Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 8, 2013

Sooners licking wounds with Kansas next

NORMAN — A team’s trajectory can change very quickly. Oklahoma looked like it was shooting upward after its 74-71 victory over Baylor last Wednesday. A week later it’s working to end a two-game losing streak.

After a 52-50 loss to No. 13 Kansas State last Saturday followed by a humbling 83-64 defeat at Iowa State, the Sooners know how quickly things change.

“We were feeling pretty good after Baylor. A week later, we’re feeling pretty poorly,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “That’s the nature of conference play. You’re gonna get a couple games where you feel good. You lose a couple, and you feel bad. We just have to keep working on playing better and doing things better.”

There wasn’t anything that couldn’t use improvement after Monday’s loss to the Cyclones. OU (14-7, 5-4) was out-shot (50.9 percent to 36.6 percent), out-defended, out-hustled and out-played in a game where it fell behind early and didn’t do much to get back into.

It was of the only games this season the Sooners’ competitive drive came into question.

“We were flat from the beginning to the end of that game,” OU guard Steven Pledger said.

Kruger doesn’t believe that will carry over into Saturday’s showdown with No. 5 Kansas (19-3, 7-2).

Nevertheless, the shooting slump can’t either. The Sooners have shot 37.5 percent (45 for 120) over the last two games. Throw is a 6-for-30 effort from 3-point range and an 18-for-31 performance from the free-throw line and it’s easy to see that a lot of OU’s recent woes stem from the offensive end.

“We’ve been working on moving the ball and making plays for each other and not worrying about who scores,” OU forward Romero Osby said. “When we’ve done that, those are the games that we’ve shot the ball best and everyone has had more confidence.”

The Sooners better find some quick. The Iowa State game marked the midway point in the conference season. At 5-4 in the league, it could be in worse shape. This, however, is the point in the year when improving teams make a push toward the postseason. Others start to fall apart.

OU knows all too well what the latter feels like. Improvements are required to experience the former.

What has to change isn’t a mystery.

“We have to move better, move the ball better, set better screens,” Kruger said. “Anytime time you’re not playing well offensively, you have to execute better. You have to do things, individually, to win battles, to get open, to finish shots, whatever the case may be. We just have to do all the little things better.”

OU was doing all those things as little as a week ago. Seven days, however, is a very long time in a college basketball season. The Sooners know that as well.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks