coaches to how his team shoots the 3: Find better shooters. The Cyclones went 9-of-45 from deep in losses at Baylor and Tech last week.


9 – Kansas State

Record: 8-9/1-4

NET: 85 (was 101)

This week: Tues at Kansas, 6 pm; Sat at Alabama, 5 pm

The Wildcats can make a move if co-leaders Xavier Sneed and Cartier Diarra play like they did in beating West Virginia Saturday (41 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals)


10 – Oklahoma State

Record: 10-7/0-5

NET: 78 (was 69)

This week: Tues at Iowa State, 7 pm; Sat at Texas A&M, 3 pm

Mike Boynton is right. The Cowboys did take a step in the right direction even while losing to Baylor Saturday. The problem is nobody wants to hear that when you are 0-5 in your league.

Guerin Emig



Twitter: @GuerinEmig



Sports Columnist

Proud father of Gretchen and Holden. Devoted husband to Christy, who has been my best friend since biology class at Booker T. Washington. I covered the Oklahoma Sooners for 15 years. That was both challenging and rewarding. Now I get to write columns.