After a short hiatus, the Oklahoma Sooners will take to the hardwood during the Thanksgiving break. Losing to the No. 1 team in the country has Lon Kruger and his crew ready to get back to work. This time they are eyeing the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans in front of a welcomed home crowd.
A 17-15 season is not exactly something to be proud of as the Sun Belt Conference continues to experience change. Sustained success will be tough to come by but none is more poised to do so than Trojans Head Coach Steve Shields. There will certainly be a few bumps along the way, however Shields' team began to put it together late last season.
Arkansas-Little Rock loses a major contributor in John Gillon. While the kid led the way in three-point attempts and makes for the Trojans, Gillon has decided to take his talents elsewhere. Yet, the area where he will likely be missed the most is in free throw attempts. It became a staple of Gillon and his game, although just a freshman, as he made a name for himself as the second leading scorer.
That means the scoring responsibility will fall squarely on Will Neighbour, the teams best returning player. At 6-10, this is a senior that outsizes much of his competition and knows how to make the best of each situation. Neighbour currently averages 18.8 points on 58.5% shooting from the field.
Behind him will be Josh Hagins who struggled early on during his freshman year. After gaining some confidence, this point guard hit a bit of a stride as he found himself to be the starter. Currently he averages 12.2 points per game along with 3.6 assists. The biggest area of improvement undoubtedly manifests itself in turnovers. Committing 2.6 per game in 26 minutes of play may jump against stiffer competition.
Projected Starting Five:
Josh Hagins, Sophomore, Guard
Ben Dillard, Junior, Guard
Leroy Isler, Senior, Forward
Will Neighbour, Senior, Forward
James White, Sophomore, Forward
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.2
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.9
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.0
Rebounds Per Game: 37
Assists Per Game: 10
Turnovers Per Game: 12
The game will tip off November 29th at 2:00 PM CST and can be viewed on Sooner Sports TV.