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Archive for Friday, March 9, 2007

OU guard recovering from flu bug

March 9, 2007

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— Oklahoma senior guard Michael Neal anticipates he'll be ready to play today when the Sooners take on Kansas University in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.

Neal sat out Oklahoma's 68-63 victory over Iowa State on Thursday after coming down with stomach flu late Wednesday night. By the end of Thursday's game, he was regaining his strength and his appetite. He said he'd be good to go today.

"That's the plan," Neal said. "I'm kind of disappointed I missed the game, but at the same time, I needed to. It was the perfect situation: I got to rest, and the team won, and we will continue playing."

Neal was up all night throwing up and was still weak by the time Oklahoma and Iowa State tipped of at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Neal said he could've played, but he wouldn't have been 100 percent.

"We put an IV in him before the game, tried to get some fluids in him and some food this morning," OU coach Jeff Capel said. "Because of how early the game was, he just wasn't able to go."

Neal, who averages 10 points per game this season, has 135 three-pointers in his last two seasons, making him one of the top three-point threats in the conference. He has started 24 games this season for the Sooners, including the first meeting against KU on Feb. 26. Neal hit three three-pointers for nine points in that game.

"He's that guy that can stretch the defense and open it up for (Nate) Carter inside," KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend said.

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