OU basketball: Lon Kruger points out areas where the Sooners need to improve

The OU coach is not surprised that many team members are already in the weight room working out.
by Ryan Aber Published: March 31, 2014


photo - Oklahoma's Lon Kruger watches practice for the NCAA men's basketball tournament practice at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash., Wednesday, March 19, 2014.Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Lon Kruger watches practice for the NCAA men's basketball tournament practice at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash., Wednesday, March 19, 2014.Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s biggest weakness on its men’s basketball team this season was interior offense.

The Sooners had sharp-shooting guards at three spots, and Cam Clark’s mid-range game made OU dangerous offensively.

Ryan Spangler had his moments scoring inside, but his offensive game went away late, especially against teams with a physical presence at center.

That inside offense — from Spangler, D.J. Bennett and a trio of signees — is a major point of emphasis going into this offseason.

“We got pretty one-dimensional late,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said Monday. “The results were still OK, but we leaned on the three more late. We stopped attacking. We stopped getting the ball into the paint as much.

“Not that we got it there a lot, but that’s what we did earlier. We’ve got to get it in there more. We’ve got to be more balanced inside-outside. We’ve got to be more physical.”

Bennett, who was primarily a shot-blocker coming on in relief of Spangler, improved at the end of the season but was never a consistent offensive threat. He’ll be the team’s only senior next year.

“It’s a huge offseason for D.J.,” Kruger said. “We need D.J. to jump in there and play a lot more minutes. I thought in stretches he had really good minutes this year. But he’s got to invest this offseason in a way that he’s prepared to have consistent really good minutes, and a lot more of them. He’ll do that. He’s got the capability to do that.”

Khadeem Lattin and Jamuni McNeace, the Sooners’ two 6-foot-9 signees, figure to be other options for scoring down low. Both are likely to need to bulk up before getting very physical against the top centers in the Big 12.


by Ryan Aber
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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