Saturday, February 9, 2013

OU coach Lon Kruger: KU loss to TCU ‘didn’t change our approach’

Oklahoma players Amath M'Baye hugs teammate Cameron Clark as the Sooners celebrate their 72-66 win over Kansas on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma players Amath M'Baye hugs teammate Cameron Clark as the Sooners celebrate their 72-66 win over Kansas on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Oklahoma

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 72-66 loss to Oklahoma on Feb. 9, 2013.

Download podcast

Box score


— The best opponent to face is an intimidated one, the next best an overconfident bunch.

Reviewing the video of Wednesday’s Kansas-TCU game was all Oklahoma needed to do to avoid feeling overmatched going into its Saturday game with Kansas.

Overconfident? Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger did his best not to laugh at the question.

“It didn’t change our approach at all. We don’t change it much from one game to the next regardless. It still comes down to us playing as many good possessions offensively and defensively as we possibly can,” Kruger said. “Our guys have so much respect for Kansas it wasn’t difficult getting them ready to play, that’s for sure. So no, there wasn’t anyone overconfident based on Kansas’ game (against TCU). We have a lot of respect for them and what Bill (Self) does, one of the best in the country, so there was no problem getting ready to play.”

The toughest opponent to play is one equal parts confident its own ability and respectful of the other team’s talent. That’s the opponent Kansas played in the Noble Center and that figures to fit every opponent for the rest of the season.

In time, it’s possible the TCU game could benefit Kansas, but perhaps not as much as KU’s opponents.

“I just knew that they were going to try to come out and win,” said Oklahoma’s talented, versatile big man Romero Osby. “I know that coach Self has been on them and I knew they were going to come out and just play as hard as they could. We try to look at every game the same, so we didn’t look at it as, ‘Well, they’re down,’ because we lost (three of previous four) too, so they could have looked at us the same way. We just came out and fought.”

And won. And the students stormed the court, aware that their school’s 10-game losing streak to Kansas had died.

“The value of those spontaneous celebrations, especially with the students, is hard to determine,” Kruger said. “They are important, that’s for sure.”

The livelier the environment, the better the chance spectators will return.

Oklahoma (15-7 overall, 6-4 in the Big 12) has trouble drawing big crowds for basketball games, but for this one 10,503 were on hand in a building that holds 13,490.

Sooners senior sharp-shooter Steven Pledger called Saturday’s environment “the best since I’ve been here. When they rushed onto the court, I turned around and everybody was jumping, so I started jumping too.”

The TCU nightmare didn’t dilute the thrill of upsetting Kansas (19-4, 7-3) for Oklahoma fans or players.


Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

Of course it didn't..that blueprint has circulated through the Big 12. Double team Withey early, force KU into taking perimeter shots and let EJ miss layups in close. Once time becomes a factor, its pretty much over.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 4 months ago

Groundhog Day for the rest of the season. Can't imagine what can change this late into the season.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

We have a lot of talent..instead of making teams to adjust to us maybe the reverse is the answer.

JayDocMD 9 years, 4 months ago

Any guess as to which KU player had the most shot attempts? That would be one Elijah "Blown Bunny" Johnson at 11 attempts (3/11.) Our consensus top offensive option - you know, that future lottery pick guy - had 10 shot attempts (6/10.)

There's no reason in God's Green Earth that BMac shouldn't have 25+ shot attempts per game. That is all.

mattiesdad 9 years, 4 months ago

And Bmac should be netting 25+ points a game when you look at the scoring potential on the floor (or lack thereof). How about a clear out and let him take his guy one on one? Or play a 2 on 2 game with Ben and Withey. Not too hard to draw that play up.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 4 months ago

I am assuming you said in jest EJ being a lottery pick. Doubtful he can even play overseas.

He's pretty much washed up. He needs to look in the mirror and get his life in order. He knows what that means too.

JayDocMD 9 years, 4 months ago

Lottery pick was in reference to Ben. Ben was 6 out of 10 - EJ was 3 of 11

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Keithmiles, you're wrong.

You're really saying "if EJ had MY common sense, he'd look into the mirror" blah blah blah. But that's where your argument falls apart. YOU are a loser (as evidenced by your anonymous trash talking about players on the internet--that's undeniably the behavior of losers). And EJ is a winner (as evidenced by the fact that he laces up for Kansas).

You're projecting your own loserish behavior on EJ. Losers talk down to themselves like that. That's how they became losers to begin with. They eventually began believing all the negative things being said by that guy in the mirror. As mind-boggling as it is to you, EJ is still thinking "next shot," which is what winners do, and it's the reason he will soon have a break-out game. If he were YOU, he'd fold up like a lawn chair and quit. But he's not.


A) Keep the loser talk where it belongs- in your own skull. Or

B) Be a man, and instead of trash talking on the internet, say ANYTHING negative (I dare you) to Elijah Johnson's face.

Pick one.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

There's criticism and there is trash talk. At times, hard to judge the difference but the internet is open to basically all points to view. If you don't want to hear negative comments directed at EJ, you might not want to want to read many more posts this weak. Those after the OU are far more scathing.

While I prefer criticism to trash talk, your post definitely falls in the latter.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 4 months ago

Then number of attempts just might have had something to do with the defensive posture. OU concentrated on McLemore, leaving EJ more opportunities.

nostradavid 9 years, 4 months ago

Lonnie Kruger and Steve Hinson have a good chemistry cooking down in Norman. I'm glad K-State couldn't afford to bring him back there.

VaJay 9 years, 4 months ago

I hope we have seen the last of the court stormings. I have had to turn off the last two games in the waning seconds to avoid the stinging pain. I long to hear the Rock Chalk Chant at OSU.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

No doubt ISU is gonna storm if they win, unless the losing streak is at 7 going into that game. BTW, Kabongo will be back and out to make a name for himself on the 16th, no doubt.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.