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OU basketball notebook: Defense a priority

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Modified: January 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm •  Published: January 3, 2011

Before the holiday break the Sooners were improving defensively. Maryland Eastern Shore shot only 32.8 percent, but OU coach Jeff Capel said that's misleading.

“The stats aren't very indicative of our defense,” Capel said. “They didn't shoot a great percentage, but I don't think it was because of our defense. I just think they missed shots. We have to really get back to playing solid defense like we were before Christmas. This is two games in a row I wasn't pleased with some things we did defensively."

With OU starting four guards, it's critical Andrew Fitzgerald stays out of foul trouble. That has been a problem for the sophomore forward. Fitzgerald was whistled for some ticky-tack fouls Monday but drew his third less than two minutes into the second half, his fourth with 8:03 to play.

“Andrew (Fitzgerald) has to understand how important he is to us. He has to play without fouling,” Capel said. “The past two games, he's gotten cheap fouls and they were fouls. And we've got to do a better job with (stopping) dribble penetration.”


Freshman Cameron Clark has had at least one dunk in every game since he and Carl Blair hooked up for a dunk a month ago, a play that was ranked No. 3 on ESPN. Clark recorded four dunks in Monday's win, including two on alley-oop passes from point guards Calvin Newell and Blair.

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