OU's defense hasn't been dazzling so far as the Sooners try to find the right balance between defending hard and worrying too much about the new rules.
Spangler, though, has been superb. He's third in the Big 12 with 8.9 rebounds per game and has led the Sooners in rebounding in six of eight games and has three double-doubles.
“Ryan's mobility on both ends of the floor — he's been very good defensively in terms of fighting ball screens and helping, recovering, and helping on drives,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “He's got a good awareness.”
Spangler has also taken on leadership on the defensive end.
“He's showing us where to go, so he's our anchor on that end,” senior forward Cameron Clark said. “He's telling us where we need to be and rebounding the ball at an amazing level. He's just a great guy to be on the same team with.”