“We would have not been in that position had he not played as well as he did,” Kruger said.
Big point contributions from seniors Romero Osby and Steven Pledger — who added 18 points each — also helped Oklahoma. Osby — who had a double-double with his 15 rebounds — scored 15 points in the second half and overtime combined.
“That's the usual,” Grooms said of Osby's stability and consistency. “I'm not even surprised when Roe did that. I'm just sticking to the fact that Roe is our leader and he's going to make plays like that just about every time we need him.”
Because that's what Oklahoma does, Grooms said. They step up and help others when they are in need. Now, their contributions are being fueled by the freshman guard who's stuck on the bench.
“To be honest, I love Buddy to death,” Grooms said. “We're going to play hard for Buddy because that's what he does. I want to play for him because he can't play. I just stepped up in his absence.”