NORMAN — Oklahoma’s last two road games have been as tough as it gets. The league only has two ranked teams — No. 2 Kansas and No. 18 Kansas State — and that’s where both of the Sooners’ conference losses have come.
There were lessons to be learned from both games. The main one is about having to play composed in tough environments. The Sooners weren’t blown out in either game, but they never really gave themselves a chance to win.
The biggest reason?
Too many turnovers.
OU committed 11 in its 67-54 loss to the Jayhawks Saturday. The Sooners had 16 in the Jan. 19 loss to the Wildcats.
“The thing we’re pounding away on most is the value of each
possession. You can’t give away possessions against good teams, especially on the road, and expect to win a lot of them,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “You have to take good care of the ball and get good shots up. You have to do the same things defensively in terms of securing every rebound and every loose ball we can.
“It seemed like we had our hands on some balls Saturday that we didn’t quite get. We have to get those and focus more on each possession.”
The Sooners have averaged 13.8 turnovers a game in their five losses. They’re season average is 12.6 per game.
Learning experience: OU forward Amath M’Baye believes there was a silver lining in the Kansas loss.
“All losses hurt, but they’re a top three team in the country and we were able to go in there and hang in there and play pretty good basketball,” M’Baye said. “I think it will give us some confidence about what to expect when they come down here in a couple weeks.”
Kansas, which moved up to No. 2 in the polls Monday, visits Lloyd Noble Center on Feb. 9.