OU men's basketball: Sooners will turn up the tempo this season

The Sooners, who averaged just more than 70 points per game last year, want to play a faster brand of basketball.
by Ryan Aber Published: October 28, 2013
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photo -  Oklahoma's Buddy Hield (3) reacts during an NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and Texas Tech University at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Buddy Hield (3) reacts during an NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and Texas Tech University at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — The Oklahoma men's basketball team will be turning up the tempo this season.

After losing its two primary forwards from last season and with new rules in place aimed at freeing up things offensively, Sooners coach Lon Kruger decided to make some adjustments in his team's offensive philosophy.

The Sooners, who averaged just more than 70 points per game last year, want to play a faster brand of basketball this season.

“I feel that we'll run some teams down, and I don't think they'll be able to keep up with us,” sophomore guard Buddy Hield said.

Oklahoma held its annual media day Monday in advance of Saturday's 2 p.m. exhibition opener at home against Washburn (Kan.).

The rules change will cut down on the number of charges called, as defensive players are no longer allowed to move into the way of an offensive player once he's started his upward motion for a shot or pass.

They also cut down on hand-checking by defenders.

“The new rule is part of the reason for doing it the way we're doing it in terms of attacking off the dribble offensively,” Kruger said.

The Sooners' guards, especially the three sophomores who saw significant playing time last year — Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Je'lon Hornbeak — are excited about the changes in the offense.

“I like that kind of style,” Cousins said. “I think we're going to be a lot more aggressive than last year. You'll probably see more press from us, and we're just going to attack other teams, especially with the new rules.”

One of the biggest adjustments will come from Hornbeak, who will be asked to play much more point this year after alternating guard spots last season.

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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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