MBB | Oklahoma Prepares For A Revamped Idaho Vandals Squad

USA TODAY Sports

They're very quick and very athletic, and they're going to put a lot of pressure on us. I'm hoping that's one of our strengths this year, that we're very quick and athletic for an Idaho team. I'm hoping we're able to handle the ball versus their pressure. - Idaho Head Coach Don Verlin


The Oklahoma Sooners continue to build momentum before they head out to Brooklyn for the Coaches vs Cancer Classic. After a slow start in which the squad overcame a 16 point deficit, the Sooners have put some of the pieces together. Bench scoring, a concern early on, seems to be alleviated now that the team is at full strength. Next up for Oklahoma is the Idaho Vandals.

The Opponent

The Idaho Vandals are coming off a disappointing 12-18 season and will be looking for some redemption this year. With the loss of Kyle Barone, former WAC Player of the Year, head coach Don Verlin hit the recruiting trail. The point of emphasis? Players who can contribute immediately. When the recruiting process was all said and done, the Idaho Vandals inked a class of six including four JUCO transfers.

Stephen Madison is one-of-two returning starters. Throughout the season, this is a kid who will see extended playing time often in the 30+ minute range. After their home opener, Madison is leading the Vandals in scoring (21.0 ppg) as well as rebounding (14.0 per game). The offense will run through him as the others around him are continuing to adjust.

The other returning starter is Connor Hill. Although he possesses experience, he lacked the fire power of others on the roster on opening night. Averaging six points along with four rebounds per game may not have been the expectation as it was a dismal shooting performance for the kid. If Idaho intends to compete with Oklahoma, they will need to increase their scoring output above the current 67 points they scored in the opener.

Previous Game: Quick Recap

In the season opener, the Idaho Vandals squared off against the Western Illinois Leathernecks. Idaho declared themselves the victors after a strong shooting performance by Stephen Madison. Pouring in 21 points, Madison connected on 4-of-6 three point attempts. However, his biggest contribution may have been an assist to Connor Hill for three points to take the lead for good.

In the contest, the Vandals shot 40.8% from the field and 36.8% from behind the arc.

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