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OU basketball: Development of D.J. Bennett will benefit Ryan Spangler

Spangler will get a little more rest, which means he will be fresher as the Sooners enter the postseason.
by Ryan Aber Published: March 9, 2014

Rest hasn’t been plentiful for Ryan Spangler this basketball season.

For most of the year, about the only thing that’s kept Oklahoma’s sophomore forward off the court has been foul trouble.

But over the last two weeks, junior D.J. Bennett’s improvement has allowed OU coach Lon Kruger to give Spangler more rest.

The result has been a bit of a drop off in numbers for Spangler, but he figures to be fresher in this week’s Big 12 Tournament and then in the NCAA Tournament beyond that because of the breaks he’s been given.

“It doesn’t hurt him,” Kruger said of the rest. “Obviously he’d rather be playing, but I think that’s good.”

In Oklahoma’s first 14 Big 12 games, Spangler played 30 or more minutes in 10 of them.

In the other four, some level of foul trouble limited Spangler’s minutes each time.

The 6-foot-8 Bennett has been steadily improving throughout the season but really started showing it in the loss at Kansas on Feb. 24.

Bennett was forced into early action by Spangler’s foul trouble and acquitted himself well against the Jayhawks’ bigs.

In the last three games, though, Bennett has gotten even better.

Early in the season, he would frequently rack up fouls by going for blocks at inopportune times.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics 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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