OU basketball: Sooners still trying to put pieces together

OU coach Lon Kruger said: “At times, we've executed pretty well. At times, we've rebounded decently. At times, we've covered (defensively) in stretches. But we haven't done those things consistently well.”
by Michael Baldwin Published: February 21, 2012
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NORMAN — Oklahoma has lost six consecutive games heading into a Bedlam basketball rematch Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center.

Similar to a slumping baseball team that doesn't score runs when it gets good pitching — and lacks good pitching when it scores runs — the Sooners have struggled to put it all together.

A good example is a loss Saturday at Iowa State.

The Sooners received 16 points from Cameron Clark and 22 bench points from Carl Blair and Tyler Neal. But OU's top-three scorers combined for only 19 points after collecting 58 in the first meeting against the Cyclones.

“At times, we've executed pretty well,” said OU coach Lon Kruger. “At times, we've rebounded decently. At times, we've covered (defensively) in stretches. But we haven't done those things consistently well.”

One glaring deficiency has been defense. In Big 12 games the Sooners are last in the conference in scoring defense (73.1) and last in field goal percentage defense (47.1).

Could Bedlam, always an emotional matchup, be the game the Sooners finally put it together to end their losing streak?

“We can't give up on this season,” said Carl Blair. “We still have games left. We still have a chance (at postseason). I'm a firm believer that anything is possible. Our whole team pretty much feels that way. We just have to continue to go hard.”

The Sooners were picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 by coaches, but a 3-11 league record is somewhat surprising after going 10-2 in nonconference play.


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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