Lon Kruger lost his top three leading scorers from the 2012-2013 Oklahoma basketball team and returned Buddy Hield, and his 7.8 points per game, as the leading scorer. Starting over with a group made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores, for the 2013-14 season, Kruger guided his team to a 23-8 regular season record and a second place finish in the Big Twelve.
On Sunday Texas' Rick Barnes, who went 0-2 against Kruger, was named as the Big Twleve Coach of the Year, as voted on by the coaches, but on Monday the media disagreed and went with Lon Kruger as the Coach of the Year. Obviously we agree with the pick but its not just because we're homers either. Its absolutely the right pick!
Appreciate all the kind words today! Things like that happen when guys play unselfishly and make lots of shots! Very much a shared honor!— Lon Kruger (@LonKruger) March 11, 2014
Kruger only had one senior in his starting line up, and another off the bench, at his disposal. Yet, he tied Kansas for the second best record among Big Twelve schools and finished just two games behind the Jayhawks in the conference standings. The Sooners only lost back-to-back games once this year and for the first time in the history of the Big XII they swept rivals Texas and Oklahoma State in the regular season.
Kruger inherited a team that finished 10th in the conference the season before his arrival. His first season they finished 8th in the conference, last year they were 5th and then a second place finish this season. There's no questioning his status as being one of the top coaches in the conference and there's no denying that this year he delivered the best coaching performance in the Big Twelve.