Jan. 13—Need to know
The spread Oklahoma put on TCU Tuesday night inside Lloyd Noble Center is hardly a common occurrence.
The Sooners topped the Horned Frogs by 36 points, and only one other time in the Lon Kruger era have they ever managed a spread like that against a conference foe, topping Texas Tech 81-36 on Jan. 28, 2015, in Norman.
Looking for another game in which the spread was at least 36 points, one must exit the Kruger era and go all the way back to the first season of Jeff Capel’s five years on the job, when the Sooners routed Baylor 91-51 on Jan. 20, 2007.
That team only went 16-15 and 6-10 in the conference and missed the postseason entirely.
The last time a team coached by Kelvin Sampson won by so many points, it was Feb. 8, 2003, in the ninth of Sampson’s 12 seasons, a 91-42 victory over Baylor.
—Minute men: Forwards Brady Manek and Jalen Hill were both unavailable due to coronavirus issues for a second straight game. That left the Sooners shorthanded, though it appeared to agree with them.
Kruger didn’t play anybody more than 35 minutes, though three played at least 30 and four others played between 17 and 23.
De’Vion Harmon and Austin Reaves both played 35 and Alondes Williams 30. Umoga Gibson didn’t start, but was next at 23, followed by 21, 18 and 17 for Kur Kuath, Elijah Harkless and Victor Iwaukor.
Playing nine minutes, and not all at the end, Trey Phipps gave OU a legit eight-man rotation, even with the missing players.
—Helpers: The Sooners finished the game with 20 assists, one off their season high, though that came opening night against Texas-San Antonio in a game OU shot the lights out. In conference play, the squad’s previous high was 16 against Texas Tech.
Hearing the number for the first time during his postgame media session, Harmon had a thought.
“If we can do that,” he said, “we’re going to win a lot of games.”
OU, now 7-4 overall and 3-3 against Big 12 competition, travels to face Bedlam opponent Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Saturday inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. The game will be broadcast by ESPN2.