Willie Warren was once again very ordinary and Tiny Gallon was once again in foul trouble so the Sooners, once again, needed Tony Crocker to put the team on his shoulders which he did, again. Crocker scored 24 points and grabbed 10 boards for his fourth double-double this season but you could argue that it was made possible by Cade Davis.
"Cade (Davis) played well. Cade really saved us in the first half and down the stretch. I really feel like that is probably the reason that we won. That stretch right there when they made a push, I thought Cade was really good and I thought Crock (Tony Crocker) did some really good stuff. That shot (Crocker) took late was not a smart decision, but he battled against bigger guys and still got a double-double." - Jeff Capel
After falling behind Northern Colorado 38-27 with just under three minutes left in the first half the Sooners relied on Cade Davis, who nailed six three-point shots in the first half, to draw back to within one (39-40) at the half. Davis ended the day with a game and career high 25 points but 20 of them came before halftime. The second half belonged to Crocker who put OU ahead for good at the 16:44 mark of the second half.
Both Davis and Crocker were superb on offense but gave very solid defensive performances as well. Both had two steals and Crocker had two blocked shots while Davis had another himself. They combined to make the perfect one two punch for the Sooners but they really aren't the duo we expected to see leading the Sooners.
With three McDonald's All-Americans on the team you'd think that one of them would have found a rhythm by now but it just isn't happening, for whatever reason, right now. Tiny Gallon allows himself to make silly freshman mistakes which results in foul trouble which in turn results in more time on the bench than playing on the court. The Sooners were outscored 36-20 in the paint on Saturday and much of that discrepancy came in the first half with Tiny on the bench.
Willie Warren had more turnovers (5) than he did points (4) which helped the Bears an 8-2 advantage in fast break points. Something is clearly wrong with Warren and everyone sees the frustration in it. He's hasn't been the player that this team needs him to be yet and he may be running out of time to take the leadership position that everyone expected him to. On Saturday he settled for jump shots, despite being 2-9 from the floor, and never really tried to drive, create and get fouled. He never earned a trip to the charity stripe. Even Jeff Capel seems to be fed up and is no longer participating in the, "what's wrong with Willie?" game. Capel said he was "tired of trying to figure him out," and gave no other information on the issue.
"I'm not trying to figure out anything," Capel said before walking out of his postgame news conference. "You figure it out."
Tommy Mason-Griffin is giving solid minutes and in light of Willie's slump has been more crucial to the team than either Gallon or Warren have been recently. He's certainly shown more improvement from the start of the season than the other two have.
If you take away these three guys then Saturday's win over Northern Colorado his a huge stepping stone. However, having talent like that on the team makes Saturday's win a moral defeat.
"This was a step backwards. Nothing associated with this game today was progress." - Jeff Capel
Davis and Crocker saved the day for Oklahoma with fantastic performances on Saturday but they certainly weren't the guys we thought the Sooners would be banking on to carry the team.