The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 20, 2013

Sooners need role players to take lead

NORMAN — The NCAA tournament is when game planning becomes more art than science. Teams that have never met converge for must-win games, but there’s a limited amount of time to study opponents.

More often than not, those game plans hinge on halting a team’s leading scorer and hoping for the best. OU’s Romero Osby, who is averaging 15.7 points a game, will find that out Friday night when the 10th-seeded Sooners (20-11) meet seventh-seeded San Diego State at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

“We’re putting so much on Ro right now and he’s been so constant. He’s the one guy who hasn’t taken a possession off all year. He’s the guy other guys look to for leadership and strength,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “Any time someone else can step up, it helps him a lot.”

Advancing typically comes down to the team’s Nos. 2, 3 and 4 scoring options. They’re the ones who tend to get more open looks than they got in conference play.

The Sooners have won an NCAA tournament game since beating Syracuse in the Sweet 16 in 2009. That was the third game in a dominant run from power forward Blake Griffin. He averaged 28.5 points in four tournament games.

However, the win over the Orange was ignited by Tony Crocker, who was no better than OU’s third scoring option going off for 28 points.

The same thing happened in the 2008 tournament. It wasn’t Griffin who led the way in a 72-64 victory over St. Joseph’s in the first round. It was senior guard David Godbold who scored a game-high 25 points.

Performances like those are the wild cards that often determine winning from losing.

The Sooners have scorers around Osby capable of having big games. Steven Pledger, who is averaging 11.8 points, has scored 18 or more points in five of the Sooners’ last eight outings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

  • The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline Hall of Fame class

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats....

    July 28, 2014

  • Telling The Boss, sorry

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Before he answered a question at the press conference following the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on Sunday, Joe Torre wanted to address someone he regrettably omitted from his speech....

    July 28, 2014

  • Wainwright bounces back to beat Cubs

    CHICAGO — When St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny visited the mound with two out and two on in the seventh inning on Sunday, he had no idea whether he was going to replace starter Adam Wainwright....

    July 28, 2014

  • A’s rout Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night....

    July 28, 2014

  • Clark rallies in Montreal

    MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk....

    July 28, 2014

Facebook