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Oklahoma men's basketball: Sooners apply lessons learned during win against Texas A&M

If OU continues to learn from its mistakes, then it just might surprise some people in the Big 12
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Published: December 16, 2012
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Eleven days passed between Oklahoma's loss to Arkansas and the Sooners victory against Texas A&M.

During the days in between, OU coach Lon Kruger continually talked about one trait his team needed: physicality.

In its first eight games, the Sooners let a lot of teams push them around. Sam Grooms said OU was getting beat up.

“Gonzaga beat us up,” he said. “West Virginia beat us up. Then Oral Roberts beat us up.”

Then came Arkansas. The Razorbacks found every hole in the Sooners' defense that game, but Oklahoma started to show a little improvement in their physical play. After the game, Kruger said it was still an area that needed to work.

Then on Saturday, in the All-College Classic, the Sooners did to Texas A&M what had been done 11 days earlier to them by Arkansas and so many games before that: they sped up, played physical and, as a bonus, had a bench player who was pretty much uncontainable.

After an 11-day break, junior reserve Cameron Clark changed the momentum of the game. Clark scored a season-high 17 points, but more importantly for Kruger, OU played more physical, grabbing 31 rebounds and 10 steals.

The postgame quotes that came from Aggies coach Billy Kennedy sounded similar to those of Kruger, Steven Pledger and Romero Osby OU failed to contain Arkansas' Marshawn Powell, who scored a career-high 33 points.

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