After yesterday’s loss, the Oklahoma Sooners began preparations for a quick turnaround in the PK80. Paired against Portland in the second game of the invitational, Lon Kruger’s team looked to avoid a second consecutive defeat. Grabbing a lead early, OU refused to look back sealing a 93-71 decision.
Once again, Trae Young provided a spark in the scoring department. With exceptional vision and the ability to create, the freshman poured in 33 points. The effort marks the first time the youngster has eclipsed the 30-point make and the third consecutive outing of at least 20 points. Involving his teammates, the star of this Sooner program also fished out eight assists.
One benefactor of the The Young effect has been Khadeem Lattin. As a senior, the forward has shouldered the burden of leading the team into battle. Securing 16 rebounds, Lattin certainly set the tone physically. Yet, it was the 19 points that appeared to be the bonus from the athletic and lengthy player.
Utilizing a ten man rotation by the conclusion of the contest, Coach Kruger found a majority of the success with the starters on the floor. Three players scored in double figures but it raises a difficult question. However, it’s not an unfamiliar question under the direction of Kruger.
The question is this: can Oklahoma win without dipping deep into the rotation once conference play begins? As a unit, the starting five score 76-of-93 points. Sure, the sample size may be small at this point, but it’s something that must not become the trend. Bench play will likely determine the outcome of a handful of games moving forward. If Oklahoma hopes to make the NCAA Tournament, the bench players must carry some of the scoring burden.