Shaw says LSU a tough first round matchup

OU assistant men's basketball coach Jim Shaw talks about OU's first round NIT opponent.

For the first time in the history of the Kelvin Sampson era the Oklahoma Sooners will not be playing in the NCAA Tournament. On Sunday, the Sooners were left out of the tournament and OU accepted a bid to play in the NIT keeping the nations longest post season streak alive at 23 straight years.

On Sunday, OU Assistant coach Jim Shaw sat down with for the Two Minute Drill.

JH: How big of a disappointment is it that you will not be going to the NCAA Tournament this year?

JS: "Well, I don't think it was a disappointment today. I think we kind of knew that we weren't going to get in the NCAAs. I think the disappointment is from the game on Friday, and that is the disappointment that we are still fighting. Hopefully tomorrow, we will shake it off and work hard at practice. The position that we put ourselves in Friday and not to finish off that game is what we are disappointed in. When you are ahead by 12 points with seven minutes to go those are games you have to win. Sometimes when you are up 10 to12 points with 12 to 13 minutes left that is a long time, but seven minutes when you are up 12 you have to find a way to finish that game off."

JH: I am sure you are telling your team that they are just a couple of buckets or two minutes away from making the NCAA Tournament in losses to Missouri, Colorado and now Texas?

JS: "Yeah, I think probably all the if's and butt's are prognosticating. However, if we finish the game off Friday night and win I think probably we would have gotten in. I guess I couldn't tell you that for sure, but I think we would have gotten in."

JH: "Now that you are in the NIT you have to look at it as an opportunity, because you get a chance to practice some more with your young players, right?

JS: "Yeah, that is true. Plus, we have such a heavyweight opponent. We play an LSU team that is 30th in the RPI and they are they highest-ranked team that did not get into the NCAA Tournament. They have a very, very talented team lead by Brandon Bass, Antonio Hudson, Tack Minor and Darrel Mitchell, and you can go on-and-on, so they are probably the most talented team in the field or as talented as anybody in the field. That is certainly a huge challenge for us."

JH: "Are you surprised that Oklahoma and LSU are matched up in the first round?

JS: "Yeah, to a certain degree. But I think that was probably attractive as anything is that was the team that we played for the National Championship in football. They probably see that as a pretty good gate attraction and a pretty good marquee game to have on TV."

JH: As you pointed out they have a lot of talent. But are they a tough matchup for this Oklahoma team?

JS: "Yeah, they are a tough matchup for anybody."

JH: The big thing for your team at this point is how good are they in the post?

JS: "Brandon Bass is a huge challenge. He was one of the top 10 to 12 high school post players in the country last year. He is for sure a monster challenge. We recruited Antonio Hudson and he visited here. We recruited Mitchell and we know those guys pretty well. We also recruited Minor, so they have some guys that we recruited. Bass was arguably the top front line guy in the country last year, so everybody knows who he is."

JH: "Isn't this an opportunity to get more days of practice in with this team?

JS: "There is no question about that. We had a weekend off and hopefully that will heal up some of the knicks and knacks. Hopefully, on Monday we will be ready to practice and be ready to do what we have to do in the next two days to prepare ourselves to play well on Wednesday."

JH: Will this give you an opportunity to get Brandon Foust out on the wing some or to experiment a little bit?

JS: "We won't experiment position-wise on Wednesday, because we only have three guys that are really front-line type guys. However, he certainly going to play a lot again. He will get 20 to 25 minutes on Wednesday."

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