Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
The Oklahoma Sooners have completed a single game in week one of college basketball. The winds of change continue to sweep through Norman! A handful of newcomers are carrying the weight on their shoulders. Yet, experience and leadership from the upperclassman carry an equal portion. While there are many noticeable changes taking place on the court in Lon Kruger's second season as head coach, one may stand out a bit more than the rest.
The progression of the post position has begun to take shape this season as the correct personnel has been installed into the equation. While it is no secret that Oklahoma will be undersized in the blocks, they have an equalizer for this disadvantage. With the way basketball has evolved, it has not been uncommon to see teams intentionally playing a smaller line-up. This attitude and mentality breaks it down to a classically simple yet complex speed vs. size battle. In many of the cases, speed wins out.
That is exactly the mismatch that Oklahoma is up to with the fast pace offense. Often Kruger will employ the press to score fast break points off turnovers, leaving the big men trailing behind the entire time. Essentially, this makes opposing post players null and void during portions of the game.
But, how will Oklahoma continue to play such a scheme? That question is answered with three players.
Amath M'Baye is a quick skilled forward who not only possesses the ability to put the ball on the floor and create for himself and teammates, but can also shoot the ball from extended range. He may not have the body to play with his back toward the basket but, it is his speed and agility that creates a mismatch for many of his bigger counterparts in the face up game.
The other starting forward, Romero Osby, is a more physical type player yet also has speed working for him as well. Not only can Osby shoot the ball from outside, he has the ability to crash the boards and bang bodies. The tenacity and physicality make him a tough player to match up on especially if he is the center.
Throw in a back up like Tyler Neal, a kid that's been working on finding his outside shot once again, and the Sooners have a solid rotation to hurl at defenders while keeping them behind in a game of chase. Expect this progression to continue as the young but talented players come into their own allowing everyone to find their role in this balanced attack. Couple that with experience and knowledge of the inner workings of this scheme and chemistry and the Sooners are set to surprise and upset a few unexpecting teams down the road.