So where exactly does OU Basketball go from here with their loss to the Kansas Jayhawks last Saturday?
Here are a few keys that will help answer that question:
1. Better Starts
OU started out with a 20-6 deficit to start the game against Kansas and eventually cut the margin to five at the break. The previous game against Texas, OU started out with an 11-3 deficit to start the game and ended up down 31-22 at half. Lon Kruger would agree saying, “That was another tough ball game. We got off to a slow start and Kansas did a great job making shots and creating a bit of a margin from which we were battling uphill all night long.” Buddy Hield also chimed in on the slow starts saying, “We’ve got just got to step up and make shots early. We’re always used to making shots early, and getting out on teams, and we haven’t been doing that lately. We just have to do a better jobs and it starts with me, Ryan (Spangler), and Isaiah (Cousins) getting every one together and making shots.”
2. Frontcourt Production
To say OU’s frontcourt has been struggling is a huge understatement. OU is needing their frontcourt to put up more production offensively. Over the past two games here are some of the stats for OU’s big men: Ryan Spangler, 11 points out of 71 minutes played. Khadeem Lattin, 6 points out of 46 minutes played. Dante Buford, 7 points out of 27 minutes played. Jamuni McNeace, 0 points out of 16 minutes played. That’s 24 total points from those four the last two games against Texas and Kansas. Lon Kruger made a statement on the low amount of points scored inside saying, “We’ve got to get a little better movement and be more patient offensively, but we’re not going to go a long way away from what we’ve done to get to this point.”
OU’s defense has been struggling recently and the KU game shed light on that. The Sooners allowed the Jayhawks to shoot 46% from the field and 42% from 3-point range. OU allowed Devonte’ Graham to score a career high 27 points as well. If the Sooners are going to make a push toward winning the Big 12 regular season title and get far in March Madness, they will need to lock down on defense.
The Sooners will have a chance to improve on those keys and get back on track in the Big 12 regular season as they take on the Texas Tech Raiders tonight in Lubbock at 8:00pm.