NORMAN — During an 83-66 men's exhibition basketball win over Washburn (Kan.), a pair of newcomers stole the show for the Sooners on offense.
On a Friday night when OU shot a decent 44 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc, freshman guard Buddy Hield and junior transfer Amath M'Baye combined for 30 points and six rebounds to help the Sooners secure their victory over the NCAA Division II Ichabods. The pair's sustained success throughout the game led to extensive minutes for the fresh faces on this year's Sooner team that touts quality depth on the bench.
But OU coach Lon Kruger wasn't surprised that his team was led by a pair of players who were making their Sooner debuts.
“We've got seven or eight guys on this team that could lead us in scoring, so it wasn't surprising because they've showed us in practice and in scrimmages that they're going to be good scorers for us,” Kruger said. “I also think we've got a club this year that people coming off the bench will be the reason we win ballgames, which means we have quality depth, too.”
This season's added depth forced Kruger to remove seniors Andrew Fitzgerald and Sam Grooms, along with junior Cameron Clark, from the starting lineup. The trio of experienced veterans combined for 90 starts last season. But Kruger's decision allowed M'Baye to enter the starting rotation.