Don’t blame the Sooners
I agree with the assessments that OU’s 30-point loss to Louisville was embarrassing. But I don’t know what Jeff Capel and the Sooners were supposed to do to avoid it.
OU was no match for Louisville. It was a horrible matchup. Maybe the only worse matchup would be Tennessee. The ‘Ville and the Vols play full-court pressure defense, sort of old style basketball from the ’80s you don’t see much anymore. And it’s a style that the Sooners are incapable of handling.
OU has a serviceable point guard in Austin Johnson, but only at a particular pace. Turn up the heat, and Johnson is vulnerable at a faster tempo. OU’s other guards are not great ballhandlers; David Godbold, Tony Crocker, Cade Davis. All have their strengths, but ballhandling is not among them.
OU had 16 turnovers, but it seemed like 36. And OU had just 15 field goals. That’s more turnovers than baskets. Louisville’s press cost the Sooners more than possessions. It cost them productivity. The Sooners were hurried into poor shots. Blake Griffin got only six shots and didn’t go to the foul line. Louisville is tall and athletic and caused great havoc.
Capel really had no answers. I have none for him. This is what Billy Tubbs’ old teams used to do to opponents. Totally disarm them. Fact is, that’s what Tubbs’ team did to Louisville back in 1988, 20 years ago to the day in the same city, Birmingham.
Watching Villanova reach the Sweet 16 with point guard Scottie Reynolds, you know what OU missed out on when Reynolds got out of his letter of intent. An attacking point guard can make a team pay for pressing.
The Sooners had guard play that can’t fight back against the press. You’ve got to get easy baskets against pressure defense, else you’ll never see the pressure relent. The Sooners got few easy baskets.
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