The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 2, 2013

Sooners can’t fall into February funk

NORMAN — The mention of the word brought an array of expressions to the faces of Oklahoma’s Romero Osby, Steven Pledger and Cameron Clark. The trait they all shared were memories they’d like to forget, but cannot.

The word that caused all three to wince, sigh or roll their eyes was February. Most associate the month with Super Bowl parties and Valentine’s Day dinners.

The Sooners, however, have experienced few delightful moments in the month since 2010. Last season, they went 1-8 in February games, dropping the program’s record to 3-21 in February games since 2010.

That was why Pledger winced like he took a jab to the stomach when the subject came up.

“It’s been tough; it’s been like that every February since I’ve been here,” he said.

Imagine spending an entire year preparing for a season and then seeing it ruined at the same point annually.

February does that to many college basketball teams. The month isn’t the biggest of the season. March holds that distinction because of the NCAA Tournament. Jolts of energy shoot through practice gyms around the country when the calendar flips March. Just the hope of being part of March Madness brings excitement.

The month preceding the NCAA Tournament is the toughest for all involved for multiple reasons.

OU (14-5, 5-2 Big 12) faces No. 18 Kansas State (16-4, 5-2) at 5 p.m. today at Lloyd Noble Center. It’s the first of eight games the Sooners will play this month. Seven, including today’s, will be against opponents they’ve already faced.

“In the latter half of conference play, people are more familiar with each other and there aren’t many surprises,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “It’s matter of players lining up and making plays, and finishing plays.”

The free-flowing games of November, December and even January tend to be replaced by slugfests because teams know opponents’ tendencies backward and forward. The cut through the lane that was once easy now includes an elbow in the chest. Those top scorers who thrived in January now run into defenses designed to stop them. The second, third, fourth and even fifth scoring options have to produce.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers suffer smashing loss to Stillwater in second meeting

    Monday’s game against Stillwater showed exactly how good Norman High can be when it’s playing well. The Tigers held a lead in that game over 21-1 Stillwater, and had a chance to win it before the Pioneers staged a late comeback....

    April 16, 2014

  • North remains perfect in district

    Norman North remained a perfect 10-0 in district play with their second straight win over Lawton Eisenhower. After beating Ike 11-1 Monday, the Timberwolves turned around and hammered the Eagles 13-1 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again

    MILWAUKEE — Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioner calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks....

    April 16, 2014

  • Fielder finally goes deep as Rangers shut out Mariners

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Warriors trying to move on without Bogut

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Go small or go home....

    April 16, 2014

  • White Sox wear Boston Strong on 1-year anniversary

    CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have paid tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing before their game against the Red Sox....

    April 16, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • Injuries taking a toll on CCS girls squad

    If luck, like karma, is supposed to come back around, Community Christian’s girls soccer team has a lot to look forward to because, right now, they’re living the other side of the equation....

    April 16, 2014

Facebook