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Oklahoma men's basketball: Coaches asking Sam Grooms for more defense

Until that happens, Grooms will likely be coming off the bench for the Sooners.
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: February 3, 2013

The defense issues started two weeks ago, also against K-State. Grooms and Pledger grabbed five rebounds and combined for seven assists and four turnovers. But while it hasn't been a consistent thing with Pledger, Grooms said playing better defense is something Kruger has stressed to him since arriving at OU.

“It was just clear cut,” Grooms said. “I need to do more defensively to help the team out.”

Grooms, who was the starting point guard last year, went from reserve all the way to scout team during the last week of practice.

“He got his point across,” Grooms said of Kruger.

In practice, Grooms looked frustrated. He knew, athletically, he was talented enough to do what his coach was asking from him. Every day, the coaching staff told him what he needed to change.

Then came the reduction in his playing time. He played two minutes in a victory against Baylor and then sat on the bench in the opening half against Kansas State.

“He really got his point across. ‘Sam, you gotta play defense if you want to play for me. It's good that you can lead us in assists and make plays on players, but what are you doing on the other end?' They needed more from me,” Grooms said.

“They basically took the ball away from me. If it's something that you love, you'll figure out a way to get back out there.”