By CLAY HORNING
NORMAN — Though the recruiting class coach Lon Kruger brought into the fold last season may well be the team’s core this season, it was still something older and newer making Oklahoma’s biggest impressions Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.
Playing Washburn in their first exhibition of the 2013-14 schedule, the Sooners drummed Ichabods 104-76.
More interesting, senior Cam Clark offered up a huge game, even from beyond the 3-point arc, while true freshman Jordan Woodard, out of Edmond Memorial, sparkled the first time to don the crimson and cream.
Clark led both teams with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including an impressive 3-of-5 outing from 3-point land, a place from which he attempted just one shot all of last season.
Meanwhile, in 25 minutes of court time, some of it due to Je’Lon Hornbeak’s not being in the Sooner lineup Saturday, Woodard started and finished with 15 points, five steals, four assists and three rebounds, canning 4 of 5 shots and 2 of 2 from 3-point land.
OU even played fast.
“It was a good first game,” Kruger said. “We’ve been practicing for a few weeks now and to see how the guys transfer from practice situations into a game was what this was really about … They did a pretty good. Pace was good. We really pushed the ball in the backcourt.”
The Ichabods led 3-2 early, forged an 8-8 tie and trailed just 23-17 as late as the 11:35 mark of the first half. But that was when the Sooners found their game, going on a 14-0 run to establish a 20-point edge.
After Washburn made it 12-point game, 50-38, a minute into the second half, OU simply revved it up again. It was back to a 20-point edge, 62-42, with 15:40 remaining, a lead the Sooners built on for much of the rest of the way.
Clark didn’t score his first basket until 13:01 remained in the first half, yet he had 12 points by the break. If he was a role player in previous seasons, he’s supposed to be a scorer in this one.
“I’ve been adjusting pretty good,” Clark said. “ Coach has been running plays for me, my teammates get me open shots and I just have to be able to knock them down.”
Woodard completed the first half six points and three steals, but came alive in a bigger way after the break, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers that made it 75-52 with 12:17 remaining.
“He did a fantastic job,” Kruger said. “He’s a guy that is always involved, getting the ball where it needs to be, seeing his teammates. The fact that he can score makes him that much more effective.”
Kruger flooded the floor with new faces.
Bridge Creek product Ryan Spangler, who sat out last season after traferring from Gonzaga, started and finished with 12 points. Freshman guard Frank Booker played 22 minutes and finished with five point and two blocked shots.
Keshaun Hamilton, a 6-10 junior college transfer, played 16 minutes and finished with four points and four rebounds. Austin Mankin, a freshman from Coppell, Texas, played 7 minutes and hit the first shot he took, a 3-pointer, and finished with five points.
Everybody ran the floor.
“This is the pace we want to play at,” Heild said. “Coach has emphasized it from the summer. We need to play fast and the guys who were in the game needed to play fast.”
They did and it worked.