Sooners Look to Get Tougher on the Boards

The Sooners snuck by head coach Mark Turgeon and his Texas A&M Aggies 77-71 in their midweek contest, but OU will have to be more solid on the boards if it wants to assure not getting upset this weekend against the Colorado Buffaloes.

OU was out rebounded by the Aggies 45-31 on its home court Wednesday, only the fifth time all season that's happened.

The only other times the Sooners have lost the rebounding battle this year are in games against USC, Tulsa, Arkansas and Texas.

One of those four contests, against Arkansas, is the Sooners' only loss this season.

Needless to say, head coach Jeff Capel was not satisfied with the performance on the boards Wednesday night against the Aggies.

"We didn't do a good job of blocking out," Capel said.

He emphasized the fact that the whole team was lackadaisical, not just the inside players.

"Everyone [was at fault]. Not just our post guys, our guards [too]. They had guards getting in and getting offensive rebounds while we were just standing and watching."

Capel said part of the problem is fundamental from the standpoint of being more athletic than other teams, but not boxing out properly.

"I think at times we rely on our athleticism too much," Capel said.

But with the caliber of teams in this league, other teams have their fair share of athleticism as well; so fundamental box out and other skills become even more important.

"[Texas A&M is] a good offensive rebounding team," Capel said. "[Chinemelu] Elonu is so active and the same with Bryan Davis, then [David] Loubeau, a freshman, came in and was terrific. Those three guys are the guys that really did it on the offensive glass."

The Aggies had 20 offensive rebounds, only three less than the Sooners had defensively.

Compare that to the Sooners' eight offensive rebounds.

Texas A&M snatched 25 defensive rebounds.

So, the Aggies truly did dominant the glass.

After the game, the Sooners didn't pout about the fact that they lost the battle by 14 rebounds.

Instead, they took the win and used the poor rebounding performance as motivation to improve on the glass.

"[We're] relieved, but at the same time upset, disappointed, and a little embarrassed. Like I said, that shouldn't happen to us. We shouldn't allow that to happen."

As for a single reason it happened, sophomore forward Blake Griffin said it was hustle.

"Pretty much the whole game I felt like they wanted it more," Griffin said. "I know Taylor, I and whoever was down low were kind of embarrassed. It is embarrassing for us to give up that many offensive rebounds. We will take that upon ourselves. I will take that upon myself."


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