Pledger slowly grinned, looked down and nodded.
“Yeah,” the senior guard said. “He's more intense. More fire. More sternness.”
Romero Osby called the practice “amped up.”
“Getting ready for Big 12, it's going to be different.” Osby said. “The games are going to be way up here, and the level is going to be high, especially the intensity level.”
For the first practice this season, freshman Buddy Hield, who is known for constantly talking whether he has the ball or is even on the court or not, was outtalked by his head coach.
“Here we go Sam. Now we go here. Look. Look. Now over here. Move. Move. Move.”
Kruger's coaching became the background soundtrack to the practice. The second-year coach would spread his arms wide as he watched his starters defend and then he'd stop the play and call them all back when he saw something to improve upon.
Sometimes in a game, when Kruger sees something his team does wrong and he calls a timeout, his brow will furrow. He'll look like he's about to yell, then in a split second something changes. Instead of yelling, Kruger begins to clap and encourage his players.
By the end of practice, Kruger was clapping and smiling at his players as they smiled back, but a few of the Sooners said they could tell practice had changed.
Lon Kruger meant Big 12 business.