Oklahoma Sooners: NCAA Tournament Team Bio

Oklahoma Sooners

University of Oklahoma

Record: 23-9 (5 seed, West Bracket)

Coach: Lon Kruger

Tournament Berth:  At Large Bid

Big Wins: Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, West Virginia

Big Loses: Michigan State, Kansas, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas State

The Sooners started their 2013-14 campaign on fire, winning their first four over Alabama, North Texas, Idaho and Seton Hall before falling 87-76 to then #1 Michigan State. OU would then rattle off its next seven before losing a 102-98 overtime thriller at home to Louisiana Tech, finishing the non-conference slate 11-2.

Big 12 league play was a mix of peaks and valleys for the Sooners, but largely peaks,  as they would finally get on the map with an 87-82 upset of then #9 Iowa State that landed them at #25 in the national rankings. A 72-66 loss at Kansas State would follow just three days later, but OU bounced right back to take four straight, highlighted by an 88-76 upset of then #9 Oklahoma State. Then came a bit of a rough patch, and losses in three of the next five before the Sooners closed the regular season with a 97-67 dismantling of TCU to finish the conference 12-6.

OU comes into the postseason ranking no. 8 nationally with 82.2 points per game and Forty-sixth in rebounds per game at 37.7, while shooting  45.1 percent from the field. Defensively, the Sooners are allowing 75.9 ppg for a sub 300 national ranking.

Top Players

POINTS

PPG

FG%

FT%

3PT%

Buddy Hield

16.8

.451

.750

.397

Cameron Clark

15.3

.464

.798

.425

REBOUNDS

REB

OFF

DEF

BPG

Ryan Spangler

9.4

3.3

6.1

0.9

Cameron Clark

5.5

1.3

4.2

0.4

ASSISTS

APG

SPG

TO

AST/TO

Jordan Woodard

4.7

1.1

2.1

2.2

Je’lon Hornbeak

2.5

0.8

1.4

1.9

 

Starting Five

F – Cameron Clark

F – Ryan Spangler

G – Isaiah Cousins

G – Buddy Hield

G – Jordan Woodard

Who’s Hot:  Sophomore G Buddy Hield is this team’s unquestioned spark plug. Hield had just two games all season where he didn’t reach double-figures in scoring, so he gets it going just about every time out. He puts up a lot of threes,l and at 39.7 percent from outside the arc, he’s a big reason why OU is one of the nation’s highest scoring teams. Senior forward Cameron Clark also looks to be a major factor as a solid second scoring option.

Who’s Not: Sophomore F Ryan Spangler sputtered to the regular season finish line after being OU’s second-leading scorer for part of the season. He’s hit double-figures in scoring just twice in his last ten games, averaging just 6.8 ppg during that stretch. At 6’8, 232 pounds, though, he’s a wide-body who can get physical with anyone down low.

Outlook: The Sooners were a nice surprise this season, flying under the radar for half of it in maybe the nation’s toughest conference. They are also unpredictable. After taking out Baylor twice during the regular season, they lost to them handily in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals after nearly coming back from 21 down. Right now they’re projected by many pundits as a seven seed, which would put them in that dreaded 12-7 matchup and could mean an early exit. Oklahoma has shocked just about everyone this season with consistent play, though, and a deep run through the tourney is completely possible, albeit unlikely.

Commentary by Rick Sarlat

Sources:
ESPN
dallasnews.com

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