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Oklahoma men's basketball: Buddy Hield shook off jitters and excelled for Sooners

Friends from Wichita, Kan., get to see Hield start on Monday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: December 30, 2012

He pesters OU teammates for tickets to give to those from Sunrise who want to watch him play. Supporters talk to Hield on the phone or via social media. Tim Simoneau's son likes to hold the phone and say, “What, Buddy?” since Hield's thick accent and quick speech sometimes makes him hard to understand.

They say he's the same old Buddy. Always talkative. Always smiling.

Romero Osby said he's never been surprised by how much Buddy can talk — while guarding an opponent or just being a friend. Hield was like that when Osby served as his recruiting host.

“That was cool because I talk a lot, too,” Osby said. “We had a lot of long conversations.”

Hield also brought an energy — one that Osby said has left a mark on the entire team. The Sooners want to work more.

That lack of energy was evident during the first 20 minutes of Oklahoma's game against Ohio, but in the last 20, Hield guarded aggressively, stole the basketball, fed teammates who made baskets.

Hield made it through his first career start, and the Sooners won to boot.

He's now projected to make his second start, Monday against Corpus Christi, and he said he'll gladly welcome his “starter jitters” again.

He'd just like a few more baskets to come with them.