The Oklahoma Sooners secured exhibition wins over Washburn (73-48) on Friday and SWOSU (78-37) on Tuesday. With the focus on improving defense while developing the youngsters, Lon Kruger continues drumming up excitement around the program. Here are three things we learned following the two exhibition match ups.
Three Things We Learned
The Team Will Rise And Fall With The Play Buddy Hield
Make no mistake, Buddy Hield has made a name for himself in two short years on the Division I level and rightfully so. He continues to impress in league play and has recorded 34 points through two exhibition games. If the ball fails to pass through the star guard's hands on every possession, it may shock a few fans. In watching Hield play, he provides an undeniable spark on both ends of the court as he continues to round out his game. Night in and night out, Buddy will dictate the Sooners' style of play by pushing the ball up court. Realistically though, don't expect the junior to be the leading scorer every night as there are other scorers on the roster.
The Newbies Are Very Athletic
Simply look at Khadeem Lattin and anyone can tell athleticism remains a strong point of the Oklahoma squad. An uncanny ability to crash the boards, Lattin combined with Ryan Spangler provides an instant edge on the glass. Put Lattin in with DJ Bennett and all the sudden...shots inside the paint become extremely difficult. In the back court, JUCO transfer Dinjiyl Walker plays visually similar to one Jordan Woodard. However, the problem comes in knowing that scoring suffers without the experienced starters on the court.
Oklahoma May Be A Sleeper Nationally
Potential has led to promise with the crop of talent continuously brought in the Sooners. With four returning starters, Oklahoma may be one piece shy of a deep tournament run. The only thing lacking from the roster is a scoring big man. The riddle may be solved assuming TaShawn Thomas gains immediate eligibility from the NCAA. Sure, the other bigs have potential but Thomas is a proven talent and would give the Sooners a boost desperately needed. However, that does not mean OU won't give Kansas a run for their money in the Big XII Conference.