Sooners Illustrated takes a quick look at Oklahoma's key players

Senior forward Ryan Spangler will need to be an even bigger presence inside.

Two weeks from the start of the regular season against Memphis, and Sooners Illustrated is set to breakdown the 11 scholarship players on the Oklahoma Sooners’ roster.

We’ll look at importance for this year’s team, a quick recap of last season and a project final stat line.

No. 00 Ryan Spangler (6-foot-8, 234 pounds)

9.7 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, 58.1 field goal percentage, 38 blocks, 46 assists

What happened last year: Spangler was a stout force inside last year, and teaming with TaShawn Thomas helped him hold up a little better in his second full season as a starter for Oklahoma.

He did still wear down a bit late in the season, struggling offensively in the Big 12 and NCAA Tournament. He scored more than 10 points only once after Valentine’s Day.

Level of importance for Oklahoma (1-10): 9. Outside of Buddy Hield, there isn’t a more important player for Oklahoma than Spangler. With questions about the interior offense – and defense, Spangler is the answer. He’ll have to find a way to hold up through the whole season.

The Sooners will need him for a late run. He’ll need to be close to a double-double average – something he fell just short of last season.

Double-digit rebounds will be almost a necessity, though.

Projected stat line (per game): 10.5 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 57 percent shooting.

Spangler jokingly said during preseason that he’s added a 3-point shot to his game. While he won’t get to use it much, it’s important for Spangler to be a constant force inside. He’ll get more time off and won’t be counted on as much early in the season – hopefully fueled by the development of Jamuni McNeace and the health of Akolda Manyang.

This should cause a spike in his per game scoring and rebounding. Oklahoma will need the small bump.

His goals, his words: “I’ll tell you my two individual. First: Being the biggest leader on the team. That’s the first goal. Second: Lead the Big 12 in rebounding. As a team, we just want to get better every day. I think we make progress every day. We work really hard, and obviously people are noticing what we’re doing but we don’t want to take that for granted.”

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