Lon Kruger On NCAA Tournament Strategy: ‘We Are What We Are’

    Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger opened up about the Sooners' perimeter mentality in the NCAA Tournament.

    March 7, 2016

    Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger opened up about the Sooners’ perimeter mentality heading into the NCAA Tournament.

    A few months after watching their football team fall just short in the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma’s men’s basketball team is getting ready to take its own shot at a national championship.

    Head coach Lon Kruger has taken the Sooners to the NCAA Tournament the last three years. In 2015, Oklahoma was knocked out in the regional semifinal. That followed back-to-back years of being ousted in the second round.

    This season, Oklahoma has hit on 43 percent of its 742 three-point attempts — the second best percentage in college basketball. Kruger recently sat down with Campus Insiders’ Jordan Cornette, and when asked about the difficulty to maintain that consistency from deep in the tourney, said the Sooners will be sticking to the plan that lifted them all the way to No. 1 in the nation earlier this season.

    “We are what we are, you know. We’re not gonna stop all of the sudden and throw the ball inside a whole bunch,” Kruger said. “We’ve been effective making plays for each other on the perimeter and effective getting out in transition, and we’re not gonna change that M.O., if you will. But yeah, guys gotta focus. We’ve had a chance at shooting in domes, in big arenas before, so it won’t be that new to our guys.”

    A big reason why Oklahoma has come as far as it has is because of senior guard Buddy Hield, whom Kruger had nothing but kind words to say about.

    “Buddy’s had a fantastic year, been very, very consistent. He’s worked hard throughout his career to make that progress, and he’s got a passion for it. He’s got great focus on what he needs to do to improve as a player day after day, and he works very hard at it. So that combination of having a good plan, being focused and a great work ethic has allowed him to become an outstanding player,” Kruger said.

    If the Sooners are going to keep that outside game running like a well-oiled machine, Hield will have to perform at a high level like he has all season long.

    WATCH: Lon Kruger Discusses Sooners’ Postseason Game Plan


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