Blaylock, barely six feet, transferred in from Midland ( Texas) Junior College this season to join his old Midland back-court mate, the 6'1" Grace. While Grace handles the point (108 assists through last week, including 12 against Oklahoma State), Blaylock defends it (71 steals, including an NCAA-record 13 against Centenary). Blaylock also was averaging 18.6 points a game—third among the Sooners to forward Harvey Grant's 23.4 and King's 19.1—and bearing up under the Oklahoma P.A. announcer's assaults on his name: "Mookiemookiemookie. Basket by the Mook!"
"It's wild," says the Mookster, who was christened Daron. "But I don't know why I've always been Mookie. I never asked my mom."
"We kid him about it," says Grant, "but good thing the Mook don't take it personably."
Hoping the NBA doesn't take it personably, the Sooners, at the end of last week, were averaging 115.5 points a game, third in North America behind only the Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs. (In points per minute, however, Oklahoma was No. 1, at 2.9.) Moreover, the Sooner defense had forced an astounding 30 turnovers a game. But Oklahoma's most impressive stat might have been its 38.3-point winning margin average, which, if it holds, will shatter UCLA's record 30.3-point mark set in 1971-72.
No wonder Tubbs was disappointed with his 28-point victory Saturday. He felt that with the intrastate rivals in town and the game on regional TV, the Sooners would be sufficiently pumped up to crank out another 140-pointer. As it was, they barely eked out their 11th trip over the century mark and just managed to keep on pace to break such other NCAA season records as most points, assists and steals.
"I love all these records," Tubbs says. "I especially loved that Centenary game. In the first half we broke the Big Eight conference record for points in a half . In the second half we tied our own new record. Haw, haw! I just wish we could've set it and broken it in the same game. Course we've since smashed the hell out of it [79 against both Dayton and Oral Roberts]." His next target? Nevada-Las Vegas's single-game scoring mark, 164 points, established against Hawaii-Hilo in 1976. "We're going to punch that sucker out and clear the air," says Tubbs.
"I might feel sorry for these teams getting blown out by 40 and 50," says Grace, "but I've been around Coach too long. He says, 'Remember where nice guys finish.' He gave us his goals real early. He wants 90 points in a half, 175 in a game. You think he's serious?"
He's serious. Tubbs got thrown out of the season opener against Texas A & M—with his team ahead by 31 points. He's a hard-scrabble Tulsan who played and coached at Lamar, where his team set his most cherished national record of all: 86 points in a half. "Running up scores is nothing new," says Tubbs's wife, Pat.
What is new is that these Sooners have a passing attack. Indeed, selflessness may be the key factor separating this group from earlier versions. "They're a better team than in any of the [Wayman] Tisdale years," says Illinois State coach Bob Donewald. "Quicker, more ways to score. They're also ahead of where [eventual national champion] Indiana was at this time last season."
"I've got five guys who can run the floor and bust it for 40 minutes every night," says Tubbs, "and nobody knows who to slack off of because they can all shoot it." Indeed. Grace scored 25 at Florida State, Blaylock had 30 against Georgia, King 33 against Texas A & M, Grant 40 against Oral Roberts, Tyrone Jones 24 against Centenary.