OU men’s basketball: Buddy Hield catches fire in Sooners season opener

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I think Lebron and KD’s summer camps helped Buddy Hield tremendously.

Not that Buddy wasn’t great last year, but this looks like a completely different player. And it’s scary.

Hield lit up the Southeastern Louisiana Lions in a 78-53 win for the 19th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

Nov 16, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Buddy Hield (24) drives the ball up the court against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It was a snowy day in Norman, Oklahoma, but OU caught fire early.

The Sooners went up 16-0 before SELU’s Bret Barclay drained a pair of free throws with 12:43 left until halftime.

Oklahoma imposed its will with Buddy Hield as the team’s engine.

Hield’s final stat line was 25 points, seven rebounds, and two assists for the junior guard.

However, this just wasn’t a big day for Buddy.

OU announced Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas was eligible late last night. Thomas started for Oklahoma, but the senior has seen better days.

In Thomas’ defense, this is his first live action with this squad. OU played two exhibitions before its regular season opener, which puts Thomas a bit behind.

Regardless, he’s a big body that will surely make some noise alongside fellow forward Ryan Spangler.

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Spangler finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Oklahoma’s front court looked better than ever with Thomas and Spangler causing havoc down low.

As for Oklahoma’s two other starters, Jordan Woodard did most of his work at the free throw line, but he grabbed four steals in the win. Isaiah Cousins, on the other hand, earned a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma cashed in on a turnover-happy Southeastern Louisiana squad. OU’s lead was never in great danger, though, the one glaring dark spot for this team was a less-than-spectacular day at the free throw line.

That will hopefully not come back to haunt them later on in the season, because otherwise, it was a really impressive season opener for the Oklahoma Sooners.

Things get much tougher for OU this Wednesday in their second out-of-conference outing. OU will travel to Omaha, Neb. for a Wednesday night showdown with the Creighton Bluejays.

OU and Creighton will tip off at 7 p.m. and Fox Sports 1 will have the broadcast.