Sooners Look to Rebound

Losing three out of four after a 25-1 start might be causing some people in the Sooner nation to hit the panic button, especially as March Madness looms right around the corner in less than two weeks.

The Sooners opened with 12 straight victories before dropping their first contest at Arkansas in late December.

Then, OU reeled off 13 more in a row before traveling to Texas, losing star sophomore forward Blake Griffin, dropping a home contest against Kansas and losing to Missouri on Wednesday, with a victory at Texas Tech mixed in between.

But Griffin said the Sooners will still be "all right."

"We'll be fine," Griffin said after the Sooners lost 73-64 to the Tigers in Columbia. "This isn't the end of the world."

In fact, the Sooners won't have to worry about many of the things other teams have to worry about down the stretch, including making the NCAA tournament.

OU is virtually playing for a seed, regardless of the outcome in any of the final games prior to the NCAA Tournament.

So, now the Sooners can look at it as they have a few games to get the problems tweaked out.

"We've got one more conference game, the conference tournament and then the NCAA Tournament," Griffin said. "We need to put this game behind us and learn from it, but this game isn't going to make or break our season."

Griffin indicated some of the areas the Sooners need to get better in down the stretch.

"We just did a poor job of executing our offense," Griffin said. "We'd make kind of a run, then we'd turn the ball over. We didn't do that great of a job taking care of the ball, and that's how we kept turning the ball over."

OU had 22 turnovers in the contest, six by Griffin and another six by junior Juan Pattillo.

Freshman Willie Warren had four, and senior Taylor Griffin had two.

The Sooners had nearly twice as many turnovers as assists (13) in the game.

Compare that to Missouri, who had a positive assist-turnover ratio, with 13 assists and only nine turnovers, and it's easy to see the result on the scoreboard.

So, that's a reason not to hit the panic button.

But yet another reason is the opponents that have been on the schedule.

"Look at the teams we've lost to," Blake said. "Those aren't bad teams. Missouri is obviously a good team. They're undefeated at home. Kansas is obviously a good team because they just beat Missouri. Texas is a good team. They've just had their struggles. I'm not worried about it."

OU head coach Jeff Capel said there's some concern, but mainly echoed Griffin's thoughts.

"There's always concern, but we'll figure it out; we're OU," Capel said. "We hit a couple bumps in the road, had that game without Blake. We had a tough stretch down the stretch. We had a tough set of games all in a row. But we'll get better. We'll use these games as a learning experience."


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories