Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Know your enemy- Oklahoma Sooners

Edit- More info on OU.

Game time is 5PM EST on Fox Sports Network (FSN) Southwest.

Exhibition summary:
They beat Washburn on 11/2 104-72. Details here.
On 11/4 they struggled to beat Oklahoma Christian 88-76. They trailed 41-38 at the half.
In those 2 games they were 21/48 from 3 and 68/129 overall from the field. Rebounding they were +4 and +16 and altogether 35/43 from the charity stripe.

Good news is they're a smallish team with only one player taller than 6'8 (and only comes in for spells) so this is a good matchup for us. Do I think we win? Nope, but I suspect it'll be close with very few 8 point gaps in the game.

I'm going to go about this a little differently than in years' past. Since MS did such an outstanding job in his preview posts by months I'm going to c/p his for each game in addition to my mind-numbing stats and predictions with injury updates if needed.. Also, I'll do what I can to find interviews and such.

Let's start with this interview with Lon Kruger from the OU SBNation site.

Next- Copy and Paste from a preview posted last month by MS:

Oklahoma - Friday, November 8th - Alabama kicks off the 2013-14 season with a real challenge in the Oklahoma Sooners. This game is part of the Tip-Off Showcase in Dallas at the American Airlines Center. It's also a concerted effort by college basketball to tip off its season with a little more fanfare, similar to the handful of high profile college football games that put a little zest into its opening weekend.

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger enters his third season in Norman. In his second season, he guided the program to the NCAA tournament. With this accomplishment, Kruger became the first coach in D-1 history to take five different programs to the tournament. While this achievement proves Kruger's worth as a basketball coach, it also proves that his career has been quite nomadic. Oklahoma probably isn't his final stop, but as long as he keeps guiding teams to the tournament, he'll be welcomed by AD's with open arms.

Returning to the tournament this season could be tricky for the Sooners as they lost four of their top six scorers, while also welcoming in seven newcomers. The backbone of this Oklahoma team will lay in its backcourt, highlighted by four returning guards in Cameron Clark (6'7, 209 lb), Isaiah Cousins (6'4, 181), Buddy Hield (6'4, 200) and Je'lon Hornbreak (6'4, 186). Add incoming freshman Frank Booker (6'4, 201), expected to be a contributor, and that's quite a size advantage for Oklahoma in its backcourt. With the size, experience and talent that Oklahoma has at the position, it won't be surprising if Kruger chooses to go with a 4-guard line-up most nights.

The frontcourt has question marks, but there are certainly possibilities. Leading the way will be Ryan Spangler, a 6'8, 230 lb forward that transferred from Gonzaga. Other key guys could be D.J. Bennett (6'8, 202), who redshirted last season, and JC transfer, Keshaun Hamilton (6'10, 270). This team might be at its most vulnerable early as Kruger sorts out his roster. It's a great opportunity for Bama to notch a quality win that may look very good in March.


Msmilie said...

Didn't expect to sweat that one out. I don't want to put too much into an exhibition game, but the rebounding numbers were startling. West Georgia also had at least 20 more shot attempts than Bama. If you look at the shooting percentages, Alabama defended them well and didn't foul a lot sending them to the line. But the rebounding numbers, particularly the offensive rebounding numbers, were so much in their favor that those shooting percentages meant nothing. Add to that the continued offensive woes and this team has a lot of work to do before Friday and beyond.

It's a good thing Trevor got in such good shape this summer because it looks like he's going to play 38-40 minutes a night, at least early. I'm not sure Retin or Algie are the answers as backup point guards. I won't be surprised if we see Levi handle the ball some when he returns, which is hopefully on Friday.

crimsontider said...

Algie definitely not, I believe in Retin.