Huge road win for the OU on Saturday. This was a game the Sooners had to have and they got it. Yes, it was a struggle, but a win is a win. This win will bolster the Sooners NCAA tournament chances and give these guys confidence down the stretch. I can see two, possibly three more wins on the schedule.
Most Sooner fans have given up on the Sooners for this year and this is understandable. Some may even think that a coaching change is in order. I love to win at much as the next guy, but changing horses in midstream is seldom the answer…same here.
The fact of the matter is that Lon Kruger is the same guy that produced a final four team just three years ago. The bad news is that 2015-16 team had five senior starters which meant starting over from scratch the next year. Last year the Sooner squad spent the year watching Trae Young audition for the NBA. That meant OU had to start over again this year.
When the rubber met the road this year’s Sooner team melted under pressure. Saturday’s win will go a long way in creating much needed confidence. I think we will be amazed as to how many shots will now begin to fall for the Sooners. Right on cue, Texas comes to town on Monday night.
Making the tournament this year is important for this Sooner team moving forward. While the Sooners may not last long because of a low seed, a tournament appearance will build for next year. Lon is bringing in three four-star recruits to go along with four-star freshman (Jamal Bieniemy) and Brady Manek from this year’s squad. This is a core group that Lon Kruger can build on. Lon Kruger was never wired for the Trae Young “one and done” game.
Hopefully, OU will reward loyal OU fans by providing seed money for improvements to the LNC. With the arena’s low ceiling this place can be as loud as any venue in America; we just need to create seating at court level. While at it, let’s create football-type locker room facilities for basketball to assist with recruiting.
OU basketball is at a crossroads and we have only one choice in the matter. Press on…
Rivals 2019 National Recruiting classes…
Top 25 National Rankings…
- Texas A&M
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Florida State
- South Carolina
- Ohio State
- Ole Miss
- Miss. State
- Virginia Tech
Big 12 National Rankings.
- West Virginia
- Iowa State
- Texas Tech
- 67. Kansas
- 67. Kansas State
- OU and Texas continue to dominate the Big 12…and it’s not close. According to Rivals, Texas edged out OU on the final day as the Horns stole five-star recruit Dru McCoy from USC. McCoy had already started classes for the spring semester when he transferred to Texas. The New NCAA transfer rules are crazy.
- On the bright side, ESPN had OU ranked at #4 and Texas at #5. Either way, the Big 12 is now more than ever an OU-Texas league.
- SEC continues to dominate the recruiting war as 5 of the top 8 and 11 of the top 25 teams in the rankings are SEC schools.
- It may appear that Clemson at #9 may have dropped off a bit, but the truth of the matter is that Clemson has won two of the last three National Championships with good, but not great recruiting classes. I submit that this fact is a combination of great coaching and a weak ACC schedule.
- Noteworthy from the Big Ten is Nebraska at #16 overall and #3 in the 14 team Big Ten. Don’t count Scott Frost and the Huskers out just yet.
- Also, noteworthy from the Big Ten is a significant Ohio State drop to #21 after the coaching change.
- Noteworthy from the SEC is Arkansas at #20. Normally, this would mean that Arkansas would be better moving forward, but unfortunately for the Hogs these guys play on the wrong side of the SEC bracket for this to happen.
- Noteworthy from the Pac 12 is Oregon jetting up the charts and USC dropping off. (Clay Helton is on life support at USC)
- Noteworthy in the Big 12 other than OU and Texas dominating the conference rankings is TCU and Baylor at #3 & #4. The proximity to Texas talent matters.
- Additional Big 12 notes…
- OSU at #5 saved themselves at the end by signing four-star running back Deondrick Glass on the final day. Sounds like another case of T. Boone home cooking to me.
- Iowa State’s class was average at best considering the year the Cyclones had in 2018. These guys are getting better, but they still have to recruit to Ames, Iowa.
- Kansas had its best recruiting haul in years as they finished stronger than rival KSU. KU’s class was small in numbers that affected its overall ranking, but the class was very similar to that of OSU. Both had one four star recruit to go along with a bunch of three stars. Not bad for a guy only on the job for six weeks.
- West Virginia, K-State and Texas Tech have a lot of work to do under new coaches.
- OU’s class of 2020 is off to a great start with three of the nation’s top 100 players committed to the Sooners.
FBI to the rescue…
As I was watching OU struggle against West Virginia I realized that we have going about this thing the wrong way. We need to get an Adidas contract for ourselves….not the ones that pay coaches to wear their Adidas shoes, but the one similar to what Bill Self has procured at Kansas. A contract that brings “one and done” players to town.
Over the weekend, Silvio De Sousa, the 6 foot 9 inch wide body from Angola was ruled ineligible for the rest of this year and next. De Sousa’s suspension by the NCAA is all part of the FBI sting operation that has implicated parents and/or guardians for taking Adidas money to send their sons to certain schools. In this case…Kansas.
The NCAA is now in the process of handing out penalties to teams based on court proceedings from the Southern District Court of New York. This is the Wall Street court that flags white collar crime. De Sousa’s guardian admitted to taking money from the Adidas to plant De Sousa in Kansas where he would be “one and done” before entering the NBA. Adidas is fronting the money in these cases believing their clients will honor the Adidas brand in the NBA. Most assuredly, coaches at these schools are also part of the scheme.
Personally, I believe this is about as bad as it gets…college basketball has been on a downward spiral for some time so expect harsh NCAA penalties to come out of this investigation. With the FBI doing the heavy lifting, the NCAA may use this investigation to do some badly needed house cleaning
It can be certain that this sort of thing has been going on for years…now; we must wonder how many players over the past 15 years have made their way to Lawrence under similar circumstances. Possibly, Bill and KU would not have won 14 Big 12 titles in a row if the FBI had been involved.
Granted Kansas is to basketball what Oklahoma is to football so this one suspension will not affect these guys long term. At this point, we have to hope that the basketball gods will exact some measure of short term punishment. A start would be for someone other than Bill Self and Kansas to take home the Big 12 Championship trophy this year.
The first step for ensuring that this could happen will be Wednesday night when Kansas visits Manhattan.
This is what the kid’s say these days when they make a mistake. My only hope is that you are reading this blog before reading the one I put out on Monday. You see I was caught up in a bad case of Sooner euphoria. OU had come back from the dead to beat OSU and then followed up that win with a beat down of Vanderbilt. Then again, at my age I should have known better.
I was hopeful that we could avoid a third season of the late season swoon disease. That happening now is unlikely. I really did not see this one coming. Baylor is not a bad team as the Baylor basketball team is a mirror image of its football team, a team full of athletes. They made OU look like a high school team as they shot off to a 21 point first half lead before finishing out the Sooners by 30.
No sense bashing the LNC or the students or for that matter the donors who failed to find their way to Norman Monday night. OU basketball is what it is and I guess we will have to accept it as such. At this point, surviving the season with an 8 seed and having a shot at winning a game in the tournament would appear to be the best thing we can hope for.
In any case, thankfully spring football and softball are right around the corner. I will spend the next few weeks looking at these sports…you know, the sports that OU officials seem to care about.
Again, my bad…
What a difference a week makes…
I know I said I was taking a break from basketball, but I can’t help myself. That game in Stillwater last week forces me to hit this subject again. How in the world does any team come back from a 19 point deficit on the opponent’s home court and win?
I really do wish that someone at ESPN could research this matter for me. I would bet someone else’s money that the odds of this happening on the other guy’s floor are less than a million to one. That’s right…winning the lottery is more likely.
The Sooners’ win in Stillwater motivated the Sooners to beat a decent Vanderbilt team from the SEC on Saturday which should now create some momentum going into Monday night. I don’t want to give the SEC or Big 12 Commissioners too much credit, but it was as if they planned this game for a reason.
OU and Vanderbilt have the worst home court advantages in America. OU plays in a concert hall with home fans sitting half a football field from the playing surface. Vanderbilt fans not only sit fifty feet from court side they also sit five feet below the playing surface. Seriously, you have to see this to believe it.
Okay, back to the news…the bottom line is this…this OU team has used an improbable win in Stillwater on Wednesday to create a beat down of Vanderbilt on Saturday. If OU can shuttle enough students to Lloyd Noble on Monday to create a home court advantage, the Sooners may find themselves on a winning streak. Last week at this time, this team was dead in the water…now who knows.
What a difference a win makes…
Today’s blog was a do over…the first one had the Sooners down for the count for this year. I was assuming that the third nail in the Sooner coffin would happen in Stillwater on Wednesday night. That loss would have set up the Sooners up for a third straight late season swoon. Everything was on schedule as the Sooners had lost a home game to K-State and a road game to Texas and were trailing by 19 at Agwater. Then it happened, OSU realized that they were Aggies and OU realized that they were Sooners.
I don’t want to get carried away because as we know the Sooners still play at LNC where home court advantages are hard to come by. The Sooners are also trying to rebuild from the Trae Young year that cost the Sooners dearly. Last year it was as if the team took the year off to allow Trae to audition for the NBA.
In any case, this team now has a chance to finish in the top half of the conference and more importantly, finish the season with 20 plus wins. This fact plus the OU’s tough non-conference schedule should provide the Sooners with a four or five NCAA tournament seed. This should allow the Sooners to get off the schnide of losing the opening round tournament game every year.
With Manek and Bieniemy improving with every game, next year looks a lot better for the Sooners. Possibly, the Sooner men’s team can also find fans to occupy those red chair back seats at LNC, a move that will help us win games and cut into the red ink that sucks the life out of the athletic program. Those dollars can go toward the so-called minor sports like softball and gymnastics…you know those so-called minor sports that win championships and bring the university positive attention. We can use a lot more of that these days.
63-28 was the half time score for the OU women’s team against Iowa State on Saturday. That’s right Sherry’s girls were down by 35 at the half. I don’t know a lot about basketball, but I do know that teams that spot their opponent a 35 point deficit in any sport are not likely to be successful. Making matters worse is that this practice has become standard operating procedure for Sherry’s girls this year. We lost to K-State by 30 just a few days back.
Sherry’s current team reminds me of my 16 year old Dachshund, a weinie dog to most people. Brodie is blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other and has developed a bad case of dementia. Yes, Brodie’s best days are behind him, but we still love him like a child and we will continue to do so as long as he is around. Then again…
I would not take Brodie to the dog park in his current state where other dogs could make fun of him. Same goes for Sherry Coale’s latest team. Joe C. should hide the keys to the bus and not allow this team to venture outside of Norman. Taking this bunch to Ames, Manhattan and yes, Stillwater where basketball fans can be cruel to the disadvantaged is just not right.
Seriously, in Sherry’s defense, I blame Joe C. for what has happened to the OU women’s program…a blind man could have seen this coming from a mile away. I also believe that we owe it to Sherry for resurrecting the program some thirty years ago…as a result Joe should find a way out of this mess and allow her to bow out gracefully.
Regardless, of whose fault this is, it is time for Joe C. to put on his big boy pants and do what needs to be done…make it happen…this is embarrassing. Until this happens, that 63-28 half time score should be emblazoned on Joe’s head.