The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 9, 2014

Loss actually a step forward for Sooners

NORMAN — Everything but a win. That’s what Oklahoma got Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center.

Consider …

On the night Kansas, that underachieving Big 12 program that had lost to San Diego State inside Allen Fieldhouse — San Diego State inside Allen Fieldhouse! — got well, the Sooners were as close as four points when Buddy Hield missed a great look from 3-point land with 1:19 remaining.

They were within four points despite having little clue how to slow down the Jayhawks, little size to slow them down even if they’d had a clue and, one would have thought, little chance to knock off the Jayhawks on the night Bill Self’s team played its best game in many moons and hit 54.7 percent of its shots.

“We’ve been playing handcuffed and haven’t been able to let it go,” Self said. “But we let it go tonight.”

And not only were the Sooners down four points with a great look from 3-point land with 1:19 remaining on a night the Jayhawks let it go, they were kind of disgusted by it all, which counts as another good sign.

Coach Lon Kruger said there were times he didn’t quite get the effort he was looking for from everybody. Cam Clark said the OU’s been a team of spurts rather than consistency.

The Sooners eventually fell 90-83 and while it’s tempting to believe it a bold step backward — OU beat Kansas 72-66 a year ago in Norman — it’s the wrong take. That Kansas team came into Lloyd Noble Center struggling and continued to struggle. This one played like Self and Jayhawk Nation has been waiting for it to play all season … and still OU trailed by just four points with a great look from 3-point land with 1:19 remaining.

To be sure, it’s not like Kruger’s doing a reprise of Billy Tubbs’ greatest hits  a quarter century later. After all, OU’s been making a habit of threatening 100 points quite a bit, but not 150.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

Facebook