Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: CavsJournal and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 7:55 AM ET, 11/23/2010

Scouting Oklahoma

By Steve Yanda

Given the talent disparity between the two teams, Oklahoma made Monday's match-up against Kentucky much more competitive than many observers -- and many Wildcats fans -- anticipated. With 1 minute, 16 seconds remaining in the game, Oklahoma cut its deficit to eight. In the end, Kentucky prevailed, 76-64, but the Sooners turned in an admirable performance.

This matters to Virginia followers because at 4:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, the Cavaliers (2-2) will take on Oklahoma (3-1) in the consolation side of the Maui Invitational bracket. If you'd like an encouraging thought on the heels of Virginia's 43-point loss Monday night to Washington, here's a comment from an NBA scout in attendance at the tournament:

"Virginia probably is the more talented team, the more cohesive team," the scout said, comparing the Cavaliers to Oklahoma. Sooners Coach Jeff Capel "has a lot of guys playing by default. He's trying to do stuff with smoke and mirrors right now."

Keep in mind that the above comment was made after Oklahoma's loss but prior to Virginia's game Monday night. The scout left the Lahaina Civic Center long before the Cavaliers' defeat was final.

Anyway, the Sooners are led by senior guard Cade Davis (6-foot-5, 209 lbs.), who tallied 23 points and six rebounds against Kentucky. Two keys for the Cavaliers, the scout said, will be keeping Davis from getting easy shots and keeping Davis off the boards.

Davis "has a decent stroke," the scout said. "He can move on the floor, turn the corner and get to the rim."

Oklahoma's other consistent producer is sophomore forward Andrew Fitzgerald (6-foot-8, 231 lbs.), who posted 14 points and five rebounds Monday. No other Oklahoma player besides Davis and Fitzgerald attempted more than seven shots against Kentucky.

The Sooners' other starters include freshman guard Cameron Clark (6-foot-6, 189 lbs.), sophomore guard Steven Pledger (6-foot-4, 212 lbs.) and junior forward Nick Thompson (6-foot-9, 208 lbs.). None of those three players scored more than six points Monday. Oklahoma's reserve players tallied a combined 11 points against Kentucky.

"They're not a real skilled team, not a very talented team," the scout said. "They grind it out a bit, and they're not strong inside. They don't have a post player as talented as Mike Scott."

Don't expect Oklahoma to push the pace like Washington did. Kentucky Coach John Calipari lauded the Sooners' ability to "muck up" Monday's game. The Sooners alternated between a 2-3 zone, a 1-2-2 zone and man-to-man defense against the Wildcats in an attempt to slow down the tempo. And to a certain extent, they were successful in doing so.

It will be interesting to see whether Oklahoma's strategy changes after seeing how poorly Virginia performed against Washington's pressure defense Monday night.

By Steve Yanda  | November 23, 2010; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: No. 13 Washington 106, Virginia 63: Three up, three down

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company