OU basketball: Sooner senior Tyler Neal prepared for position switch

OU coach Lon Kruger thought he might need to use Tyler Neal at point guard. As it turned out, he needed the 6-foot-7 senior in the middle after Ryan Spangler went down with an injury late in the first half. It was something Neal was well-prepared for.
by Ryan Aber Published: December 16, 2013


photo - Oklahoma's Tyler Neal (15) tries to get past Idaho's Glen Dean (1) as Oklahoma's D.J. Bennett (31) watches during a college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Idaho Vandals at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Tyler Neal (15) tries to get past Idaho's Glen Dean (1) as Oklahoma's D.J. Bennett (31) watches during a college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Idaho Vandals at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Before the game, there was some question about whether Neal would be able to play after fighting through an ankle injury.

“We would've had one bench player if I was sitting,” Neal said. “So I'm glad I could get back for that one. It's feeling better every day.”

With backup point guard Je'lon Hornbeak out for more than a month with a broken foot, Kruger thought he might need to give Neal some minutes at the point if either Woodard or Isaiah Cousins got in foul trouble or injured.

“It helps tremendously when you've got a guy that can cover you one through five if need be,” Kruger said. “That's pretty rare. At that five spot, he's probably as comfortable as anywhere yet can move out there and play the point. I don't know that he'd want to play point against a quick-attacking perimeter defender necessarily, but he could get us by for sure if we needed to.”

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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