Oklahoma improved two 2-0 on Friday night with a 92-65 win over Coppin State and will now head to Anaheim, California to play in the 76 Classic. Of all the stats from the game the one that stands out the most is 61-27. That's the difference in the rebounding margin in Oklahoma's advantage. Romero Osby led the way on the boards with 10 but Casey Arent had 9 with Andrew Fitzgerald and C.J. Washington collecting eight each.
Osby added 11 points to go along with with his 10 boards to record the team's only double-double, his second of the season. Guard Steven Pledger returned to the starting lineup and scored a team high 20 points on 8-14 shooting, proving that he needs to be the guy that touches the ball on every possession. His presence certainly gave the Sooners a spark and increases Coach Kruger's depth considerably. Other players to score in double figures were Fitzgerald and Calvin Newell.
Another interesting note is that no player played more than Sam Grooms' 23 minutes. This is mostly the result of the game being a complete blowout but also shows a but of balance in the development of Oklahoma's depth. Alarmingly the Sooners turned the ball over 15 times with Grooms and Carl Blair accounting for nearly half of them. Coppin State matched Oklahoma's 15 turnovers and were outscored 22-16 by OU off turnovers.
A couple areas of focus for the Sooners were attacking the rim and crashing the boards for second chance points while limiting the opponent to just one shot and done. The Sooners showed vast improvement in these areas by outscoring the Eagles 34-18 in the paint and making it to the charity strip 13 times. This showed a continued emphasis to drive the lane and force opponents to defend the inside along with the perimeter. In the other area of fucus, OU outscored Coppin State 28-9 in second chance points. That stat in itself shows the domination on the boards.
While there was marked improvement from game one to game two for Oklahoma there should be something said about the level of competition. Idaho State was more salty than anyone expected in the opener but Coppin State won't be confused for a top mid-major team this season. The real test of Lon Kruger's troops will come next week when they play in the 76 Classic. The Sooners start off with Washington State on Thanksgiving night.