OU basketball: Sooners rout Islanders behind D.J. Bennett

The junior forward showed why OU coach Lon Kruger was thrilled with Bennett before he was injured.
by Ryan Aber Published: December 5, 2013

NORMAN — D.J. Bennett's game was in a pretty good place when Oklahoma returned from a trip to Europe in August.

But a partially torn tendon in his foot early in preseason camp derailed him early in the season.

Thursday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the junior forward showed why Sooners coach Lon Kruger was thrilled with Bennett before the injury.

He had nine points, five blocks and three rebounds in Oklahoma's 78-56 win over the Islanders at Lloyd Noble Center.

Bennett said he wasn't sure if he was back to the level he was before the injury.

“The main thing with me is just trying to stay in the gym longer, get extra shots up and gain my confidence back and do what I know I can do,” Bennett said. “It's definitely getting better.”

On a team with limited depth in the frontcourt, Bennett's progression — especially as a shot-blocker — is something that's critical for the Sooners' success.

“With the rules the way they are, it's harder to guard the ball,” Kruger said. “The ball is getting keyed in to the paint more just because of the way the rules are. Having a shot-blocker behind you takes on a greater significance more and more each year. That's going to become even more obvious.


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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