The Sooners played so poorly Sunday I was too bummed to write about it afterwards. Blake outplayed the Italian League Rookie of the Year, but the Sooners had no answer to Denny Green, Ty Lawson, Bobby Frazor, Wayne Ellington and Deon Thompson.
Sooners couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a jumper, and the guards did a fabulous impression of the Feb 09 Baylor Bears, jacking threes with reckless abandon. The Sooners were 2-19 from behind the arc, and 22-35 from closer range. Toss out Blake's 9-12 effort, and the Sooners are still 13-23 on two point shots. Willie Warren had some success at one point in the first half of penetrating and getting shots, but didn't stick with it for long. Why they were so enamored with the three when it wasn't working just frustrates me. Someone needs to be able to penetrate/create their own shot.
I didn't really expect to win this game. I figured it would take a Crocker against Syracuse type of night from Warren, Crocker, or Davis, and it just didn't happen. The Sooner offense became really stagnant. A friend noticed it on Friday night even, the perimeter players aren't really moving, they're just waiting for Blake to dunk it or kick it back out to them. Substitute Kevin Bookout for Blake Griffin, and you have the 2004 Sooners, scoring 50 points per game. Kelvin Sampson woudl have been proud.
You have to give credit where credit is due, however, and that's to the Tarheels. They have better basketlball players, and more depth on their team. This is a team that made the Final Four last year, and all five starters played signficiant minutes during last year's tourney run.
The ILROY dominated Griffin - Taylor, that is - holding him to 4 points and two rebounds. Blake got his 23-16. Hansbrough tried a dunk over Griffin late in the game, but a throwdown over a 6-10 dude when you're 10 feet from the basket just doesn't work.
Next year will be interesting. From what I read, we have some good recruits coming in, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that pans out. Losing the Brothers Griffin is losing a LOT of production, and we're losing court general Austin Johnson.
Capel has some work ahead. If you go into the wayback machine, there was concern 24 years ago when Wayman Tisdale left a year early. However, Tubbs got more production the next year out of Darryl "Choo" Kennedy, Tim McCallister and David Johnson than you would have expected initially, and Ron Roberts and Stacey King got valuable playing time to be a force the following year.
With some development of Ryan Wright, Juan Patillo, and Orlando Wright on the inside, add a point guard (coming) and growth of Willie Warren, and the Sooners are poised to have an outstanding year.