The Oklahoma Sooners came back down to earth just a bit in Thursday’s loss the the Wisconsin Badgers, but they have an opportunity to end things on a high note as they face the Dayton Flyers at 10:30 a.m. CT.
Oklahoma vs. Dayton: 10:30 a.m. at Imperial Arena (Paradise Island, Bahamas)
Commentary: Jon Sciambi and Dan Dakich
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa)
- The Flyers are 4-1, with their only loss coming Thursday coming against No. 4 Virginia, 66-59. Prior to Thursday, Dayton had claimed wins against North Florida, Coppin State, Purdue Fort Wayne and Butler.
- Dayton currently sits at No. 81 in the KenPom rankings, with an adjusted offensive efficiency ranking of 68 and an adjusted defensive efficiency ranking of 112. The Flyers were picked to finish sixth out of 14 teams in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll.
- Oklahoma and Dayton last met in the 2015 NCAA Tournament Round of 32, with Buddy Hield and the Sooners coming out on top in Columbus, 72-66. OU leads the all-time series, 3-1.
- Perimeter defense - Much of Wisconsin’s Thursday success can be attributed to simply being hot from beyond the three-point line (14-22), but OU’s second-half defensive perimeter breakdowns didn’t help matters. They occurred against Florida, but a team as good as Wisconsin was going to take better advantage of it (although 14-22 is insane, even with subpar defending). That’s something the Sooners will obviously have to work on, but the defensive intensity as a whole has been impressive. They just have to be a bit more disciplined in certain instances.
- Manek’s offense - In general, I’ve been pleased with Brady Manek’s offseason development. However, offensive consistency is still something that needs to come along. Manek is 3-12 from the field and 1-6 from three this week, and it will certainly make matters easier on Friday if he can get that turned around.
- Bench support - In wins over UTSA, Wofford and Florida, one or more bench players have provided the necessary spark to help lead this team to a victory. It could be Matt Freeman’s threes, Miles Reynolds’ energy, Rashard Odomes’ hustle or Jamal Bieniemy’s playmaking ability, but one or more of those guys are going to need to rise to the challenge if OU is going to end this trip with a W.