By Matt Johnson @mattytheole on October 11, 2014
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger has done a nice job resurrecting the Sooners program during his three years on the job. With two straight NCAA appearances to their credit, Kruger and Sooners will look to take the next step and become Big 12 Conference contenders in 2014-15. Here are five early predictions for Oklahoma heading into the new season.
Oklahoma scored points in bunches last season, finishing the year with a scoring average of 81.9 points in their 33 games. The Sooners return four starters and three double-figure point producers from that team. Add in Oklahoma’s proficiency from the three-point line (made 285 as a team and shot 37.9 percent for the season) and the Sooners should continue to post big point totals in 2014-15.
Coming off a season in which he averaged 3.5 three-pointers per game, expect Hield to continue to fire away from long distance in Oklahoma’s fast-paced offense. Overall, Hield made 90 three-point shots last year and shot 38.6 percent from the arch. Expect similar numbers for the 6-foot-4 junior in 2014-15.
A solid all-around frontcourt performer, Spangler is coming off a season in which he put together 10 double-doubles and averaged 9.6 points to go along with 9.3 rebounds per contest. If the Sooners can provide some help for Spangler up front this season, he could improve upon those numbers as the 2014-15 season rolls along.
The Sooners return four starters from last year’s 23-win team and were recently picked by the coaches to finish third in the Big 12 for 2014-15. Considering Oklahoma returns a veteran crew of players, that have enjoyed recent success under Kruger, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Sooners are in the thick of the conference title chase at the end of the season.
Kruger has done a good job of bringing Oklahoma back into the national spotlight. With a proven cast of performers returning to go along with some good young talent, the Sooners should expect another trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15.
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