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. 21 Dante Buford (6-foot-7, 221 pounds)
Redshirted in his first year on campus
What happened last year: Buford didn’t play after sitting out the first semester because of an academic issue. His credits didn’t transfer from prep school. He practiced with the team in the second semester.
Level of importance for Oklahoma (1-10): 6. Voted as the best dunker on the team, Buford is still very raw. He has yet to see live game action where he wasn’t by far the best player on the floor. There’s a chance he gets a spot start with Oklahoma, but he is a key cog in what the Sooners will try to do in the front court – this year and moving forward.
At 6-foot-7, he’s a mismatch nightmare because of his athleticism. He’ll play in the post his entire career at Oklahoma but don’t expect him to be a constant there.
Buford will step out and if his jumper can get consistent, he will be a pick-and-pop dynamo.
Buford, like the rest of the Sooners rotating in the front court, just needs to give Oklahoma quality minutes. Physicality and rebounding could be a place for improvement, too. He’ll definitely be one of the more exciting players to watch this season.
Projected stat line: 7 points, 2 rebounds, 15 highlight reel dunks
When he’s in the game, Buford will be a focal point of the offense. More than likely, it’ll also be with another freshman or two or maybe even three. Of the five newcomers to the rotation, Buford is the best chance for instant offense.
Expect him to make the most of his minutes, but his aggressive style could also produce turnovers. If he can cut down on that, it could be a big year for Buford.
But like Terrell Owens said, ‘Get your popcorn, ready.’
His goals, his words: “Just to help the team win. Just overall, help the team win – whatever I can do to help us win.”