Oklahoma has come a long way from three seasons ago, when current seniors were freshman on a 13-18 team. The Sooners have changed as a team since a one-point loss to Stephen F. Austin in December and, after beating No. 5-ranked Kansas on Saturday night, there are more changes to come.
All of the changes have raised questions by readers and fans — questions that need answers before OU tips against TCU at 6 p.m. Monday. Here are the Top 5 questions, at this point in the men's basketball season, about the Sooners.
Should Sooner fans be worried about a letdown against TCU after the beating Kansas?
“As a team, we're not going to have that letdown. Individually, you don't want to be that guy who let the team down. If anything, we're going to come harder.” — senior guard Steven Pledger
It's known as the post-win hangover. A team that won so big often glosses over the next game because the energy and adrenaline from the big game remains. Except, the Sooners find no reason to overlook TCU. The Horned Frogs upset Kansas, too, just days before OU. And the Sooners know that a victory over Kansas on the resume doesn't look nearly as rewarding if the next result is a loss to the conference's basement team.
Why have three different point guards started Oklahoma's last three games?
“Looking for consistent production and we're getting different things from different players each night. Still in search of that consistency.” — Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger
Je'lon Hornbeak, Sam Grooms and Isaiah Cousins have all run the offense from the point guard role — and it's left Sooner fans freaking out. Bad news: the switching between point guards will likely continue to happen. Good news: Kruger is getting what he wants out of the point guards, and when he isn't, the next point guard steps up and chats with the starter like Grooms did after Cousins was whistled right before halftime on Saturday for holding the ball for five seconds. As they walked to the locker room, Grooms grabbed Cousins by the shoulder and explained to him why Kruger was upset. Then, he helped Cousins learn a new way to count out the five seconds.
Why is post-player Amath M'Baye dribbling on the perimeter and shooting threes?
“Well he made 2 out of 4 (Saturday) night, and lately his percentage is pretty good. ... Right now he's been shooting the ball well in practice. His confidence level is way up and we like seeing him take them.” — Kruger
M'Baye wouldn't be launching 3-point attempts if Kruger wasn't comfortable with him doing it.
What do players such as Cam Clark and Andrew Fitzgerald mean for this team?
“They were starters last year, and they could be selfish this year and have a bad attitude because they're coming off the bench. They haven't displayed it at all. They have good games. They have bad games. But lately, they've been really stepping up and it's been good for us.” — senior Romero Osby
Fitzgerald agrees he has done even better in his reserve role. His 6-foot-8 frame causes problems for opponents in the post, and he's aggressive. He has the most boards of any player off the bench. As for Clark, he is dangerous on the perimeter. He holds the second-highest field goal percentage on the team (. 487).
What was the best moment of Saturday night, and do you think that win will put OU into the NCAA Tournament?
“When the clock said 0.0 and it meant we won. ... and I think it is, but we're not really focused on that (NCAA Tournament) right now.” – senior reserve Andrew Fitzgerald
Not only does Saturday night's victory over Kansas look like it will put Oklahoma in the tournament — barring any extreme blowouts to TCU, Texas Tech or Texas — the Sooners' victory over the Jayhawks will also likely help their seeding.