Oklahoma Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Oklahoma Sooners
Big 12 (23-9, 12-6)


Coach Lon Kruger has done some amazing things throughout his career, but this may just be his best coaching job ever. He deserved seriously consideration for Coach of the Year. The expectations at Oklahoma this year were extremely low as the Sooners had to do some serious rebuilding. The rebuilding is done.

Big Wins: 1/4 at Texas (88-85), 1/11 Iowa State (87-82), 3/1 Texas (77-65)
Bad Losses: 12/30 Louisiana Tech (98-102), 2/5 at West Virginia (86-91), 2/12 Texas Tech (60-68)
Coach: Lon Kruger (3 seasons at Oklahoma)

Why They Can Surprise:
The high scoring Sooners have four players who average double figures in the scoring column and one more very close. Sophomore Buddy Hield came back strong after an injury shortened his freshman campaign and he emerged as a prolific outside shooter. Freshman Jordan Woodward can knock down some shots too, but his crafty passing and leadership has really turned this into a dangerous offense. Isaiah Cousins and Cameron Clark are often the beneficiaries of Woodard’s passing. Clark, a 6-7 senior, is the more dynamic scoring option and can finish around the basket with ease. The lone true post player in the starting five is Ryan Spangler. The Gonzaga transfer stepped right into a starting role and has played extremely well with four guards around him. Despite the lack of post players, Oklahoma will spend a lot of time at the free-throw line. Woodard and Clark especially can make a living at the line and picking up those easy points has gone a long way for the Sooners.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Oklahoma is going to allow a lot of points and most of the time it just comes down to who can score more. The Sooners have generally lost against the better defensive teams in the Big 12, while beating the more potent offenses. The story could be the same in the NCAA Tournament. However, the youth and inexperience could be a major issue as well. Six of the eight regular contributors are underclassmen and the most important player on the floor in March is a freshman. Woodard will feel the pressure and how well he responds will be the difference between a nice little run and an early exit.

Probable Starters:
Jordan Woodard, Freshman, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 4.7 apg
Buddy Hield, Sophomore, Guard, 16.8 ppg, 1.9 apg, 4.4 rpg
Isaiah Cousins, Sophomore, Guard, 10.8 ppg, 2.1 apg, 4.1 rpg
Cameron Clark, Senior, Guard, 15.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Ryan Spangler, Sophomore, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Frank Booker, Freshman, Guard, 5.2 ppg
Je’lon Hornbeak, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 ppg, 2.5 apg
Tyler Neal, Senior, Forward, 6.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.5 (8th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 75.8 (301, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.1 (129, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (163, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.4 (18, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.0 (46, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.0 (18, 1)
Rebound Margin: 1.5 (145, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.5 (60, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (93, 4)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to San Diego State
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Morgan State
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Michigan
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Syracuse
2009    NCAA    Regional Final loss to North Carolina
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over St. Josephs
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Louisville
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Milwaukee
2005    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Niagara
2005    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Utah
2003    NCAA    Round of 64 win over South Carolina State
2003    NCAA    Round of 32 win over California
2003    NCAA    Regional semifinal win over Butler
2003    NCAA    Regional final loss to Syracuse

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules