The No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners traveled to No. 6 West Virginia hoping to secure another upset bid. However, Bob Huggins’ “Press-Virginia” set up shop with one goal in mind, to shut down freshman phenom, Trae Young. The second goal of “Press-Virginia?” Paying dividends on the defensive side of the court, the Mountaineers earned a hard fought 89-76 victory and resume builder.
Forced to work for each and every shot attempt, Young never shied away from the challenge. The true freshman tossed up 22 attempts from all over the floor while collecting 29 points. Yet, body language and demeanor of the youngster changed from the first 13 games of the season. The game against WVU clearly lacked the fun element.
Despite the game high scoring effort, Young committed a career high eight turnovers. Frustrated and unable to create for teammates, the freshman also finished with just five assists. It’s the first time Young has posted a negative assist-to-turnover ration in his career.
Fellow freshman, Brady Manek, averages 11.8 points per game. A large reason for the early success over ranked opponents, the forward failed to make an impact on the game. Finishing the night with zero points on 0-of-2 shooting left fans scratching their heads.
Credit the Mountaineer defense for forcing the Sooners off of their game. A team that finds strength in fast break opportunities, Oklahoma found themselves limited. Scoring just six points off fast breaks, momentum was never established keeping OU well short of their 96 points per game mark.
Moving forward, Lon Kruger must regroup as two ranked opponents await. This is the best league in the country and wins will be tough to come by.