Good News…Message Boards light up after OU loss to Michigan State in Sweet 16…
Apparently, OU basketball is back as fans ripped into Lon Kruger and the Sooners after losing to Michigan State Friday night. A program that was left for dead just four years ago has Sooner fans up in arms after the loss.
How is this good news you may ask…For a program left for dead just a few years ago, irate fans make us realize that OU basketball is alive and well. Long the step child of OU football and left in the wake of Thunder basketball many fans thought the program had been dropped.
After the Jeff Capel debacle, Joe C. worked his magic and coaxed Lon Kruger away from his Vegas retirement home to coach the Sooners. People in the know believe Kruger to be one of the best coaches in the business.
Let me see, from a comatose state four years ago to two tournament appearances the past two seasons, to a Sweet Sixteen finish in his fourth year. If my math is correct, the next step will be the Elite-8 in year five and then a move to the Final-Four in two years when all-world point guard Payton Pritchard arrives in town.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have seen OU speed things up a bit by hitting the Elite-8 level a year early, but I have also become more realistic with age. From what I could see this year Kruger was pretty much playing short-handed all year with no bench to speak of. His starters were nice players, but not Kentucky or Kansas type players.
Adding to my cup half full argument is the fact that we had a real chance at beating one of best coaches in America. This guy is simply the master of preparing his blue collar players to play ugly basketball, a brand that can frustrate the best of teams. His defenses practice the one shot and done style to perfection. That style puts a lot of pressure on offenses.
Most importantly, OU was in this game to the bitter end and with a break or two could have come out the victor.
For the message board ranters, I would encourage them to take a look up north as the other state program is taking on water faster than the Titanic. I would also encourage them to remember how far this program has come.
As I said before, I like where this team is going and hope that the University will eventually reward Lon Kruger and loyal OU fans with new digs. At that point, the sky will be the limit…