The Oklahoma Sooners were already losing starters Romero Osby, Sam Grooms and Steven Pledger as seniors, but now Amath M’Baye has announced he is foregoing his senior season to enter the NBA Draft as well. That means the three top scorers and the Sooners’ assists leader will all leave the team that made its first NCAA tournament appearance since Blake Griffin played in Norman.
Just when it looked like Lon Kruger had the team turned around, almost a complete turnover occurred. Just don’t tell Kruger that his team might struggle next season.
“We’ll now turn our attention to spring workouts,” Kruger said. “The returning players and our incoming recruits are really excited about next season. Amath’s contributions to this year’s team enhanced the foundation of our program, and we have a great and motivated young group of guys who will look to build on the success of this year’s squad.”
Amath M’Baye was the pre-season Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, transferring to OU from Wyoming. He ranked second on the team in rebounding (5.2) behind Romero Osby and third in scoring (10.1) behind Osby and Steven Pledger. He was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team and the Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
“My time at OU has been great,” said M’Baye. “I’m 23 years old. My goal when I came to the United States was to take care of business in the classroom and by the time I was 23 to have a degree in my pocket. Now that I’m graduating in May, it’s time for me to start taking care of my family the way they’ve taken care of me for so long.”
The NBA Draft takes place on June 27.