Writer: Elijah Folsom
Basketball season is back in Norman, Oklahoma, and OU has a team that can really compete this year. Two years ago we saw Oklahoma make it to the Final Four for the first time since 2002 lead by their star shooting guard, Buddy Hield. The success was short lived though by their quick exit and a rather disappointing season last year without making it to the tournament. But now the Sooners are back with new young talent and ready to take back their place at the top.
The sooners have revamped their roster and have added a huge piece in Trae Young to their starting lineup. Young is a very talented point guard who can score at an incredibly high level and can provide more ball movement on the offensive end of the court. He has put up crazy numbers in his high school career at Norman North, and on his AAU team over the summer. Oklahoma has also added many other pieces to their team such as: Brady Manek, a long small forward who has some impressive athleticism and Hannes Polla, a 6’11” center that has the ability to dominate the painted area. With the players that they already have such as Kameron McGusty, Khadeem Lattin, Christian James, and Jamuni Mcneace the Sooners pose a big threat to the rest of the Big 12. But the team could not be where it is without coach Lon Kruger. Kruger has been at OU for the past 7 years now and has done pretty well with turning a school that is primarily focused on football to a contender on the basketball court. Kruger is one of only 2 coaches to ever take 5 or more teams to the NCAA tournament has been to two final fours. He knows what it takes to get a team to the tournament and he can do it again this year.
With Trae Young bringing the young firepower that this OU squad needed and with the experience that Lattin has in going to the Final Four the Sooners are contenders to get to the NCAA tournament and even for the Big 12 Championship.