#43 Oklahoma Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Oklahoma Sooners
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #5 Big 12
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Oklahoma has not really lived up to their expectations after reaching the Final Four in 2016. But despite the disappointment, the Sooners have reached the NCAA Tournament the last two years. Now the expectations are lower, but this is still an Oklahoma team that has the talent to reach the NCAA Tournament. In order to do that though, Coach Lon Kruger will have to get the most out of his large group of newcomers.
2018-19 Record: 20-14, 7-11
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lon Kruger
Coach Record: 160-105 at Oklahoma, 639-409 overall
Key Departed Players:
Christian James, Guard, 14.6 ppg
Aaron Calixte, Guard, 6.6 ppg
Rashard Odomes, Guard, 6.9 ppg
Miles Reynolds, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Jamuni McNeace, Center, 4.7 ppg
Matt Freeman, Forward, 3.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Brady Manek, Junior, Forward, 12.2 ppg
Kristian Doolittle, Senior, Forward, 11.3 ppg
Jamal Bieniemy, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Keller Casey, Freshman, Guard
Anyang Garang, Freshman, Forward
De’Vion Harmon, Freshman, Guard
Jalen Hill, Freshman, Forward
Rick Issanza, Freshman, Center
Victor Iwuakor, Freshman, Forward
Corbin Merritt, Sophomore, Center, JC Transfer
Austin Reaves, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Wichita State
Blake Seacat, Freshman, Guard
Alondes Williams, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Three of the newcomers have some experience. Austin Reaves was a part-time starter at Wichita State and adds another outside shooting threat to the roster. Alondes Williams and Corbin Merritt come from the junior college ranks, but the freshmen that will likely make a larger impact on the program sooner or later. De’Vion Harmon is the highest regarded of the bunch and the 6-1 point guard will make a big splash from day one. With fellow top 150 recruits Victor Iwuakor and Jalen Hill, Coach Kruger has some nice pieces to fill around his three returning starters. Brady Manek and Kristian Doolittle will be the stars of the team. The frontcourt duo combined to average 23.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. Manek is the more dynamic scorer who can step outside and knock down plenty of three-pointers, while Doolittle tends to stay in the paint. With that dynamic duo in the frontcourt and Jamal Bieniemy back to run the point, OU has a great group to build around. Bieniemy only averaged 4.9 points per game as a freshman, but he dished out 3.5 assists and turned the ball over just 1.4 times. If Bieniemy can keep that up and continue to play great defense, the Sooners will find other options on the perimeter to do the scoring. Fitting in so many new faces will take some time, but eventually this will be a very dangerous team. If it does not take too long for Coach Kruger to find the right rotation, Oklahoma will make another trip to the NCAA Tournament.  
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.3 (213th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.2 (84, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.7 (159, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.6 (26, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (281, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (162, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.7 (204, 5)
Rebound Margin: 0.3 (184, 8)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (236, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (75, 4)
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#45 De'Vion Harmon
#134 Victor Iwuakor
#137 Jalen Hill