Oklahoma men's basketball: Sooners' roster full of 'Kruger-type guys'

The entire Oklahoma men's basketball team, which returns to the land of their coach to play Kansas State, is a team of Kruger guys.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: January 18, 2013
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photo - BEDLAM / OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY: Sooners head coach Lon Kruger talks with his team during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat  the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) 77-68  in NCAA, men's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
BEDLAM / OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY: Sooners head coach Lon Kruger talks with his team during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) 77-68 in NCAA, men's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Assistant coach Steve Henson is a Lon Kruger guy.

The entire Oklahoma men's basketball team, which returns to the land of their coach, Lon Kruger, on Saturday to play Kansas State, is a team of Kruger guys.

But what is a Kruger guy?

“Good teammate,” Henson said. “High character guy. Ultimately, we want guys that we want to be around everyday, that want to be around each other everyday.”

Right now, a Kruger guy is about 13 athletes who have helped the Sooners to a 12-3 overall, 3-0 Big 12 start to the season. They have unselfishly switched from starter to reserve, from perimeter to post.

A Kruger guy is not all mental or all physical.

“He's a combination of both,” Kruger said.

This OU squad returned its entire roster, yet has already surpassed last year's total road wins. The team is also three shy of its total overall wins from last season heading to Manhattan, Kan., to face the Wildcats in Bramlage Coliseum.

The addition of the three freshmen, true Kruger guys, have helped make a difference.

Je'lon Hornbeak is a Kruger guy. So are Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins.

“ ... That's always been kind of a steady factor for us, recruiting high-character guys,” Henson said.

Henson said this roster is a complete group of guys willing to play for each other, for their team. They're Kruger's crew.

So where does this idea of a Kruger guy come from?

Kansas State and the years Kruger and Henson spent as teammates.

“It's part of Coach's value system,” Henson said. “It's more fun for everybody with good characters.”

Good characters like Kruger's guys.

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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