MBB OU-Idaho State: Report Card

OU guard Carl Blair had 12 points.

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated grades out OU's 78-74 victory over the Idaho State Bengals Friday evening at Lloyd Noble Center.

Overall team performance: C

The Sooners got the Lon Kruger Era started off the right way, although it wasn't always pretty. After getting down by 10 in the first half, they responded and bounced back to triumph in the end. They shot just 38.5 percent as a team in the contest, while allowing the Bengals to hit 46.7 percent of their attempts. But throw some of that out, considering sharp-shooting guard Steven Pledger was suspended for playing in a pro-am game over the summer. OU won the rebounding battle 41-39, had just 15 turnovers compared to ISU's 20 and blocked six shots, so there are some definite positives to pull from this one.

F Andrew Fitzgerald: C-

Fitzgerald was largely ineffective for the second game in a row on the glass, as he grabbed just one rebound. He did have a pair of blocks and scored seven points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field, but he wasn't as dominant as the Sooners need him to be in the paint. That'll have to change for OU to have any kind of decent front court this season.

F Romero Osby: A+

He's the player of the game with his double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. As ineffective as Fitzgerald was, Osby was that effective and then some. He hit 5-of-9 looks and also made 6-of-7 from the line. Not just that, but he added in four assists, two blocks and a steal, while also committing just a pair of turnovers in 31 minutes. It was a complete game, to say the least.

G Sam Grooms: B+

Grooms didn't shoot it particularly well, where he went just 2-for-10, but it's easy to see past that. Why? Because he did what point guards are supposed to do by having a four to one turnover ratio (eight assists, two giveaways). Grooms also had a pair of steals and six rebounds.

G Carl Blair: B+

Blair also had a pretty good game, as he managed 12 points on 3-for-7 shooting and six rebounds, plus five assists. He propelled the Sooners at one point in the second half when he calmly knocked down pair of very important treys. The only blemish on his stat line is at the charity stripe, where he missed three crucial free throws down the stretch. That keeps him from earning an A, but it was still a solid performance.

G Cameron Clark: D-

Mark it down as nothing more than a bad performance for Clark. He won't probably shoot 10 percent (1-of-10 from the field) again this season. But that's what he did in this one. He was 0-for-3 from behind the arc and missed both of his free throws. However, his good defense in 22 minutes, which included a couple steals, keeps him out of an F.

Bench: A

Guard Calvin Newell provided a very nice spark off the bench for OU, serving as the high-point man with his 19 in 29 minutes. Newell cashed four threes on 11 attempts and also had a pair of rebounds and a steal. But forward Barry Honore might have had the most important stretch for a Sooner player. In a short span of time, he made a baseline jumper and swatted two Bengals shots away. OU's bench was ultimately outscored 31-29, but that doesn't tell the whole story here.

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