What a big difference a activity can make when that activity is a 30-point loss on your house court to Baylor.
Because moving into that activity on Monday, the Sooners appeared to have discovered by themselves.
Jamal Bieniemy and Rashard Odomes experienced entered the beginning lineup and OU was actively playing better, nabbing consecutive wins more than Oklahoma Point out in Stillwater, and Vanderbilt in Norman, part of the SEC/Massive 12 Challenge.
But, one particular dreadful exhibiting versus the Bears — a 77-47 defeat — has almost everything in question all more than all over again as OU meets meets West Virginia at 11 this early morning inside the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (9-12, 1-7 Massive 12) are dead final in the conference, yet their lone Massive 12 victory arrived versus 11th-rated Kansas.
The Sooners (15-6, 3-5) have misplaced 4 of their final 7 game titles and 3 of their final 4 conference game titles and, if that feels familiar, there’s a fantastic rationale, as it was only a year back OU collapsed throughout final season’s 2nd fifty percent.
At one particular point final time, the Sooners were rated fourth in the nation. Five months later on they were out of the polls completely and, after limping into the NCAA match, they were bounced immediately by Rhode Island.
The natural way, none of all those created offered to media next Thursday’s follow felt they were in the center of one more collapse.
“This group is training at a significant level, they’re working hard,” OU coach Lon Kruger stated. “Their angle about getting better is fantastic.”
Sophomore forward Brady Manek referred to the team’s “genuinely fantastic depth” as nevertheless that would hold a collapse from happening.
Senior guard Christian James, OU’s main scorer at 16.3 factors per activity, was actually eager to review the two groups.
“I’d say there’s a tiny little bit extra of we’re in this jointly. We enjoy jointly extra than final year,” he stated. “We’ve been through some ups, some downs, some tricky stretches, but I feel like this staff can overcome that.”
The Sooners are moving into a stretch that could effectively define their time and their postseason alternatives. In that way, today’s contest is important.
After it, OU’s at house for its up coming two game titles, yet versus two rated groups: No. 20 Iowa Point out on Monday and No. 16 Texas Tech a 7 days from today. The Sooners and Cyclones have yet to enjoy and Tech conquer OU in Lubbock the 3rd activity of the conference time.
The next 7 days, OU’s at Baylor and TCU. Neither is rated, yet each could be. The Bears trounced the Sooners 5 days back and OU conquer TCU by a bucket in Norman.
Kruger is preaching a back again-to-basic principles approach.
“The other night time, not building pictures impacted our depth at the other finish, which is sort of normal, but you have to function past normal,” he stated. “We’ve still obtained to guard better. We hung our hat on that before in the year.”
In fact, in the non-conference part of OU’s schedule, not one particular opponent shot 50 per cent from the flooring and, cumulatively, opponents shot 37.5 per cent and averaged 66.1 factors per activity.
In the conference, Kansas Point out and Baylor have each eclipsed 50 per cent capturing, though conference opponents have cumulatively shot 43 per cent and are averaging 70.1 factors versus OU. The Sooners are capturing 40.5 per cent and scoring 65.2 factors per conference outing.
“Now we’re not building pictures and we’re not rather as assured defensively,” Kruger stated.
That has to modify.
James created it sound like the staff is ready.
“We have 10 game titles, we have 6 seniors, we’re ready to struggle these final 10 game titles,” he stated. “We have absolutely nothing to drop.”
Essentially, OU has a great deal to drop.
Bracketologists have the Sooners in the NCAA attract suitable now, yet that could modify.
The Sooners also have a great deal to get.
“We have to remain jointly,” James stated.
That can start out today.
Time/Place: 11 a.m., WVU Coliseum
Information/Rankings: OU 15-6, 3-5 Massive 12/unranked WVU 9-12, 1-7/unranked
OU starters: F 21 Christian Doolittle (6-7, 232, Jr./8.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) F 35 Brady Manek (6-9, 222, So./11.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg) G Christian James (6-4, 213, Sr./16.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg) 1 G Rashard Odomes (6-7, 217, Sr./6.7 ppg, 2. rpg) 24 G Jamal Bieniemy (6-4, 181, Fr./4.1, 2.5 rpg)
WVU starters: F 23 Esa Ahmad (6-8, 225, Sr./12.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg) F 15 Lamont West 6-8, 222, Jr./10.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg) F 12 Andrew Gordon 6-9, 255, So./2.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg) G 5 Jordan McCabe 6-, 183, Fr./2.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg) G 10 Jermaine Haley (6-7, 215, Sr./3.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
Tv set: ESPN2
Radio: KRXO-FM 107.7