The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 6, 2012

Kruger wants Sooners to be more physical

NORMAN — It wasn’t the missed shots that had Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger irked after Tuesday’s 81-78 loss at Arkansas. He’ll take a 55.4-percent shooting night anytime, anywhere, against anybody.

It was OU’s defensive effort that elevated his blood pressure.

“We had stretches of decent play, but we didn’t sustain anything defensively,” Kruger said. “We’d go along and have a pretty good possession and then we’d give up a second shot or layup or break down late. We have to be grittier, tougher, more physical. Easier said than done, because it’s not our nature personality wise. We have to work on that.”

Defense is where OU (6-2) has made its biggest leap since last season ended. It held its first seven opponents — including No. 10 Gonzaga — to less than 50 percent shooting. Only Oral Roberts, which the Sooners beat 63-62 on Nov. 28, shot over 50 percent in a half.

Arkansas didn’t have a problem getting the ball in the basket, shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 9 for 22 from 3-point range.

Some of the defense issues could be traced to facing a hot player. Arkansas forward Marshawn Powell scored a career-high 33 points with 12 of it coming on 4-for-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point line.

Powell only made three treys in the Razorbacks’ first six games.

The rest of it lacked an acceptable excuse.

The Sooners employed their usual 10-man rotation. Only guard Steven Pledger played over 30 minutes. They still had plenty of energy to rally to take the lead with 20 seconds remaining.

The permanent memory from Tuesday’s game will be Arkansas guard B.J. Young’s off-balance floater that went in with 14 seconds to give the Razorbacks the lead for good.

That was a tough, contested shot.

OU’s issue was the other 34 points it allowed in the paint and the 14 points it gave up off offensive rebounds.

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