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Sooner boomers: Oklahoma got beat badly by Iowa State from beyond the arc

by Stephanie Kuzydym Modified: April 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm •  Published: February 4, 2013
Iowa State forward Georges Niang (31) tries to work around Oklahoma forward Romero Osby (24) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth
Iowa State forward Georges Niang (31) tries to work around Oklahoma forward Romero Osby (24) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth

If Oklahoma wanted to put a gold star next to that victory over Baylor last week, then they’re probably going to want to hide some of the final results of Monday’s game against Iowa State.

-For being a reserve, Andrew Fitzgerald has been proving himself as a tough post player. He held his own against Jeff Withey at Kansas – grabbing eight boards in 12 minutes while Withey grabbed nine in 34. Then against Iowa State, Fitzgerald led the team off the bench with 12 points and seven rebounds, five of which were offensive. He also had one turnover, one assist and one steal.

  • -Sam Grooms got the start at point guard. It’s his first start of this season. When I talked with Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger on Sunday, I asked him if he wouldn’t give typical starter Je’lon Hornbeak the nod because of the technical foul he got against Kansas State. (When Romero Osby got a technical foul, Kruger’s punishment was sitting him from the start against Arkansas). Kruger’s response was “not necessarily. Roe’s case was totally different.” Regardless, Hornbeak didn’t spend the majority of Sunday’s practice at point guard and looked like he would be more of a wing for the game. The freshman stood on the sidelines, gnawing on his fingernails, as he watched Grooms run the offense.
  • The Sooners came into Hilton Coliseum where the Cyclones held a 19-game winning streak. It’s the seventh-longest active streak in the NCAA. Oklahoma helped make push it to 20.
  • Did you see Steven Pledger’s turnaround jumper off of a rebound early in the game? The Sooners need more shots like that from him.
  • Oklahoma let ISU shoot freely from the beyond the arc. Not that it’s just an Oklahoma problem. The ‘Clones are the best team from three-point range in the conference. Yet it was an Oklahoma problem in the first half. ISU shot 8-of-16 three-pointers. Right there is the difference in the score. OU came out and defended the arc better after halftime, allowing ISU to go only 3-for-11 in the second. In games that Oklahoma hasn’t guarded the arc well, they have lost. (i.e. Arkansas, Kansas State the first time)
  • There was a rare moment in which the cameras caught Lon Kruger full out yelling. That’s when red flags should have gone up for Sooners fans. Kruger seemed to be yelling at Hornbeak. Oklahoma’s head coach does not yell unless a player has done something really, really wrong.
  • In Kruger’s second five, his lineup was Andrew Fitzgerald and Tyler Neal along with Cam Clark, Isaiah Cousins and Je’lon Hornbeak. Hornbeak was the point guard.
  • With 10 minutes left in the first half, ISU had already shot 10 3-pointers. Seven had gone in.
  • Amath M’Baye tried a three. Not that a post player can’t try a three, but there seems to be an increase in the junior forwards attempts.
  • Also, M’Baye is usually the one swatting. Monday night, he was the one being swatted, compliments of Anthony Booker.
  • After ISU sank all those threes, Oklahoma’s defense fell even further apart. Will Clyburn even managed to run past M’Baye for a dunk. Then Kruger sat M’Baye.
  • The score was 44-31 at halftime.
  • The game matchup was supposed to be between Romero Osby and Amath M’Baye against Will Clyburn and Georges Niang. The ISU pair ended the game with 28 points combined. OU’s pair combined for 13.
  • Isaiah Cousins started the second half as a point guard. There is no clear answer for who Oklahoma’s point guard is. Kruger thought Grooms underperformed defensively the past few games. Then he pulls Hornbeak’s start. Then the reserve point guard starts the second half. Kruger said there’s a lot more right now he wants to see from his guards that he isn’t seeing. That’s why there’s so much change – and he’ll continue to change until they give him a reason not to change.
  • Je’lon Hornbeak’s confidence looks shaky. He had one assist and two turnovers, but more than anything he just didn’t look comfortable being the director of the offense.
  • The one thing to say about the second half is even though the Sooners never could bring the game back to within 14 points, they did not stop trying.
  • Coming into the game, Andrew Fitzgerald’s points per game this season were at 5.6.
  • Toward the end of the second half, Iowa State went on an 8-0 run … in a minute and 15 seconds of game time.
  • With 58 seconds left, Tyler Neal made a three. It’s the first time in 14 games he registered a point. The last time he made a basket — back on Nov. 30 against Northwestern State — it was from beyond the arc.
  • Oklahoma is the second-best free throw team in the league. They went 9-of-17 from the charity stripe.
  • It’s the 11th time this season ISU has made 10 or more 3-pointers.
  • ISU’s next game is against KSU. OU’s next game is against KU.
by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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