Former University of Texas standout Tiffany Jackson, who was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 WNBA draft, has died of cancer at age 37. A three-time All-Big 12 selection, Jackson was drafted by the New York Liberty in 2007 and played nine seasons in the WNBA. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and managed to return to the court for a final season with Los Angeles before retiring in 2018. She was hired as head coach at Wiley College in April. Jackson still ranks in the top five in career points, rebounds and steals at Texas.
Oklahoma coach Brent Venables always has spoken highly of Kansas State — his alma mater where he played linebacker and got his coaching start as an assistant under Bill Snyder. He will face the Wildcats as head coach for the first time on Saturday, and he’s focused solely on getting the win for his sixth-ranked Sooners in the Big 12 opener for both teams. Oklahoma has dominated the Big 12 for years, but the Wildcats defeated the Sooners in 2012, 2014, 2019 and 2020.
No. 7 Oklahoma has already moved up two spots in the AP Top 25 and is positioning itself for a run at a playoff berth down the road. A loss would be virtually impossible to recover from and would slow the energy the program has been building under first-year coach Brent Venables. The Sooners seek a second consecutive solid win heading into a road test at Nebraska the following week. Kent State, among the favorites in the Mid-American Conference, hopes to improve on last week’s 45-20 loss to Washington.