Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

January 14, 2013

BIG 12 MEN'S BB: Sooners headed in right direction

(Continued)

NORMAN — “I’m starting to feel great,” he said. “Just the fact that I’m able to work with my teammates and my teammates are able to work with me. I take issue to make sure I know every play or philosophy to know where the ball is supposed to go. I think that I’m start to feel real comfortable in it.”

It was M’Baye’s alley-oop dunk off an inbounds play with 4 minutes left that stretched OU’s lead out to 13 points and put the game away.

It was a play OU looks for every time it inbounds the ball underneath its basket, but involves timing and reading the defense and all the other things that come with extended time on the court.

OU made them throughout the game.

The 17 points Romero Osby finished with were typical. The 15 points from freshman guard Buddy Hield were not. He was 3-for-5 from 3-point range. Freshman guard Je’lon Hornbeak was 2-for-2 from beyond the arc before twisting his ankle midway through the second half.

There are still other pieces that can fall into place. Guard Sam Grooms and forward Cameron Clark were the only bench players to score. OU won despite its bench being outscored 21-11. It was one of the few times that’s happened all season. Forwards Andrew Fitzgerald, Tyler Neal and guard Isaiah Cousins are capable of more than they showed Saturday afternoon.

“I think the depth is a big key,” Kruger said. We have veteran guys coming off the bench, and last year we didn’t quite have that ability to sustain anything good that we had going. We have Andrew, and Sam came in today and plays great in a critical stage, and I think Cousins is a talented freshman that is going to get better and better. Cameron is doing a great job off the bench, as well as Tyler Neal, a veteran guy, coming in. That depth is important in sustaining good play.”

Until that all starts to click, the ceiling isn’t going to get in the way.

In that sense, OU’s right where it hoped it would be in the middle of January.

 

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