The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 8, 2014

Cousins gets even better without ball

NORMAN — The 15 highest scoring games in Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins’ career have all occurred in the last 27 games. The 10.8 points he averages a game have been essential to his team’s surprising run this season, so have his 4.0 rebounds a game.

Yet his biggest impact — especially in the second half of the Big 12 Conference season — has come on the other end of the floor. Cousins took it upon himself to become the backcourt’s defensive leader and typically lock onto opponents’ best perimeter player or point guard.

“He starts if off,” OU forward Ryan Spangler said of Cousins.

The 23rd-ranked Sooners (22-8, 11-6 Big 12) can put a ribbon around second place in the conference with a win against TCU (9-20, 0-17) at 3 p.m. today and Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.

On paper, it should be a game OU wins — perhaps easily. That all comes down to effort.

The Horned Frogs haven’t won a conference game in 364 days. The last time was the 2013 regular-season finale. OU went down to Fort Worth and went through the motions for a half and suffered a 70-67 loss. OU suffered a similar loss on Feb. 12 when Texas Tech shocked it at Lloyd Noble Center.

But OU has changed since then and Cousins deserves a lot of the credit.

“He had the recognition that someone needed to take more ownership than everyone else; someone has to lead the way,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “I thought at the point when Isaiah did that, not that he did that by the numbers, I just thought he evolved into that person on the perimeter like Ryan did inside. The two of them gave us a higher expectation than we had earlier. I think the results have been better since then.”

The Sooners have won four of five since that loss to the Red Raiders.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock Paris didn’t give up when instant success eluded her

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners will have to do the right thing eventually

    Don’t read anything into the non-suspension suspension Oklahoma leveled at true freshman running back Joe Mixon Wednesday....

    July 31, 2014

  • In this case, Sooner fans can rest easy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooner Caravan ended its summer run at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night. OU coach Bob Stoops did not take questions, but one of the major topics was the $370 million renovation to ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

Facebook