OU Basketball: It May Be Just an Exhibition, but These Guys Are for Real


There has been plenty written and spoken in the offseason expressing high expectations for OU basketball in the coming season, and on Friday in the team’s first of two exhibition games, the Sooner men served notice that their actions are far stronger than words.

Exhibition games have no bearing on the season, but they do provide an idea of what to expect once the games start for real.

The Sooners were a bit sluggish at the start in their exhibition opener with Washburn University out of Topeka, Kan. That wasn’t a big surprise, this being the first live game action after several weeks of organized preseason practice. Once they got it rolling, though, we got a glimpse at how explosive and fluid this group can perform as a team. OU rolled to an expected easy win, handing the Icabods a resounding 112-62 defeat.

Here are some of the notable takeaways from Friday night’s exhibition win:

Buddy Hield picked up right where he left off last season: The All-Big 12 Player of the Year last season had 20 points in just 23 minutes of action, going 6 of 11 from the field and 3 of 6 from three-point range. Hield also had four of OU’s 13 steals in the game.

The Sooner newcomers looked impressive in their first outing: OU first-year players tallied 36 points in the exhibition victory over Washburn. True freshmen Christian James and Rashard Odomes had 14 and 12 points, respectively, while redshirt freshman Dante Buford and Jumani McNeace combined for 10 more.

Three-point marksmen: Oklahoma was 15 out of 28 from beyond the three-point arc. Four different players (Hield, James, Isaiah Cousins and Dinjiyl Walker) had three treys apiece. Christian James and Dinjiyl Walker were both 3 for 3 in three-point shots.

Field goal percentage: As a team, OU shot 49 percent from the field on 35 of 71. They were consistent in both halves, shooting 48 percent in the first half and 50 percent in the second.

Ball-hawking: The Sooners scored 47 points off of turnovers. In addition to four steals by Buddy Hield, Jordan Woodard had three of his own.

Doubling up on rebounding: Led by Ryan Spangler’s 8 boards and 7 by Khadeem Lattin, OU outrebounded Washburn 52 to 27.

Second-half scoring surge: Oklahoma led 53-39 at halftime, and outscored Washburn 59-23 in the second half.

Next game: The Sooners play their last preseason exhibition game on Thursday at Lloyd Noble Center against Mid-America Christian. The season opener is a week from Tuesday (Nov. 17) at Memphis.