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Oklahoma basketball: Sooners aren't a finished product yet

COMMENTARY — On a day when OSU's upset of Kansas rocked the Big 12, we learned that OU is still improving. And college basketball is looking up in the state as well.
by Berry Tramel Published: February 2, 2013
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Those rookies are going to be good. Really good. But they will have their rough patches.

After Osby's jumper in the paint with 6:27 left in the first half drew OU within 24-23, the Sooners didn't score again until Osby's driving hook shot with 15:38 left in the game.

During that drought, the freshman guards combined to go 0-for-3 from the field, with two turnovers.

To OU's credit, KSU scored only six points itself during that drought.

“They won a lot of battles,” Kruger said. “We'll learn from today. We've got to cut harder. They're physical. And strong. Their hands are on you.”

Disappointing result. Beat the 'Cats, and OU conceivably could have played Kansas next Saturday for the Big 12 lead.

But we were guilty of getting ahead of ourselves. The Sooners have solidified their NCAA invitation, barring total collapse. That doesn't mean they're a finished product or even will be by season's end.

“We've got a long way to go,” Kruger said. “Nothing wrong with that. Today's a reminder that we've got a significant ways to go.”

The Sooners are a good team. Not the Kelvin Sampson kind of good — “Are we a great team? No. Are we a good team? Yes.” – but good enough to finish decently in a slightly down Big 12. OU is 14-6 overall, tied for third in the league at 5-3.

“Lon's done a great job, in a short period of time, to re-energize, reorganize their program,” said KSU coach Bruce Weber, who's not so shabby himself at keeping the Bob Huggins/Frank Martin revival going. “Their 16 RPI (ranking) is well-deserved.”

OU's not among the 16 best college teams in America. But the Sooners aren't half bad. On what we hoped was going to be Celebration Saturday, that consolation will have to do.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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