Oklahoma junior forward Amath M'Baye learned this season that he needs to get a little more patient.
Sometimes he rushed shots. Sometimes his anger overtook his game. The Preseason Big 12 Rookie of the Year struggled to be a second shooter behind senior Romero Osby many games for Oklahoma during the 2012-2013 season. Next year, Osby's consistency and production will be gone, along with the 3-pointers from Steven Pledger, steady point guard play from Sam Grooms and the rebounds from Andrew Fitzgerald.
So what will Oklahoma have next season? A group of experienced sophomores, talented players who redshirted this season and incoming recruits who could help the Sooners to another to another NCAA Tournament bid.
The sophomore class will feature guards Buddy Hield, Je'lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins, all three of whom saw significant playing time as freshman. Though he missed time late in the season with a broken foot, Hield turned heads across the Big 12 with his energy and his 3-pointers as he gained the trust of his teammates. Cousins provided aggressive defense but was not always confident offensively. Hornbeak gave the Sooners consistency on defense and provided help from 3-point range.
The Sooners also have a talented group who redshirted this season. That group helped push the starters in practice.
The strong worth ethic of Gonzaga transfer Ryan Spangler pushed senior Romero Osby, helping him earn All-Big 12 honors. As he prepared for the NCAA Tournament, Osby praised Spangler as having the ability to fill his shoes.