OU basketball notebook: Sooners relish 'underdog' role

ESPN personalities predict that 12th-seeded North Dakota State will beat No. 5-seeded Oklahoma
by Ryan Aber Published: March 17, 2014


photo -  Oklahoma Sooner's Jordan Woodard (10), D.J. Bennett (31), Isaiah Cousins (11) and Buddy Hield (24) react to play as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men defeat the Iowa State Cyclones (ISU) 87-82 in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Sooner's Jordan Woodard (10), D.J. Bennett (31), Isaiah Cousins (11) and Buddy Hield (24) react to play as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men defeat the Iowa State Cyclones (ISU) 87-82 in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

North Dakota State is the best shooting team in the NCAA, hitting better than 50 percent from the field.

The Bison put up such good percentages by being patient, waiting for the right opportunity to attack.

“They run the shot clock down, then get shots they want,” Sooners sophomore forward Ryan Spangler said. “They run the offense well, so they get open shots. They’re getting close to the rim. They’re getting good shots and easy shots.”

The Sooners can’t get lulled into complacency by the sometimes deliberate pace of the Bison.

“The biggest thing is, when they get inside 10 seconds on the shot clock, we can’t just give up,” Spangler said. “That’s when we’ve gotta buckle down and not let them get easy shots.”

SPANGLER BREAKS DOWN OSU-GONZAGA

Spangler will be talking to some of his old friends at Gonzaga this week, even spending some time with them in Spokane before the Bulldogs leave for San Diego on Wednesday.

“(Kevin) Pangos texted me last night. I’m going to call him back today,” Spangler said after Monday’s practice. “I was asleep. He forgets the time change.”

Spangler played his freshman season at Gonzaga before transferring to Oklahoma.

The Bulldogs open the tournament against Oklahoma State on Friday.

“I think it will be good,” Spangler said. “I think Gonzaga’s got the bigs, but I think OSU has the guards. Gonzaga has good guards, but I think OSU is a little more physical at the guard position. It’ll be a good game.”

by Ryan Aber
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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