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

Lattin stepping into spotlight and starting lineup for the Sooners

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. 12 Khadeem Lattin (6-foot-9, 208 pounds)

2 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, 18 blocks, 11.8 minutes per game 

What happened last year: There wasn’t much in Lattin’s game last season that was structured, and that was best for all parties involved, except for Oklahoma’s opponents. Lattin’s length and athleticism caused plenty of problems for opponents, which allowed him to make an immediate impact while his offensive game developed.

That’s what you saw.

Lattin didn’t have much of an offensive game, but he found his way on the court as the first big man off the bench. He gave Oklahoma better and better minutes as the season went along.

Level of importance for Oklahoma (1-10): 6. It seems clear that Lattin is the preferred starter in the Sooners’ lineup without Akolda Manyang. And thus far, it looks like a more-developed Lattin is ready for the spotlight.

He’ll likely get twice as many minutes as he did last year, and Oklahoma needs his other statistics to increase as he tries to fill a little part of TaShawn Thomas’ shoes. Where Lattin can make the most impact is still on the defensive end, although he found himself the focal point in the offense for a couple of plays in the Sooners’ first exhibition game.

Lattin needs to give the Sooners production, however you want to classify it, but with the committee approach in the frontcourt, we’ll have to wait and see exactly where he fits in to the puzzle. Right now, he’s the starter – and that carries enough importance.

Projected stat line: 7 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 1.5 blocks per game

Last year, Thomas averaged 9.7 points and 6.5 rebounds. Lattin doesn’t quite need to hit those marks, but he needs to get pretty close – at least in the rebounding column.

Lattin will hit the boards harder this year just because of the increased minutes he’ll likely play. Whether the points come is a big question. There will be a few plays drawn up for him, but put-backs should become Lattin’s specialty.

His goals, his words: "My goal for this season is to win – to win as many games and grow and develop as a team as best as possible. And get to wherever our best is. . . . We want the championship. We want the Final Four. That’s what we want. We just have to work every day with that in our minds."


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