Oklahoma basketball: Kameron McGusty started slow, but finished 2016-17 in a sprint

Kameron McGusty was a standout performer on a young Oklahoma basketball team last season overloaded with first- and second-year players.

Like most freshman players, it took some time for the 6-foot, 5-inch shooting guard to find his footing in the college game, but once he did, there was no holding him back. By season’s end, McGusty was performing at arguably the highest level on the team. And the good news is: He has nothing but upside ahead of him.

Over the first 12 games his freshman season, McGusty was averaging 5.7 points in just over 15 minutes per game. Once Big 12 play started, however, his game went to a different level.

McGusty averaged 14.4 points per game against Big 12 teams, leading the Sooners in scoring and posting the third highest scoring average among Big 12 freshman. The native of the Houston, Texas, area reached double digits in scoring in 15 consecutive in the second half of the 2016-17 season and in 17 of OU’s final 19 games.

Twice last season, McGusty tallied a career-high 22 points (against Oklahoma State and again late in the season in a contest with TCU).

“I just had to get in a groove,” McGusty said about how his performance shot up in the second half of the season, in one of a series of basketball preview articles published on the OU athletic website. “I’ve always been a guy that once I can get into a groove in anything in life I can be really good.

“I just had to find myself and learn how to pick and choose spots on the court as a scorer, which is something you have to adjust to.”

McGusty acknowledged that the stuggles Oklahoma experienced last season have provided plenty of motivation to work hard and get better this offseason.

“Guys are just wanting to get in the gym and work,” he said. “Some days after practice, you can’t even get on a goal to shoot (because it’s so crowded). Last year, we had guys who could work, but we didn’t work enough. That’s changed this year.”

McGusty says one of the things the Sooners are going to do more of next season is push the ball more and run. You can expect McGusty, a member of the All-Big 12 Newcomer Team last season to be right in the middle of all that.