The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 2, 2014

T-Wolves can’t be too physical in late push

NORMAN — With six games left on the schedule, Norman North coach Bryan Merritt is trying to shape his team to make a late-season push into the postseason. A major part of that strategy involves the pressure man-to-man defense the Timberwolves play, a defense that has forced opposing teams into numerous turnovers and fast-break opportunities for ninth-ranked North.

The one problem with that plan is that it also results in a higher than average number of fouls on the T-Wolves, and a higher than average number of free throws for their opponents.

It was an issue that reared its head again on Friday in North’s 63-52 victory over Del City. While the T-Wolves led the entire game and dominated the Eagles on the floor, Del City owned the free throw line. The Eagles shot 28 free throws to North’s 15, and made 20 of those while North made only 10. It was a 10-point differential that kept the game close in the final minutes and gave the Eagles an opportunity to pull the upset.

“If you look just at field goals made, it wasn’t even close,” said Merritt, whose team made 26 field goals to Del City’s 15. “The one thing we need to work on is cutting out some of the fouls.”

If North is to make the run to the state tournament the T-Wolves are hoping for, they’ll either need to avoid the foul trouble they’ve encountered at times this season, or they’ll have to continue to build depth. When point guard Marcus Dickinson has been out with foul trouble this year, the T-Wolves have been a decidedly worse team. His absence shifts the ball-handling duties to freshman Trae Young, moving him out of his natural position at shooting guard and eliminating some of the explosiveness the North offense possesses when Dickinson is at point and Young is standing ready on the wings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014

Facebook