OU Reserves Pushing for Time

How was OU head coach Jeff Capel supposed to know a couple of reserves would play better than a few of the starters in the Sooners' latest conference game against Kansas ?

But Capel took fault for not putting in some of those reserves sooner, including sophomore guard Cade Davis and senior guard Omar Leary, who went off in a flurry to help cut a 20-point deficit to three late in the contest.

"I wish we had [made the switch] earlier," Capel said. "I wish I would have made some better decisions for our basketball team a little bit earlier. Sorry."

After the Sooners jumped out to a 14-point lead just more than 10 minutes into the game, the Sooners shot poorly from the field before that late second half flurry, scoring only 16 points over the next 19 minutes of the game.

"I was disappointed for awhile in our effort, [including] at the start of the second half," Capel said.

But then came Davis and Leary, who knocked down a combined six threes down the stretch to keep the Sooners within striking distance of the Jayhawks.

Davis hit four, shooting 4-for-6 from behind the arc, while Leary was 2-for-5 from deep in the contest.

Those were two of the five, and two very important members, on the court when the Sooners made a furious run to nearly comeback and steal a victory away from Kansas .

"I finally got it right of getting some guys out of there and getting some guys in that wanted to play and compete at a high level, the level that we needed to play," Capel said. "And I just—I'm sorry I didn't figure that out quicker. Maybe it would have given us a better chance. I was really proud of that five that really competed down the stretch when we were down 18 or whatever, I can't remember exactly what the lead was; it was 20, and [they] got us back to within three."

Besides the fact that the Sooners finally found a way to hit some shots down the stretch, Capel said the Sooners defensively were doing something they weren't in the middle portion of the game.

"Well, we were getting stops," Capel said. "That was the reason [we came back]. We were getting stops, and it's something that we've talked about as a basketball team all year. When we get a stop or when we get stops and we rebound, then it enables us to get out in transition and get some easy baskets."

As for any messages Capel might have been sending to those players that he pulled out, he said that wasn't the case.

"I'm not big into messages," Capel said. "We had some guys out there that competed, and it's as simple as that, and they got us back into the game and gave us an opportunity to win. So, it's no message. It's just those guys deserved to play at that moment, and guys that weren't in the game at that moment didn't deserve to play. If they want to read a message into that, that's on them. I can't control that now."


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