#43 Oklahoma Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Oklahoma Sooners
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #7 Big 12
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Oklahoma has been a very good team under Coach Lon Kruger. They have been to six NCAA Tournaments out of eight tries, including a trip to the Final Four in 2016. Heading into 2020-2021, the Sooners will again have tournament aspirations. Without leading scorer Kristian Doolittle though, Oklahoma will have to find some new scoring threats and their lack of depth in the frontcourt could catch up to them sooner or later.
2019-20 Record: 19-12, 9-9
Coach: Lon Kruger
Coach Record: 166-106 at Oklahoma, 645-410 overall
Key Departed Players:
Kristian Doolittle, Forward, 15.8 ppg
Jamal Bieniemy, Guard, 5.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Austin Reaves, Senior, Guard, 14.7 ppg
Brady Manek, Senior, Forward, 14.4 ppg
De’Vion Harmon, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 ppg
Alondes Williams, Senior, Guard, 6.0 ppg
Kur Kuath, Senior, Forward, 3.4 ppg
Victor Iwuakor, Sophomore, Forward, 2.6 ppg
Jalen Hill, Sophomore, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Anyang Garang, RS Freshman, Forward
Umoja Gibson, Junior, Guard, Transfer from North Texas, pending waiver
Elijah Harkless, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Cal State Northridge, pending waiver
Rick Issanza, RS Freshman, Center
Josh O’Garro, Freshman, Guard
Trey Phipps, Freshman, Guard
Brady Manek will be one of the starters in the frontcourt. The 6-9 senior averaged 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season. He also knocked down a team high 71 three-pointers at a 38.0 percent clip. Manek is a very versatile and productive player who can carry this team. The frontcourt also has senior Kur Kuath and sophomore Victor Iwuakor, but Coach Kruger has enough talent on the perimeter to play small ball effectively. Austin Reaves will again lead the way after averaging 14.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists. However, he shot just 25.9 percent from beyond the arc and that will need to improve in 2020-2021. De’Vion Harmon had a promising freshman campaign and will be asked to do more as a sophomore. He will run the point and it will be up to Harmon to get the rest of the team involved. Alondes Williams is an experienced senior and will add more options to the backcourt. The addition of Umoja Gibson and Elijah Harkless, if eligible, will give Coach Kruger a couple more proven perimeter scorers. Having those two available for this season will be very important for Oklahoma. If their waivers are not approved, the Sooners may lack the depth they need to compete in the tough Big 12.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.2 (205th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.4 (120, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.0 (265, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.9 (32, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (175, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.8 (262, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.6 (19, 1)
Rebound Margin: -1.2 (238, 7)
Assists Per Game: 11.8 (277, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (25, 1)