If you have not boarded the Lon Kruger train yet, here is another reason to before the wagon is full. This is possibly the toughest match up the Sooners have faced up to this point of the season. It certainly was a solid test before traveling to Cincy to take on the Bearcats while the Oklahoma Sooners remain perfect at home with a 7-1 record. The season is still young and Lon Kruger has certainly had his players buying into his scheme. As the season progresses this team will progress and exceed what many thought they were capable of. Keep up the good work and the talent is sure to follow.
The game started out not so hot for the Sooners as a key figure, Cameron Clark, got himself into foul trouble early and never saw much playing time after that. Clark would finish the day with13 mintues and 0 points. This would obviously mean that the scoring would need to come from somewhere else coupled with Steven Pledger's capability to score.
And score the Sooners did. In Clark's "absence", Tyler Neal would step up making it a career day for himself on 5-9 shooting for 18 points. Added to that was a fantastic game from Andrew Fitzgerald from the block with another 17 points. While Pledger was unable to find the bottom of the net in the first half, he got it going in the second pouring in 22 points as the Sooners shot 52% from the field and 50% from behind the arc.
A crucial moment was when the Arkansas Razorbacks landed the Sooners in the bonus with over nine minutes left to play. The Hogs have been great at forcing turnovers. Also, the way this squad has shot free throws, it certainly could have given the Razorbacks a shot to get back into the game. The Sooners shot 78.3% from the charity stripe and never reliquished a double digit lead after a 20-3 run early in the first half while taking care of the ball fairly well with only 16 turnovers.
The only thing going for the Razorbacks was B.J. Young who had a game high 24 points as they shot a mere 34.5% from the field and 25.9% from range. Again, this is a great win for the Sooners and the program after what happened last season. Lon Kruger has this team on track defensively and conditioning wise to play his style. There is room for improvement and I have no doubts that Kruger has the ability to bring the highest potential out of this squad.