Oklahoma basketball: Sooners' speed thrills so far

Led by 6-8 Ryan Spangler, OU faces George Mason on Sunday in Washington.
by Ryan Aber Published: December 7, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma's Ryan Spangler (00) grabs a rebound in front of Texas A&M Corpus Christi forward Jeff Beverly (30) and forward Zane Knowles, rear, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma's Ryan Spangler (00) grabs a rebound in front of Texas A&M Corpus Christi forward Jeff Beverly (30) and forward Zane Knowles, rear, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

— Oklahoma's men's basketball team doesn't have much size up front.

At 6-foot-8, Ryan Spangler is the biggest of the Sooners' starters.

But what the Sooners lack in size, they make up for in speed across the court.

While OU might have issues in conference play when it meets the big lineups of the Big 12, the Sooners are using that athleticism edge to their advantage in the nonconference part of the schedule.

With basically a four-guard lineup, the Sooners have turned up the tempo this season.

Through eight games, OU is averaging 87.4 points per game — 14th nationally. Oklahoma has failed to score at least 40 points in just two of its 16 halves this season..

The Sooners play George Mason at noon Sunday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the BB&T Classic.

Spangler, and his athleticism, has been a big reason for the success of OU's up-tempo game.

“Most bigs, they don't run as quick as Ryan,” Sooners guard Isaiah Cousins said. “That's an edge. When you have Ryan running and then you have the wings running, it causes a big distraction for them and it makes it easier for us as guards.”

Spangler, the former Bridge Creek start who sat out last season after transferring from Gonzaga, enjoys the pace.

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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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