Wednesday night was pretty much a disaster for the respective Sooner basketball programs. I decided to combine the recaps because both games can be summarized in a pretty similar fashion. Both were going into games with a chance to redeem themselves for disappointing performances in the previous meeting with their respective opponents. Both failed miserably to capitalize on the opportunity. Men lose 52-68, women lose 71-92. Let's start with the men's game.
OU had easily their best crowd of the year (last couple years?) which was due in part to the opponent, but if I'm honest more so due to the university's decision to allow free attendance to the game. So for the first time since Blake Griffin, LNC was about as close to full as OU fans have proven capable. Sadly, they were treated to an underwhelming performance almost from the tip-off.
Look, it's no secret that OU is grossly over matched against this Texas squad but you would hope they could at least appear to be competitive. Such was not the case as the Sooners did what they have done so many times this season, get down double digits early and never recover to make it a game. OU didn't even reach double digits themselves until the eight minute remaining mark in the first half. Do me a favor and keep reading after the jump as I have two questions I'd like to get your opinion on.
Compound OU's inability to put points on the board with the fact that time and again they put out the red carpet for Texas to coast, uncontested, for easy bucket after easy bucket. Now to be fair, OU's ineptitude on offense was largely due to the continued dominance of the Longhorns defensive play but it's not like OU is accustomed to putting up 80 points a night either. For the second consecutive game, both Steven Pledger and Cameron Clark were non-existent. This team cannot win very many, if any, games if that continues to be the case. Pledger did finish with 13 points, but got most of those on a couple late threes which came well after the game had been decided. Clark just seems to have gone into a shell for some reason, displaying very little confidence in his offensive game and rarely looking for a shot or driving to the basket.
So, I asked you to stick around and here is what I wanted your help with. I'll avoid asking one of my issues regarding Capel and his absolute refusal to us his bench. I think we all know the answer to that question and while I can't help but hold him responsible for the lack of talent there, it's a conversation for a different time.
So my first question is why is Tyler Neal the only guy on the team who fights for rebounds? How is this acceptable? This team is ridiculously undersized against almost every opponent, so the only way they can even be competitive on the boards is by hustle and effort. It is incredibly disappointing to watch this one kid be the only one who shows any kind of desire to get a rebound.
My second and to me more important question is a two-parter. First, if I'm not mistaken Jeff Capel was a point guard at Duke right? (Wait he played at Duke?!?) So part two, why during his tenure has he completely failed to recruit and/or develop a point guard? If this was a position he played, and played pretty well, why has he been unable to get anything out of this spot for OU since he was hired in 2006? Let's go through the names; Austin Johnson, Bobby Maze, Omar Leary, T.J. Franklin, TMG, Blair Jr., and Newell. Not exactly something you'd highlight on your resume. So why can't Capel find a kid or develop a kid who plays the same position as he did?
Anyway, on to the women's game. For as bad as the men were last night, the women were probably worse. The Sooners had an awful night shooting (34% from the field and 20% from three) while A&M was the exact opposite (52% from the field and 50% from three). OU was led by D-Rob's 24 points, but for 3/4 of the game she was the only Sooner in double digits. Whitney Hand had a horrible game and appears to be struggling while working through her comeback from major knee surgery. Freshman Aaryn Ellenberg also had an off night and when both she and Hand are not there to help Robinson, it typically does not end well for OU. The Sooners were again unable to contain A&M's Danielle Adams (30 points), but really when your opponent (especially in the women's game) almost reaches triple digits your defensive effort was beyond lacking.