The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 14, 2014

Sooners can take no team for granted

NORMAN — For nearly four months, Oklahoma avoided crippling losses. That changed with Wednesday night’s 68-60 loss to Texas Tech.

It was a game the Sooners took for granted at the beginning and paid for in the end.

The Red Raiders played like a hungry team. The Sooners seemed to be satisfied with what they’d already done.

“I thought they were quicker to loose balls. They beat us to balls on the boards. We contributed by turning it over and giving them some easy ones,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “They set the tone. They got the result they were after and we didn’t fight hard enough in the first half. We have to learn from that and try to keep that from happening again.”

The lesson OU must learn is one it seemed to learn early in the season. Its sum is much greater than its parts. The Sooners do not have a player who can completely dominate a game. Cameron Clark and Buddy Hield have shown the ability to be dominant scorers, but not a whole lot else. Ryan Spangler has been a dominant rebounder, but games where he’s been a major scoring threat have been rare — especially as of late.

Jordan Woodard has been a better point guard than most expected, but has still shown the inconsistency of a freshman. Isaiah Cousins has been the steadiest of the bunch, but he isn’t someone who can carry a team.

Everyone shoulders a little of the blame. Clark couldn’t stay on the floor, Hield couldn’t make shots, Woodard struggled to get OU into its offense and Spangler did not rebound at the level he typically does.

Spangler didn’t hide the disappointment in himself Wednesday night.

“I didn’t think I performed like I usually do. I’ll take the blame for that,” he said. “I wasn’t hustling for rebounds like I usually do. I wasn’t playing defense or being a leader on defense like I usually do.”

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