The Oklahoma Sooners held an intrasquad scrimmage this past Saturday in McCasland Fieldhouse. While for many, it was the first glimpse at some of the younger talent, it was a great way for some of the fans to once again reconnect with the team. I had to opportunity to be in attendance. Here are a few quick notes from the Scrimmage.
1) Oklahoma is going to thrive on the transition game. Buddy Hield as well as Sam Grooms aren't afraid to get out in transition and push the ball up the court. Oklahoma certainly has the athleticism to run up and down the court with anyone. But, unlike last season, they will have enough bodies to rotate in and out to continue to push for the entirety of the game. However, it all starts with rebounding, another key point of this Oklahoma Squad.
2) The charity stripe is an area where the Sooners have made strides. From practice to game type situations, Lon Kruger is constantly emphasizing the importance of free throw shooting. During the scrimmage, Oklahoma shot 75% from the line as a team.
3) Turnovers are going to be a constant. When looking at this team, fans must remember that it is a young team. While there are some seasoned veterans on the court most of them have one possibly two years of experience as leaders of this team. As mentioned before, this is a run-and-gun offense that will be heavily dependent upon the ability to rebound. This in turn means, combined with the young talent, that there is more of a potential to get out of control or ahead of yourself resulting in a turnover.
4) Freshman Buddy Hield is a future leader vocal on this team. He is used to be the best on his team while also having a high level of intensity and endurance. This is a kid who has set the tone on defense as he is constantly on the move and you can bet the older guys don't want to be outworked by a freshman. Hield does not shy away from taking a shot or creating on his own to open up other players. I'd label him as my "player to watch" this season.
5) Outside shooting will be far better this season. Freshmen Je'lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins will aid Steven Pledger in spreading the floor out. Oklahoma, in a half court set will want to play inside out with the mid-range of Andrew Fitzgerald but they can't if they are not able to spread out the defense.
6) Lastly, the crowd support was there! As you can see in the photo, a good number of fans turned out to catch a glimpse of this team before the season gets underway. To be completely honest, I was expecting maybe 150-200 people total. There were easily 600+ that filtered in and out.