#99 Oklahoma Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Oklahoma Sooners
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #99
Conference Rank: #9 Big 12
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Oklahoma had an up-and-down 2017-18 as they started the year unranked, climbed to fourth in the AP Poll and finished the year losing 9 of their last 11 games, including a first round exit in the NCAA Tournament. The Trae Young experience lasted only one year, for better or worse. Young led the team in scoring and assists and was a joy to watch play, but many believed he was the root of the Sooners’ late season problems. Oklahoma will get back a good portion of last year’s roster, but Young’s void will be difficult to fill. Lon Kruger will have to do a strong coaching job to get the Sooners back to the NCAA Tournament.
2017-18 Record: 18-14, 8-10
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Coach: Lon Kruger
Coach Record: 140-91 at Oklahoma, 619-395 overall
Key Departed Players:
Trae Young, Guard, 27.4 ppg
Kameron McGusty, Guard, 8.0 ppg

Khadeem Lattin, Forward, 6.6 ppg
Jordan Shepherd, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Christian James, Senior, Guard, 11.9 ppg
Brady Manek, Sophomore, Forward, 10.2 ppg

Rashard Odomes, Senior, Guard, 7.2 ppg
Jamuni McNeace, Senior, Forward, 6.8 ppg
Kristian Doolittle, Junior, Forward, 2.9 ppg
Matt Freeman, Junior, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Hannes Polla, Sophomore, Center, 1.1 ppg
Ty Lazenby, Senior, Guard, 0.6 ppg
Key New Players:
Jamal Bieniemy, Freshman, Guard

Aaron Calixte, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Maine
Kur Kuath, Junior, Forward, Junior College Transfer
Miles Reynolds, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Pacific
Oklahoma must now transition to life without Trae Young, and that will include replacing his 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game. Senior guards Christian James and Rashard Odomes will be expected to shoulder most of that load. James started 31 games and was the Sooners’ second-leading scorer, while Odomes was inconsistent but showed flashes in 21 minutes per game. Brady Manek should also take a step forward as a sophomore. Manek is a sharp-shooting stretch four who could realistically become Oklahoma’s leading scorer this season. Previous role players like Jamuni McNeace, Kristian Doolittle and Matt Freeman will take on bigger roles as upperclassmen this year. Oklahoma will attempt to replace Trae Young with experienced grad transfers Aaron Calixte and Miles Reynolds at point guard. Calixte averaged 16.9 points at Maine last season, while Reynolds averaged 13.3 points at Pacific. The Sooners also add freshman Jamal Bieniemy for point guard depth and junior college transfer forward Kur Kuath could be a wildcard this season. Oklahoma still has the talent to compete in the Big 12, but it will be a tall task to improve upon their 8-10 record in the toughest conference in the nation.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 84.9 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 81.7 (337, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (87, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.3 (200, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.4 (39, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.9 (120, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.6 (61, 3)
Rebound Margin: 0.0 (197, 8)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (84, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (228, 9)

Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#122 Jamal Bieniemy