Sooners look to sophomores in early going

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 28, 2013 at 5:54 pm •  Published: October 28, 2013

Hield was the most electric of the three offensively last season, when he was healthy. He broke into the starting lineup by late December and gave the Sooners an immediate lift on both ends before suffering a broken foot in mid-February. He returned late in the year but struggled to find his offensive rhythm.

He suffered a setback just before the Sooners left for a five-game European trip in August but both Hield and Kruger said the foot isn't a concern. Hield tweaked his shot over the offseason.

"I changed my form a little bit trying to have a better arc on the ball," Hield said. "I always love being a shooter and as I transitioned from high school to college, I didn't really have confidence in my shot so adding a few touches helps me get back my confidence."

The Sooners were picked fifth in the Big 12 by the conference's coaches.

Kruger said the spot was understandable but said the league was wide open outside of Kansas and Oklahoma State at the top and Baylor just below the favorites. Although there are likely to be growing pains early, Hornbeak expects the Sooners to build off of last year even with the new front-court players being broken in.

"When I first got here, the goal was to make the NCAA tournament," Hornbeak said. "Nobody here had ever made it. Now that most of us have been there, we want to get back there and we know what it takes and we want to go further than just the first and second round."