There are many hopes and aspirations for this Oklahoma Sooners Hoops Squad under second year coach Lon Kruger. A quick look at Kruger's track record says that the second year has been far more successful than the first. While Oklahoma has appeared to be following the trend, another trend has begun to arise.
One of the most common perceptions about this team is that they lack consistent scoring. Steven Pledger was that for this team last season. However, while Pledger carried a major portion, he never got the productivity off the bench to support his efforts. Nowadays, the Sooners have multiple scoring options including Romero Osby in the starting five along with Buddy Hield coming off the bench.
I know what you're thinking, Romero Osby is a staple in this scheme and will continue to be the center piece. Yet, with the scoring options off the bench along with the support in the starting five, Oklahoma is still facing struggles on offense. On several different occasions, it has been the defense stepping into a high gear in order to control the game.
But, I want to break it down just a tad further. In each of the wins this season, the Sooners have remained aggressive in nearly every facet of the game. It is why they current rebound at a clip of 37.3 a game. The attitude has also been a main contributor in close games as players land themselves at the charity stripe.
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Simple math provides us with this: in Oklahoma's wins, they are making 22.43 trips to the free throw line on average, in the losses they are making 13.33 appearances at the stripe. This number in losses is nearly half of what it is in the wins.
In conclusion, when the Sooners are in attack mode, they are more likely to win. With players like Hield and Cameron Clark who are natural slashers, it is hard to see why there aren't more trips to free throw land. At the beginning of his career at OU Kruger said this:
"We will attack on offense and look to score in transition and play with great toughness on defense. Naturally, we'll have to match our style to our personnel, but our basic principles will always be the same."
Up next for Oklahoma will be the Ohio Bobcats, a Sweet 16 Team who will be handful offensively. OU must remain in attack mode coming off a loss and the story will be told in free throw attempts. An uncontested shot is a chance to shoot yourself into or out of a game. When the opportunity arises, the Sooners must be ready to capitalize but they have to get to the line first.