The Oklahoma Sooners suffered a fourth consecutive loss after falling 66-54 at the hands of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Despite three players scoring in double digits, the program lacks a consistent scoring threat and it’s becoming more and more apparent. Still clinging to a chance to appear in the NCAA Tournament, OU must find a way to secure several wins while making an unexpected run in the conference tournament. For now, I’m left scratch my head as to where those wins will come from. Until then, here are three observations:
A Noticeable Lack Of Trips To The Charity Stripe
Against TTU, the Sooners attempted a mere twelve free throws. However, it’s slowly becoming a trend surrounding the program as only twelve trips to the charity stripe were earned in the previous outing as well. Possessing a couple of point guards like Aaron Calixte and Jamal Bieneimy, the numbers should eclipse the twenty mark with regularity. Under the direction of Lon Kruger, fans have witnessed the PG attack the rim consistently. Something has changed though in the recent months and that’s clearly not the case at the moment.
The Disappearing Act Of Christian James
Entering the season, Christian James took the reins to the program and looked like a star in the making. Recording a 29-point outing to open the season, the senior followed it up with 24 more points. Proving it wasn’t just a fluke or simply the level of competition, the leader of the team consistently put up eighteen points while dumping in 25 against Notre Dame. Once again hitting similar numbers in conference play, the drop off occurred after the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Since that point in time, James has averaged 9.75 points per game…not exactly what one would expect from the leading scorer on the roster. Needless to say, it’s the Oklahoma defense that continues to anchor this program while the offense suffers. James must take control once again if the Sooners hope to surprise a few people and earn an NCAA bid.
Where Are The Wins That Remain On The Schedule?
There are several winnable games remaining on the schedule. With seven contests remaining before post season play, only three of those are slated to take place in Norman. Previously securing a win over TCU, I believe the Sooners can get another victory over the Horned Frogs on the road. Knowing that the Texas Longhorns comes to Lloyd Noble soon, my hope is that the fans will pack the arena giving the home team the edge. It’s certainly a winnable game as well giving OU two. Lastly, WVU has not proven to be a formidable foe this year and is susceptible to a loss in the state of Oklahoma…and now we’re up to three. That’s at least 18 wins on the year which is by all means achievable for this squad.