Oklahoma Basketball: Brady Manek explodes as Sooners take down TCU

After a two-game losing streak, Oklahoma Basketball took care of business and avoided a bad loss to the TCU Horned Frogs.

Oklahoma Basketball was fresh off two losses in a row, one to Iowa State, and to a not fully healthy Kansas team, but they rebounded nicely with a blowout 83-63 win against the TCU Horned Frogs thanks to Brady Manek’s career-high 31 points.

Oklahoma, along with Brady Manek (who shot just 4-16 in the last game) was coming off of a horrible shooting night against Kansas, as they shot just 30%, but they exploded Saturday, as they shot a whopping 53.7% from the field.

“We had better ball movement today than what we have had.” Said Sooners head coach Lon Kruger. “Our guys did a good job breaking down the defense with the dribble drive and kicking it out to our shooters. We did better making the extra pass. When you do that good things happen to you offensively.”

Along with his career-high in points (31), and three-pointers made (7), Manek also became the 46th Sooners player to score at least 1,000 points in their career. He had 31 points and nine rebounds on the game.

Austin Reaves rebounded from the worst game in his Sooners career with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists on 5-11 shooting.

Kristian Doolittle had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals, De’Vion Harmon had 10 points, two rebounds, two assists, and a steal, While Jamal Bieniemy chipped in with seven assists, five rebounds, and three points.

Going into the game, Oklahoma’s main focus was stopping TCU’s Desmond Bane, who coming into the game was among the top scorers in Big-12 play, with 16.9 points per game. He shot just 5 of 14 from the field as the Sooners held Bane to just 12 points on Saturday, as he shot just 2-9 from the three-point line. Going into the game, Bane was Shooting 47 percent from three. the Horned frogs shot just 22% from three, and 37% overall as a team.

My thoughts on the game

We couldn’t miss. Much of Oklahoma’s success this season has been reliant on if they can hit their shots. When you only shoot 30% from the field, you lose by Kansas without their best player, but when you hit shots, along with taking very good care of the ball, this Sooners team is very hard to beat. It all comes down to shot-making.

Although the Sooners lost the turnover battle (11 to 8), along with the offensive rebounding battle (6 to 11), the Sooners did squeak out a narrow total rebounding battle victory as they grabbed 34 total rebounds, to TCU’s 32.

Looking forward

Oklahoma plays the best team track record-wise in college basketball, in the Baylor Bears. Baylor averages 73.4 points on the season, compared to Oklahoma’s 73.2. The Bears average 38.5 rebounds a game compared to Oklahoma’s 37, along with 11.9 turnovers a contest to OU’s just 10.5.

The teams shockingly stack up pretty evenly as far as statistics go on the season, with both teams being fully capable of putting the ball in the hoop, with Oklahoma having an advantage turnover wise, and Baylor having an advantage rebounding wise.

Oklahoma may win the turnover battle, but can’t let Baylor get some of those possessions back by allowing them to get more possessions by getting offensive rebounds. It may seem simple on paper, but that has been a problem for OU, especially in conference play so far. The Sooners are going to have to limit the offensive boards in order to have more shot opportunities, and have a good shooting night in order to take down the Bears.

Bad news for Oklahoma is that Baylor is second in the Big-12 with 13.4 offensive rebounds per game….

Look for Oklahoma to steal a victory at Baylor for the first time since 2016 to cement themselves as legit threats in conference play, and get the respect of many around college basketball.