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Old 11-26-2011, 02:12 AM   #1
Sooner04
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Arrow 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

DISCLAIMER: These thoughts are not from a professional. They are from an unabashed Sooner BBall fanatic whose glasses are tinted heavily crimson. Im not a coach, Im not an analyst, Im just a fan who used to write and misses the task. My knowledge of the Xs and Os of the sport is tenuous at best. My predictions often prove folly. I once fell hard for Ray Willis. But I do love my Sooners hoopsters, often much too much. Feel free to critique but, please, be gentle.


D!ckens often gets credit for the whole "tale of two whatnot" concept, but it would've become widely known because of basketball alone regardless of whether anyone from Guymon or Vladivostok ever had an inkling of anything to do with either the best or worst of times. In the first half we looked like the '86 Celtics and the Broncos looked like the '73 Sixers. Then the second half starts and we forget to defend anything beyond 19 feet while Santa Clara decides to head down to MGM to recreate the hoops scene from the movie Pleasantville. It was one of the most startling turnarounds I've ever seen.

But a double-dip cone of credit goes to us because we were able to withstand their aerial exploits for just long enough. If the second half were five minutes longer I'm not sure we hold on. We were teetering on the very brink, like London in 1940 with the Luftwaffe refueling across the Channel. But we'd make a free throw here, grab an offensive board there, and continually abstain from ever making the big mistake that would cause the panic button to be pushed. We're a young team learning a new system, but to navigate a floor littered with proverbial land mines speaks volumes about the men doing the coaching and the players dribbling the rock. Our backcourt of Grooms and Pledger combined for 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and a mere two turnovers. Production like that will get the ship home even in the most troubled of waters.


SCORING BREAKDOWN:
1st: 19 [There's a room where the light won't find you.]
2nd: 23 [Holding hands,]
3rd: 19 [while the walls come tumbling down.]
4th: 24 [When they do I'll be right behind you.]


SCORING LEADERS:
Steven Pledger: 26
Sam Grooms: 12
Andrew Fitzgerald: 12 [double-double!]
Cameron Clark: 11

REBOUNDING LEADERS:
Andrew Fitzgerald: 13 [dogs and cats traveling in packs.]
Romero Osby: 10
Steven Pledger: 7


PLUSES:
1. Lon Kruger: It all trickles down from the top. I firmly believe that. The whole culture of this team has changed. It's incredible.

2. Steven Pledger: 26 points and 7 rebounds. Often times his buckets came when Santa Clara had worked like dogs to get back into the game. Shoo, fly. Not like you ever needed my blessing, but it's all systems go on the "Bird" watching from here on out.

3. Andrew Fitzgerald: 12 points and 13 rebounds and he looked MEAN doing it. He's also spent the majority of his Sooner career as a mindless, turnover machine, but he put up a goose egg in that column tonight. I don't think he's ever looked better in crimson and cream.

4. Rebounding: Maybe it's a fluke. Maybe our first four opponents are as bad a set of rebounders as exists in the country but, that said, we're just mauling people on the glass. Until we wore ourselves out late in the second half we just simply did not allow them near anything that caromed off the iron. 47-28? That's Kelvin-esque. If that continues people will have to strongly reconsider every notion they had about us during the preseason.

5. Officiating: I think this helped us a ton. We realized early on that they were going to let us flex our muscles a bit, and we responded by just beating the tar out of Santa Clara inside. We jumped over, around, and just plain through them in the first half. 20-0 runs don't happen by mistake, and the men in stripes helped allow us to go through the Broncos like **** through a goose.

6. The Middle 40 Minutes: Combine the second half of the Washington State game and the first half of tonight's contest against Santa Clara and you get a fantastic margin of 78-38. That's hard to do against five Nick Thompsons, let alone two solid D-1 programs.

MINUSES:
1. 2nd Half Perimeter D: Holy cow. What the heck happened out there? 25 footers, swish. Off-balance from 22, bang. Alley-oops, for crying out loud? Nylon. That was complete madness. It felt like there was a stretch in the last ten minutes or so where they would not leave their side of the floor without hitting a trey. We were very, very lucky to withstand the barrage.

2. The Shooting Touch of Sam Grooms: I like everything else Sam does, but we're already starting to see teams sag off of him with the Gottlieb treatment. The Broncos couldn't wait to foul him towards the end. He hit 8 of 12 free throws, but it was the style of the misses that has he concerned. If he can shore up his shooting touch we're going to be mighty dangerous.

3. Assists: Only ten on 28 made buckets. I thought we got a little too dependent on the one-on-one game. We get good looks, and we move well without the ball. I just thought there were some possessions were much better looks would've been available after one or two more passes. But here I am griping at 2:00 AM after a victory. I'll be quiet.


I came into this tournament with pretty average expectations. I expected to lose to Washington State and then maybe, just maybe, make a run at the Consolation bracket. To be playing for the championship on Sunday night is both a thrill and a shock. The Billikens hit 14 treys of their own earlier in the night, so our perimeter defense is going to be tested early and often. They've also got one of the most brilliant basketball minds in the business patrolling their bench in Rick Majerus. I wonder if he still wears that awful Utah sweater to the games even though he's been coaching the Billikens for years now. It's too bad we've got to suffer through a whole day of Thanksgiving hangover before we're rewarded with Sunday night's championship game. Let's go get us some hardware.


Thank you for your time.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

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Old 11-26-2011, 02:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

Funny thing; I've been resisting going to bed. Felt like I was waiting for something. Found out this was it; well done as always 04! I like the way you write.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

We won't be out-athleted by St. Louis, that's for sure. Villanova had better athletes than St. Louis and lost, so that doesn't matter. St. Louis is well coached with Majerus, but so are we with Coach K. It should be an interesting game, but we have a decent shot to win this thing.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

You're the man.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

[quote=Sooner04;322499]DISCLAIMER: These thoughts are not from a professional. They are from an unabashed Sooner BBall fanatic whose glasses are tinted heavily crimson. I’m not a coach, I’m not an analyst, I’m just a fan who used to write and misses the task. My knowledge of the X’s and O’s of the sport is tenuous at best. My predictions often prove folly. I once fell hard for Ray Willis. But I do love my Sooners hoopsters, often much too much. Feel free to critique but, please, be gentle.


D!ckens often gets credit for the whole "tale of two whatnot" concept, but it would've become widely known because of basketball alone regardless of whether anyone from Guymon or Vladivostok ever had an inkling of anything to do with either the best or worst of times. In the first half we looked like the '86 Celtics and the Broncos looked like the '73 Sixers. Then the second half starts and we forget to defend anything beyond 19 feet while Santa Clara decides to head down to MGM to recreate the hoops scene from the movie Pleasantville. It was one of the most startling turnarounds I've ever seen.

But a double-dip cone of credit goes to us because we were able to withstand their aerial exploits for just long enough. If the second half were five minutes longer I'm not sure we hold on. We were teetering on the very brink, like London in 1940 with the Luftwaffe refueling across the Channel. But we'd make a free throw here, grab an offensive board there, and continually abstain from ever making the big mistake that would cause the panic button to be pushed. We're a young team learning a new system, but to navigate a floor littered with proverbial land mines speaks volumes about the men doing the coaching and the players dribbling the rock. Our backcourt of Grooms and Pledger combined for 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and a mere two turnovers. Production like that will get the ship home even in the most troubled of waters.


SCORING BREAKDOWN:
1st: 19 [There's a room where the light won't find you.]
2nd: 23 [Holding hands,]
3rd: 19 [while the walls come tumbling down.]
4th: 24 [When they do I'll be right behind you.]


SCORING LEADERS:
Steven Pledger: 26
Sam Grooms: 12
Andrew Fitzgerald: 12 [double-double!]
Cameron Clark: 11

REBOUNDING LEADERS:
Andrew Fitzgerald: 13 [dogs and cats traveling in packs.]
Romero Osby: 10
Steven Pledger: 7


PLUSES:
1. Lon Kruger: It all trickles down from the top. I firmly believe that. The whole culture of this team has changed. It's incredible.

2. Steven Pledger: 26 points and 7 rebounds. Often times his buckets came when Santa Clara had worked like dogs to get back into the game. Shoo, fly. Not like you ever needed my blessing, but it's all systems go on the "Bird" watching from here on out.

3. Andrew Fitzgerald: 12 points and 13 rebounds and he looked MEAN doing it. He's also spent the majority of his Sooner career as a mindless, turnover machine, but he put up a goose egg in that column tonight. I don't think he's ever looked better in crimson and cream.

4. Rebounding: Maybe it's a fluke. Maybe our first four opponents are as bad a set of rebounders as exists in the country but, that said, we're just mauling people on the glass. Until we wore ourselves out late in the second half we just simply did not allow them near anything that caromed off the iron. 47-28? That's Kelvin-esque. If that continues people will have to strongly reconsider every notion they had about us during the preseason.

5. Officiating: I think this helped us a ton. We realized early on that they were going to let us flex our muscles a bit, and we responded by just beating the tar out of Santa Clara inside. We jumped over, around, and just plain through them in the first half. 20-0 runs don't happen by mistake, and the men in stripes helped allow us to go through the Broncos like **** through a goose.

6. The Middle 40 Minutes: Combine the second half of the Washington State game and the first half of tonight's contest against Santa Clara and you get a fantastic margin of 78-38. That's hard to do against five Nick Thompsons, let alone two solid D-1 programs.

MINUSES:
1. 2nd Half Perimeter D: Holy cow. What the heck happened out there? 25 footers, swish. Off-balance from 22, bang. Alley-oops, for crying out loud? Nylon. That was complete madness. It felt like there was a stretch in the last ten minutes or so where they would not leave their side of the floor without hitting a trey. We were very, very lucky to withstand the barrage.

2. The Shooting Touch of Sam Grooms: I like everything else Sam does, but we're already starting to see teams sag off of him with the Gottlieb treatment. The Broncos couldn't wait to foul him towards the end. He hit 8 of 12 free throws, but it was the style of the misses that has he concerned. If he can shore up his shooting touch we're going to be mighty dangerous.

3. Assists: Only ten on 28 made buckets. I thought we got a little too dependent on the one-on-one game. We get good looks, and we move well without the ball. I just thought there were some possessions were much better looks would've been available after one or two more passes. But here I am griping at 2:00 AM after a victory. I'll be quiet.


I came into this tournament with pretty average expectations. I expected to lose to Washington State and then maybe, just maybe, make a run at the Consolation bracket. To be playing for the championship on Sunday night is both a thrill and a shock. The Billikens hit 14 treys of their own earlier in the night, so our perimeter defense is going to be tested early and often. They've also got one of the most brilliant basketball minds in the business patrolling their bench in Rick Majerus. I wonder if he still wears that awful Utah sweater to the games even though he's been coaching the Billikens for years now. It's too bad we've got to suffer through a whole day of Thanksgiving hangover before we're rewarded with Sunday night's championship game. Let's go get us some hardware.


Thank you for your time.[/QUO

I would cut Grooms alittle slack. On Monday he was in street clothes at practice and looked just horrible. I was amazed that a kid that was obviously that sick could be ready on Thursday.

It is unlikely that Kruger ever planned to play him 33 minutes that game. But, when Blair checked in early and started turning it over, Grooms had to play. And then he had to come do it again the next day. When a player is gassed and their legs are dead, shots just don't drop.

Now, he is no great 3 pt shooter. But, as time goes along I'm confident that he will prove good enough that they have to defend him.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

Another entertaining and spot on analysis, 04!

Much appreciated! Keep 'em coming.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

Very nice write up 04. They got some big buckets to fall late even with some good D. Just glad their spurt came in the last minutes.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

Tale of two for sure...thanks again 04.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

04 stays up late so the rest of us can sleep

(this is badger, NormanPride's wife. I don't sign him outta his SF.com account either, hehe)
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: 04's Attempt: OU vs. Santa Clara Recap

Quote:
But a double-dip cone of credit goes to us because we were able to withstand their aerial exploits for just long enough. If the second half were five minutes longer I'm not sure we hold on. We were teetering on the very brink, like London in 1940 with the Luftwaffe refueling across the Channel.
Yes, awesome.
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