The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 18, 2014

Sooners’ diverse offense offers tough matchup to plan against

NORMAN — One of the explanations for why March becomes madness is the NCAA tournament’s condensed format. Early Sunday evening the bracket is announced, leaving only three or four days to prepare for an opponent, and most teams will spend at least several hours traveling on one of those days.

That’s not a lot of time to get ready for a game that will end or extend the season. Win that opening game, and there are 48 hours — give or take — to prepare for the next one.

The internet age has removed a lot of the mystery coaches once faced. A season’s worth of opponent’s games can be downloaded within minutes of the bracket’s debut.

Still when cramped for time, most coaching staffs study the season statistics and start building a game plan from what the sheet says.

Most of the time, cramming identifies go-to scorers and how they are able to put the ball in the basket.

That is a problem No. 21 Oklahoma (23-9) presents for North Dakota State (25-6) when they meet at 6:27 p.m. on Thursday in the NCAA tournament’s West Region at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

The norm is to disect the last 10 games of an upcoming NCAA tournament opponent and go from there. An analysis of OU shows four different players — Jordan Woodard, Cameron Clark, Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield — have scored at least 19 points in one of those last 10 games.

“They’ll come away thinking they have to stop Buddy. Watch two more tapes and they’ll think they have to stop Cam. Then, they’ll start thinking Isaiah,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “It’s different guys that have been the reason we’ve won.”

That’s what makes OU a vastly different team than it was during its last two NCAA tournament appearances. Last season, there was no doubt who was getting the ball when OU had to have a basket. Romero Osby was a clearly defined No. 1 scoring option.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cody adds former champions Maple, Howe as assistants

    A great wrestler doesn’t necessarily make a great wrestling coach. On the other hand, it’s not a bad place to start....

    July 30, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014

Facebook