With no games this week, the Oklahoma men's basketball team has used the down time to catch its collective breath a bit.
“It's an opportunity to get a little refreshed, to get nagging injuries more treatment,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “Lots of time in practice to work on some fundamentals that we need to work on. It's a very important week to get better. That's our challenge this week.”
The Sooners, who host Kansas State on Saturday, have been give a couple off days this week, and coaches have used some of that down time to hit the recruiting trail.
One of the biggest points of emphasis this week has been on defense.
“Defensively, we just have to make each possession more significant,” Kruger said on SiriusXM's “Inside College Basketball” in an interview with Jack Arute and Mateen Cleaves. “We have to be a little bit more physical, a little more focused. We've moved the ball pretty well consistently, we've shot it decently all year, but we haven't got the stops consistently that we need. So a lot of work to do. A bye week this week so we've got a few days here to try to change our attitude on the defensive end.”
OFF-WEEK TREND FAVORS SOONERS
So far, six Big 12 teams have had a full week off between games in conference play.
Only one of those has lost its first game back after the break.
The only team to lose was TCU, which hasn't won any Big 12 games this season. The Horned Frogs were also the only team of the group to come off the break with a road game, losing at Texas Tech on Feb. 1.
The Sooners get their chance Saturday after not playing since last Saturday's win at Oklahoma State.
“I hadn't been aware of that but I hope that continues then,” Kruger said of conference teams' success coming off a week off.
West Virginia also went this week without a midweek game. The Mountaineers host Baylor on Saturday.
Baylor and Kansas did not have an off week during the conference schedule. Both teams did not have a game on Jan. 4, when conference play began and instead used the weekend for a nonconference game.
Arute after his interview with Kruger: “It sure is nice to have that arena known for its hoops and not as an auxiliary parking lot for Sooners football games.”