Longar Longar and Blake Griffin (23) have been the fuel
that has propelled Oklahoma to consecutive victories over
Arkansas and Gonzaga photo newsok.com
An amazing transition has taken place for the OU men's basketball team as the season has progressed. Post players Longar Longar and Blake Griffin are starting to become game breakers with a stronger inside presence. It's not really a big surprise with Griffin who was Oklahoma's star recruit and is leading the team in scoring (13.2), rebounding (8.3) and steals (1.4). It's the other member of the Sooner's tandem down low who has raised eyebrows.
Longar Longar has finally quit attempting 10-15 foot jumpers and has moved his game inside. In the last four game Longar has scored at least 16 points and is averaging 17 per game during that stretch. In Oklahoma's last two wins over Arkansas and Gonzaga it was Logar who led the team in scoring with 17 and 16 points respectively. He's second on the team, behind Blake Griffin, in scoring (12.7) and rebounding (6.7) and has made 66% of his shots over the last three games.
With Oklahoma's post game becoming stronger it is relieving pressure on the guards allowing them to get off their shots from outside. Against Arkansas Longar and Blake Griffin combined for 28 points drawing enough attention for the Sooner guards to connect on 11 three point shots. Against, Gonzaga it was Longar and Griffin going for 31 while the guards scored 36 of their own.
It's a counterbalance that works for Oklahoma as long as both players from both positions are carrying their weight. If the guards aren't making their shots then pressure mounts on the post players. If the post players can't make plays inside then they won't draw double-teams which doesn't allow the guards to get open shots.
Right now it's working out for the Sooners thanks mostly to the improved play of Longar Longar. If he continues to play at this level, and even elevate his game like he has done throughout the season, then not only will Oklahoma have a chance to win at West Virginia but they'll also make some noise in conference.