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Big 12 basketball: Marcus Smart won't back off comments on Andrew Wiggins

by Ryan Aber and John Helsley Published: October 22, 2013

“We fully grasp that Kansas is still the team to beat,” Ford said. “I think any coach would tell you that. They're still the team in the Big 12 that everybody's trying to compete with.”

Jayhawks coach Bill Self has reloaded with a touted recruiting class led by Wiggins. And while Self suggested his young squad could “take some knocks early,” he also said it could be great by March.

“Certainly I think there is as much anticipation in our group as what we've had in just about any time that I've been there,” Self said. “So should be a lot of fun, and a time that we're very much looking forward to.”

BENNETT COULD MISS EXHIBITIONS

Redshirt junior forward D.J. Bennett could miss the Sooners' two exhibition games after suffering a slightly torn tendon in his foot last week, but Kruger said he expected Bennett to return in time for the season opener against Alabama on Nov. 8 in Dallas.

“At first we feared it might be a longer deal until we got the MRI back,” Kruger said. “A full tendon tear is a year, so we were relieved to see it wasn't that. Now, he's responding pretty well, I don't know if that means he'll play in that second exhibition game or come back for Alabama.”

Bennett is wearing a boot, much like Hornbeak and Hield did over the offseason.

“We need to burn those boots,” Kruger said.

MARKEL BROWN: NO MORE STORMING THE COURT

OSU's Markel Brown is laying down the law for Cowboys fans.

“There's no more storming the court anymore,” said the senior guard.

Brown still wants the rowdy and urges followers to celebrate games inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. But when the Cowboys win — against anybody — keep it cool.

“It's expected of us to win. To win a lot of games,” Brown said. “And being ranked so high comes with that. Storming the court is fun and all, but now we're capable of winning big games and that's what we should go out and do.”

HENSON INDUCTED INTO HALL

Oklahoma assistant coach Steve Henson was recently inducted into the Kansas State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Kruger, also a former Wildcats standout, returned to Manhattan, Kan., with Henson for the induction.

“Really proud for him,” Kruger said. “He'd really worked so hard and he's so unselfish and so much about team. He's invested so much and he's deserved and earned everything that he accomplished. For that recognition, it was nice for him to be able to share that with him and his family.”

Henson played for Kruger at Kansas State from 1987-90, twice earning honorable mention All-American honors and playing in four NCAA Tournaments.

QUOTABLE

TCU coach Trent Johnson, on the basis for his optimism for improvement: “My optimism is based off the facts, and the facts are you should shoot the ball better and play at a faster tempo. I understand our scrimmage last year at this time — scoreless with six minutes to go. This year 65-59. So I shut it down with about seven minutes left.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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