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Catching up with Lon Kruger – pre Bedlam

by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: February 15, 2013
OU head coach Lon Kruger gives instructions to his team during an NCAA men's basketball game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Texas Christian University (TCU) at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. OU won, 75-48. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
OU head coach Lon Kruger gives instructions to his team during an NCAA men's basketball game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Texas Christian University (TCU) at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. OU won, 75-48. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger has had a week of adjustments after losing one of his starting freshmen guards to a broken foot.

The media caught up with Kruger and talked changes to the starting lineup, the void of Buddy Hield and more.

Below is the transcript:

Media: How is Buddy feeling?

Lon Kruger: He feels good. Not as good as if he was playing but he’s going to bounce back. Players helped him a lot. Surgery went well and he’ll be there as best he can, no doubt about that.

Big game on Saturday.

Yeah, huge game. Second third of the conference season and it’s a game where they’re in first and we’re a game back and it’s a big game. Tough challenge for our guys. It will be a great atmosphere there and Oklahoma State’s playing terrific. …  They look very good doing it so we know how tough that will be.

They’re playing a lot better than the first time they came around

Probably everyone is, hopefully. That’s five weeks ago. Hopefully everyone has improved. Certainly they’re on a five, six, seven game winning streak. They’re playing very well.

Is there something in particular that they’re doing?

I think individually they’re playing five weeks more improved and five weeks more experienced. They’re playing with confidence. A lot of guys, when you win ball games, play well and when you win close games, it really promotes better play and they’re doing that.

What kind of options do Cam and Je’lon bring?

It won’t be a lot different from what they’ve always done. It’s not like we’ll have Je’lon now go through something from what he’s been doing. Je’lon’s been playing well the last couple ball games. Cam’s been playing pretty well for a while. They’ll have more minutes but be doing the same things they’ve been doing, hopefully.

How critical have Cam’s little bursts of points been?

Points sometimes are hard to come by so any time you can get them, you like that. Cam seems to do that – getting back-to-back buckets or three in a row real quickly. That’s always nice whenever anyone can do that. Whether it’s Cam or anyone else.

Last time you played, the best way to contain Smart was for him to get three fouls in about 15 minutes. Besides that?

Not much else has worked very well. He’s had a great year. He impacts the game in so many different ways. Foul trouble here burdened him a little bit. …

How much weight do you put into that last matchup in terms of Saturday’s game?

You always watch the previous game when you’ve played someone. You always go back and break down what works for them, what works for us. Of course, they’re doing the same thing so they’re making little adjustments but more importantly is probably three or four games prior. That’s what you want to focus most of your attention on and they’re playing very, very good basketball.

Will you put Je’lon back into the lineup?

Je’lon will start in there but they’ll all play a bunch of minutes.

Are you worried about a drop off with Buddy out of the lineup?

We’re one man short in the rotation. Someone else is going to have to step up and play those minutes really well. But that’s the value of depth. We’ve got quality depth and those guys have played good minutes all year.


by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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