Pattillo a key for Sooners tonight
Juan Pattillo has gone from redshirt in January to supersub in February to forgotten man in March. Last week in Kansas City, the Oklahoma basketball team barely used Pattillo. In the second half against Michigan, OU coach Jeff Capel didn’t substitute until the final 19 seconds.
But that should change tonight against Syracuse. Pattillo will be needed against the Orange.
Pattillo has struggled the longer he has played. Pattillo came out of redshirt status in January and was an immediate sensation. His shot-blocking became a serious defensive force for the Sooners, and Pattillo’s athletic ability led to a bunch of dunks off nifty passes and offensive rebounds. Plus, he made foul shots, which always is a plus.
But Pattillo struggled the longer the season went. He resorted to junior-college tendencies. Forcing shots. Getting lost on defense. Pattillo has had his moments of coming out of the funk. But against some opponents, his value lessens.
Michigan, for example. The Wolverines were remarkably unathletic for a second-round NCAA Tournament team. Michigan was well-drilled and could make a free-lancer look bad. The Sooners were better off sticking with starters or playing guys who more stayed between the lines.
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