Oklahoma basketball: Sooners go 2-1 on the week

oklahoma basketball

Oklahoma basketball yet again looked really good this week. After defeating TCU in the first conference game, the Sooners had a very tough road test against Xavier. Oklahoma played really well, but Xavier broke records that night. Xavier went 19 for 32 from three-point range and shot 57% on the floor. It was a program record for Xavier’s three-point bombardment on Wednesday night. Xavier’s Nate Johnson had seven of those 3-pointers while Zach Freemantle was almost perfect from the floor going 12 for 14. No matter what Oklahoma did, Xavier could not miss.

Both teams had 11 turnovers each, the Sooners could not match Xavier’s shooting. Brady Manek led the way for Oklahoma with 17 points while Austin Reaves followed with 13. Not a bad outing but these two have to be scoring 20-plus every game for this team to compete. De’Vion Harmon had been averaging nearly 18 points per game going into this one against Xavier but was held to just 11 points. This Oklahoma team plays well with each other and head coach Lon Kruger likes his rotations. If there is one player in Kruger’s rotations who has been a disappointment, it’s Jalen Hill. Hill was the 2018-19 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year, a four-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. In his first 30 games his freshman year, Hill averaged 10 minutes a game scoring barely two points. His shot does not seem to be there yet, and he has not played like a playmaker. I have high hopes for Hill, but he has struggled early. Kruger is a great coach surrounded by excellent company who should be able to develop Hill’s game.

Following the tough loss Wednesday, the Sooners hosted Florida A&M on Saturday back at home and it was not even close. Oklahoma had five players score in double digits and was led by center Kur Kuath, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. The Sooners jumped out with a big lead early in the game and never looked back defeating the Rattlers 85-54.

Oklahoma will host Oral Roberts this coming Wednesday at home looking to continue strong before conference play. Once the Sooners start conference play, they have a tough stretch of games against some of the top teams in the country. Conference play will start again Dec. 22 against Texas Tech then West Virginia not too long after. Oklahoma needs these non-conference wins to boost momentum going into conference play.