NORMAN — Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield had a phenomenal second half against Baylor, scoring 19 points in 66-64 victory.
But the sophomore guard spent the last two minutes of it on the bench. The Sooners were up by six points at that point and Hield was ailing due to a nagging foot injury and flat-out fatigue.
Figuring out a way to stay on the court is an issue for most players this time of year. They have to practice every day to stay sharp. The body, however, needs rest and it becomes a double-edged sword when Big 12 Conference plays rolls around and there are two games every week.
“I’m come in every morning to get treatment and put up extra shots,” Hield said. “I know it’s tough to get up in the morning when you’ve had a rough practice and you’re coming off a road game. But you have to do it.”
The Sooners are relatively healthy as they’ve crossed the midway point in the season. Sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak returned from a broken foot at the start of conference play. His minutes have steadily increased since returning from the injury. He played 14 minutes in the Baylor game and he was on the floor instead of Hield in the final two minutes.
But Hornbeak admits there’s still some rust that he needs to knock off. He’s pain free, but getting his shooting touch back has been the issue. Hornbeak is just 1 for 11 from the field since returning from the injury.
“The hardest thing is when you’re dealing with an injury is that you have to workout, but you also have to get your rest. You have to find a way to get a balance between those two,” Hornbeak said. “Sometimes it’s more rest than working out. It can be a struggle. But you start to see better results when you can work more.”