Willie Warren still leads the pack in the statistical plus-minus department. Obviously he's been one of the more valuable players on the team, and it shows, as his SPM figure has ballooned to an absurdly high 26.24. I wish I had calculated it after the Arizona game when he had 25 points and played a great game, because I'm sure the figure would have dropped last night. Willie got in a bit of foul trouble and then couldn't really find a rhythm.
Tiny Gallon, Steven Pledger, and Cade Davis all still boast positive figures. Tony Crocker has made a very sharp turnaround. Previously he was slightly negative, but now has the second highest SPM on the team (11.23). Tommy Mason-Griffin has also made a considerable turnaround. After starting out the season strongly in the negative, he is almost back to a neutral figure and has been playing much better as of late.
As the team continues to jell, Crocker is going to be very important. His last two or three games have been great - he's hustled and scored, and done everything in between. The Sooners really need Crocker to be a legit second scoring threat to Warren. If both of those guys are firing on all cylinders, it will be tough to stop the Sooners' offense. This is because the Sooners would then have two guys who can create their own shot, and be scorers rather than shooters (there's a huge difference).
Add in a couple of marksmen (Pledger and Davis), a floor general (Tommy Mason-Griffin), and a big man (Tiny Gallon) and things are looking brighter for OU. One big concern I have is that Tiny Gallon will start to wear down especially as OU gets into conference play. They don't really have a lot of depth in the post. I think Orlando Allen has been playing alright, and he deserves more of a look off the bench than he's gotten recently.
The Sooners have clawed their way back to 6-3. Perhaps they'll start receiving a few votes in the polls next week. First, they're going to need to prove they can win away from home, and they'll have a couple of opportunities coming up - most notably this Saturday at Utah. Second, they need a signature win. Beating UTEP (ranked #29 in the KenPom ratings) on December 21st, and beating Gonzaga (AT Gonzaga) on December 31st would both qualify.
Of course, getting on the Sportscenter cycle doesn't hurt with the pollsters, and that's what Crocker's performance last night did for the Sooners.