The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 14, 2013

Sooners headed in right direction

NORMAN — It’s been years since an Oklahoma basketball team truly progressed throughout a season. Since Blake Griffin left following the 2009 season, the three teams that followed were worn down to a nub by the rigors of Big 12 Conference.

What happens in February and March will ultimately decide if that string is over. But the Sooners’ 77-68 victory over Oklahoma State Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center was a display of how far they’ve progressed this season.

Winning wasn’t shocking, but OU holding off its Bedlam rival was.

The offensive execution was exactly what Sooner coach Lon Kruger was looking for: lots of layups and wide open 3-pointers that came within the design of the offense.

“We’re shooting the ball a lot better,” Kruger said.

Statistically, it could have been better. OU only shot 43.1 percent for the game. But going 8-for-13 from 3-point range and 19-for-21 from the free-throw line was impressive.

The offensive improvement didn’t start on Saturday. The victory was more than OU’s fourth straight, it was the third time in the last four games the Sooners (11-3, 2-0 Big 12) have scored at least 70 points.

Games like Saturday’s have been rare for a team that got off to a hot start by winning defensive struggles.

But several things have started to click in the last two weeks. One is typical for college basketball teams. The holiday break allows gives teams about three weeks without school and that time is heavily spent in the practice gym.

The Sooners have gotten crisper on the offensive end in their last four games because of the extra work.

Forward Amath M’Baye is the prime example. He scored 15 points Saturday on 5-for-9 shooting and none of the shots looked forced. In mid December, the junior seemed to be lost on the floor.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock How Paris got her groove back

    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