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Old 05-21-2019, 03:56 PM   #1
lexusooner
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Default This team could be better than most people think

A quick glance at the roster ....

Sooners have a couple guys who can really handle the rock, a couple guys who can flat shoot the rock, a few guys who clean the glass and block shots, and a bunch of guys with a reputation for hustling, defense, and playing team ball.

I see some growing pains because of so many new faces, but overall the roster is kinda nice.



Senior (1 Scholarship Players)
> Kristian Doolittle (6-7, 236, F) ... Edmond, OK (Memorial High School)

Juniors (5)
> Austin Reaves (6-5, 175, G) ... Newark, Arkansas / Wichita State
> Brady Manek (6-9, 210, F) … Harrah, Oklahoma
> Hannes Pöllä (6-11, 271, C) … Lahti, Finland (Helsinki Basketball Academy)
> Alondes Williams (6-5; 220, G) ... Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Triton College
> Kur Kuath (6-9; 173; F) … Salt Lake City CC / Kearns, Utah

Sophomores (2)
> Jamal Bieniemy (6-3; 170; G) … Katy, Texas
> Corbin Merritt (6-9; 250; C) ... Tallahassee, Florida / Daytona State College

Freshmen (4)
> De'Vion Harmon (6-0; 192; G) ... Denton, Texas
> Victor Iwuakor (6-8; 210; C) ... Sulphur Springs, Texas
> Jalen Hill (6-7; 180; F) ... Las Vegas, Nevada
> Anyang Garang (6-9; 210; F) ... NBA Global Academy-Australia / Uganda
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

Like your optimism BUT we’ve only seen 3....(4 with Reeves) play against D1 competition. AGAIN, I’ll TRY and have a wait and see.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

Good roster. A few questions that I have is 1) will Manek take the next step 2) Alondes Williams being a key contributor 3) freshmen other than Harmon contributing 4) will this team play as hard and care about only winning after losing so many seniors.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

We have one senior. He's a stud.
We have five juniors, and I expect nothing from three of them.
We have two sophomores. One of them is a star in the making and I expect nothing from the other.
We have two freshmen. It's my hope that two of them can contribute.

I see six, maybe seven contributors. If I squint real hard with my crimson shades I can see a world where we might get a little out of Alondes and Victor.

Not real promising. Sure would love to be wrong.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

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Originally Posted by Sooner04 View Post
We have one senior. He's a stud.
We have five juniors, and I expect nothing from three of them.
We have two sophomores. One of them is a star in the making and I expect nothing from the other.
We have two freshmen. It's my hope that two of them can contribute.

I see six, maybe seven contributors. If I squint real hard with my crimson shades I can see a world where we might get a little out of Alondes and Victor.

Not real promising. Sure would love to be wrong.
You don’t think Alondes will contribute? That would surprise me. The rest, I agree with.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

I guess it depends on who you're talking to.......where do most expect them to finish in the Big XII next year.

Will they finish better than 8th???? I surely hope so.....but I ain't taking any bets. They still need some defenders and some rebounders. And a couple of guys that can consistently hit the three.

Until then, I don't expect anything better than middle of the pack.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

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I guess it depends on who you're talking to.......where do most expect them to finish in the Big XII next year.

Will they finish better than 8th???? I surely hope so.....but I ain't taking any bets. They still need some defenders and some rebounders. And a couple of guys that can consistently hit the three.

Until then, I don't expect anything better than middle of the pack.
We were far above average defensively last season. In fact, we were very good. Bringing in the best shooter we've had since Buddy was a senior. Agree that we need more consistent rebounding, that hurt us in conference play.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

I’m no D1 coach by any means but I’d be shocked if Victor Iwuakor doesn’t rebound and block shots at the D1 level.

If Kur’s back holds up he’s a nice shot blocker and capable rebounder.

One thing that translates from level to level is shooting ability and Williams, and Reaves can spot up and shoot the three. They have both done it beyond the HS level.

Harmon is a basketball player. Period. He is going to be good.

With Manek, Doo, and Bienemy bringing experience to the table I like our current roster better than recent roster which consisted of decent to good athletes who couldn’t shoot.

The game has evolved to the point where a team without knock down shooters is virtually dead.
If you have Duke type athletes you can out run average shooting.

We add to our shooting -
OU can put three really good three point shooters
Reaves, Williams, and Manek.
We add to our athleticism- defense, shot blocking and rebounding with Victor I, a big who can run the floor and bang with B12 post players.
Our departing players were great guys. They could not shoot very well.
They often didn’t compete on the boards.


This team will be better than the past 3 teams IMO.

Last edited by lexusooner; 05-22-2019 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

Barring any major injuries, suspensions, etc., this team's floor should be better than any of the past 3 seasons. With some luck, this team has a realistic ceiling of around 25 wins and a Sweet 16 birth. We have 3 quality Big XII starters returning, and if the numerous practice reports about Reaves are true, we have 4. I'm confident that Harmon or Williams can step in to complete a starting 5 in the top half of the Big XII. Depth will be a concern if we lose anybody.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

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Originally Posted by Sooner04 View Post
We have one senior. He's a stud.
We have five juniors, and I expect nothing from three of them.
We have two sophomores. One of them is a star in the making and I expect nothing from the other.
We have two freshmen. It's my hope that two of them can contribute.

I see six, maybe seven contributors. If I squint real hard with my crimson shades I can see a world where we might get a little out of Alondes and Victor.

Not real promising. Sure would love to be wrong.
Williams is a player. I'd be highly surprised if he's not making a nice contribution by conference play.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

We know what we have in Doolittle, Manek, and Bienemy. All 3 are pretty solid players and should be even better next year.

Harmon will be a stud at PG.

Reaves will be the best shooter and maybe the best player on the team.

Alondes Williams is a freak. I don't necessarily think he's a great outside shooter, but he is very athletic and can create his own shot as well as anyone on the team. I'll be shocked if he isn't at least the 6th best player on the team next season.... maybe higher.

I expect Jalen Hill might be the 2nd best freshman on the team next season. He was the POY in Nevada. Iwuakor hasn't played competitive basketball since his junior year of HS. He was never much of an offensive player..... I'm thinking an unpolished Doolittle.

The only new "big" I have any hopes for next season is Kur Kuath..... unless Rick Issanza shows up the first day of summer classes.

I think it will be fun watching this team come together next year. I'm excited.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

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Originally Posted by lexusooner View Post
I’m no D1 coach by any means but I’d be shocked if Victor Iwuakor doesn’t rebound and block shots at the D1 level.

If Kur’s back holds up he’s a nice shot blocker and capable rebounder.

One thing that translates from level to level is shooting ability and Williams, and Reaves can spot up and shoot the three. They have both done it beyond the HS level.

Harmon is a basketball player. Period. He is going to be good.

With Manek, Doo, and Bienemy bringing experience to the table I like our current roster better than recent roster having consisting of decent to good athletes who cannot shoot.
The game has evolved to the point where a team without spot up shooters is virtually dead.
If you have Duke type athletes you can out run average shooting.
We add to our shooting -
OU can put three really good three out shooters
Reaves, Williams, and Manek.
We add to our athleticism- defense, shot blocking and rebounding with Victor I, a much big who can run the floor and bang with B12 post players.
Our departing players were great guys. They could not shoot very well.
They often didn’t compete on the boards.


This team will be better than the past 3 teams IMO.
6'8, 210 pounds and he can bang with Big 12 post players?

lol, no.

Not yet at least. Dude isn't going to contribute much this year. Mostly b/c Doo and Manek are going to gobble up much of the minutes at the 4/5 spots, but also b/c he is going to need a couple of years, and there are Kua probably will get minutes before him too. But he is going to struggle this year until he puts on some good strength, and learns how to rebound and block shots against true D1 talent.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

If Chris Beard was handed that roster, where do you think he would finish in the Big 12?
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

the best roster on paper under kruger ..
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

Optimism runs high in the offseason, and for good reason.... So many things we don't know. We don't know who is a bust, who is a gem, who is ready for Big 12 play, who is or isnt injured, etc... But when the lights turn on we see the truth.

This team could be really good if every single player works out... but, lets remember the history. Lon has about a 57% success rate with recruits. So it would be really strange for every single recruit to pan out the way people want. Plus you never know who is going to transfer or whatever, which seems to happen fairly regularly.

Lon Kruger - Last 4 Recruiting Classes
2015 - Manyang, Freeman, Christian James, Rashard Odomes
2016 - Darrion Strong, Kam McGusty, Doolittle, Shepherd
2017 - Hannes Polla, Brady Manek, Trae Young, Ty Lazenby
2018 - Jamal Bienemy, Kur Kuath

14 players total. 8 were more than capable of playing at OU. I am counting Kuath as a "can". Freeman, Polla, Manyang, Strong, Ty, and Shepherd are on the cut list.

57% success rate. If Kuath isn't good enough for OU it will go to 50%. I suspect Kuath will be pretty solid though. He's an insane athlete who got an extra year of coaching if he was able to practice at all.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:18 AM   #16
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If Chris Beard was handed that roster, where do you think he would finish in the Big 12?
Undefeated, arguably greatest team in history, before taking over the Spurs and leading them to several titles in a row.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:39 AM   #17
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the best roster on paper under kruger ..
If the only consideration is prospect ranking maybe.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:44 AM   #18
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

I'd love for you guys to be right about a JUCO contributor here in Norman, but I've been burned way too many times of late. There's no way I'm going into a season expecting major minutes from any Sooner JUCO until proven otherwise.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:37 AM   #19
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The thing that confuses me about Alondes Williams is on his highlight tape, he does seem like an absolute baller. But, why does he only have the one offer, to OU? Normally in that scenario there's some bigtime baggage going on, but Kruger doesn't recruit guys like that. What gives? Did he say, "I'm going to OU, nobody else offer me!" HAHA
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:48 AM   #20
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the best roster on paper under kruger ..
What??
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:06 PM   #21
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

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The thing that confuses me about Alondes Williams is on his highlight tape, he does seem like an absolute baller. But, why does he only have the one offer, to OU? Normally in that scenario there's some bigtime baggage going on, but Kruger doesn't recruit guys like that. What gives? Did he say, "I'm going to OU, nobody else offer me!" HAHA
I think he plays lower level juco basketball, which generates very low attention and they got him early.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:21 PM   #22
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Default Re: This team could be better than most people think

I'm really excited about the guards. Harmon/Bienemy/Reaves/Williams/Hill could be one of the better guard line-ups we've seen.
The problem as I see it will be the bigs. We just don't have anyone tall enough/athletic enough/beefy enough to compete against the other bigs in the conference.
Manek/Doolittle are two of our best players, and you have to play them the majority of the minutes. Unfortunately, that's just not a good option. Only one of the two should be on the court at a time. We're lacking the inside shot blocking/rebounding/defending presence.
I don't have much hope for Polla/Kuath.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:27 PM   #23
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I'm really excited about the guards. Harmon/Bienemy/Reaves/Williams/Hill could be one of the better guard line-ups we've seen.
The problem as I see it will be the bigs. We just don't have anyone tall enough/athletic enough/beefy enough to compete against the other bigs in the conference.
Manek/Doolittle are two of our best players, and you have to play them the majority of the minutes. Unfortunately, that's just not a good option. Only one of the two should be on the court at a time. We're lacking the inside shot blocking/rebounding/defending presence.
I don't have much hope for Polla/Kuath.
Doolittle is one of the best defenders in the conference. And suffice it to say, he did more than just "compete" with other teams bigs offensively -- in fact, he torched many of them. Yes, our rebounding suffered with those two being our two bigs. But defense did not. As certain posters like to constantly point out, very few college teams play traditional big men these days, let alone two true bigs. Outside of a fully healthy KU roster, I can't think of many teams where we would be at a major disadvantage defensively.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:39 PM   #24
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Doolittle is one of the best defenders in the conference. And suffice it to say, he did more than just "compete" with other teams bigs offensively -- in fact, he torched many of them. Yes, our rebounding suffered with those two being our two bigs. But defense did not. As certain posters like to constantly point out, very few college teams play traditional big men these days, let alone two true bigs. Outside of a fully healthy KU roster, I can't think of many teams where we would be at a major disadvantage defensively.
KU, WVU, Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma State will all be bigger and tougher in the paint than OU next year.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:41 PM   #25
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KU, WVU, Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma State will all be bigger and tougher in the paint than OU next year.
Yeah, I don't care how good Doo is, he is massively out of position playing the 5. Pretty embarrassing actually, that he is far and away our best option there.
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