Harmon says he, Bieniemy can be nation's 'best duo'

OU freshman guard De'Vion Harmon takes a shot during a June 27 practice at Lloyd Noble Center in

Norman. Harmon should see plenty of early playing time for

the Sooners.

Joe Buettner

The Transcript

NORMAN — Expect to see Jamal Bieniemy and De'Vion Harmon on the court together often.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger has yet to establish a starting five but Bieniemy and the freshman Harmon are safe bets to see ample playing time this season.

"I know I'm gonna play a lot of minutes," Harmon said, "but I ain't gotta go like super crazy having somebody else who can handle the ball for me. Me and JB, we're a good duo."

Harmon's confidence, however, goes beyond just "good."

"I think we're the best duo in the country," Harmon said. "It's gonna be exciting. I think everybody that comes to these games in the LNC [Lloyd Noble Center], whether we're home or on the road, I think they're gonna get a really good show with us two in the backcourt."

Kruger sees both as leaders for a team that brought in seven newcomers this offseason. And it doesn't seem he's struggling to find a place for both guards on the floor.

Kruger expects his lineup will naturally take shape over the course of the season, but he anticipates Bieniemy will work off the ball and Harmon will run the point.

"He understands much more clearly every day what his responsibility is as a point guard," Kruger said of Harmon. "It's a lot more than just what he is doing. He can do a lot individually. Now he knows too that it's about a lot more than that. He's made good progress."

Bieniemy, who's one of three returning OU starters, has grown tremendously as well.

He didn't emerge as a starter for the Sooners until Jan. 19 last season but he's made major strides since he was thrown into the fire as a true freshman.

"Last year, I didn't really know too much," Bieniemy said, "and I was just trying to stay alive so this year is good just to have my feet under me and just know what's going on and being able to lead these guys."

Williams playing catch up: Former three-star junior college prospect Alondes Williams had to wait until classes started in August to join OU, while most of his fellow newcomers arrived at the start of summer.

Kruger says the 6-foot-5 shooting guard has transitioned well to the program but his late arrival has set him back some.

"The first couple of weeks, he was trying to feel his way," Kruger said. "The last couple of weeks, he's been much, much more comfortable. He's very skilled and talented. He can score a lot of different ways. He's a really good athlete."

Harmon says Williams will do a lot "dirty work" for the Sooners, such as grabbing boards and hitting open shots. But his athleticism can't go understated.

"He's super bouncy. That's what I can say. He can jump out of the gym. He's athletic," Harmon said. "… He's gonna score the ball. I'm excited about what he's gonna bring to the table for us. I think he's gonna be a great asset for us and I think opposing teams are gonna have to game plan for him. That's the best part about it."

Road trips ahead: OU's schedule will provide multiple tests for its young corps. The Sooners play seven of their 12 non-conference games away from Norman.

OU's trips include: Nov. 9 vs. Minnesota in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Nov. 12 vs. Oregon State in Portland, Oregon, two late November games in Kansas City, Missouri, for the Hall of Fame Classic, Dec. 5 at North Texas, Dec. 14 at Wichita State and Dec. 17 at Creighton.

"It's good preparation for Big 12 play," Kruger said. "You are on the road a lot. Tough opposition. Hostile crowds. That's probably the biggest benefit, having to make plays and win ball games when you are away from Oklahoma. That will be a good challenge for us for sure."

Trending Video