Labeled as the vocal leader of this Oklahoma Sooners team from the onset of his career, Buddy Hield took a leap forward during his sophomore campaign. Averaging 16.5 points per game, an increase from 7.8 ppg during his freshman year, Hield found his name listed as a part of the All-Conference Second Team. Yet, head coach Lon Kruger seems to think bigger things are in store for this budding star.
I think he took a good step last year. I think he can take another step in terms of being a little more physical in terms of attacking the paint and attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line. - Lon Kruger via The Norman Transcript
It is no secret that Hield took a plethora of his shots from beyond the arc, 52.9% to be exact. That number alone backs up the statement made by Kruger. In further study, the kid took a mere 84 attempts from the charity stripe. Compare that to the numbers of Jordan Woodard who attempted 188 free throws and the discrepancy becomes apparent.
One of the things Oklahoma seemed to struggle at within in conference play was finishing at the rim. Although a slasher in Cameron Clark has graduated, the potential for Hield to step into that role is there. As a high energy player, the possibilities are limitless for the talent guard. Moving forward, the only concern is wear and tear as Hield averaged a team high 32.1 minutes per game.
Assuming Hield picks up the attack mentality of a few of his counterparts, could he lead the league in scoring? Absolutely as all the pieces are in place! That is the next step for Hield who will be counted on more than ever in the upcoming season.