Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 02, 2017

Practice Central

October 13 - Through with Week Two

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Oklahoma concluded its second week of preseason practice with a Friday morning session before giving the team the weekend off for OU's fall break and OU-Texas weekend. The Sooners continue to preach the value of defense, focusing many of their drills and coaching sessions on becoming a more aggressive team defensively.

"Working hard on defense is going to be the biggest thing," said sophomore guard Kameron McGusty. "I think we can score with the best of them...but I think it's just going to come down to sitting down and guarding whoever they put on the court."

Offensively, OU has carried over much of its shooting success from August's foreign tour. The Sooners shot 50-of-117 (.427) from 3-point range, sinking an average of 12.5 treys a game while in New Zealand and Australia, which has given them confidence now that they're back on American soil.

"Coming out of Australia, they've had a bit more confidence," said head coach Lon Kruger. "Moving the ball well, shot the ball well over there. Right now, guys are shooting the ball with great confidence. We hope that will continue and expect that to continue."

Oklahoma is back to work for week three beginning Monday at 2 p.m. The Sooners will also practice on Tuesday (2 p.m.), Wednesday (2 p.m.), Friday (2 p.m.) and Saturday (9:30 a.m.). All practices are open for fans to attend.

October 10 - Hitting the Floor

Practice

The Sooners hit the LNC floor for the first time this preseason after conducting its first six sessions in the practice gym. Notice anything different? When the court was given its annual resurfacing in August, the grain in the paint was given a new, natural wood coloring.

October 7 - Wrapping up Week One

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Oklahoma's first week of preseason practice wrapped up on Saturday morning with a full house of fans getting their first look at this year's team. Many crimson-and-cream clad supporters stopped by the practice gym at Lloyd Noble Center before heading a few blocks north to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, creating a fun and energetic environment despite the early-morning start.

As with the summer sessions, the Sooners continue to emphasize the importance of focus and intensity. Numerous OU players have mentioned how the team is much more locked in than this time last season, and is continuing to use the close losses of 2016-17 as fuel in preparing for 2017-18.

"I feel like we're preparing better from last year," said junior guard Rashard Odomes. "We don't want to go down that same route so we're preparing differently this year. We're taking it more serious...Coming in and not playing around in the weight room and stuff like that. Taking each rep seriously in the weight room, taking each rep seriously in drills...Locking in more defensively because that's going to be a key factor for our team. Just doing things like that."

The Sooners return to the practice floor for the second week starting Monday at 2 p.m. Oklahoma will also practice Tuesday (2 p.m.), Thursday (2 p.m.) and Friday (9:30 a.m.).

October 4 - Embrace the Competition

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Three days into preseason practice and it's evident that there's a strong competitive spirit amongst this year's group. From wanting to better themselves as a team to fighting for minutes come game time, the Sooners have embraced the competition in week one.

October 2 - It's Good to be Back

Practice

The Sooners ushered in the start of the 2017-18 season on Monday with the first official practice of the year. Although the afternoon session was the first full workout of the preseason, the team had a strong familiarity with one another after a special summer highlighted with a foreign tour to New Zealand and Australia.

Oklahoma was granted 10 offseason practices in July and August as part of its preparation for the exhibition tour, making Monday feel like more of a transition into the next phase of preparation. Still, the opening day of practice was met with a crowded gym of fans, high-energy drills and an obvious desire from the Sooners to get back to where they belong.

“The guys, with the work they did in the spring and that they did this summer, have indicated by their actions that they are motivated because of the disappointment from last year,” said OU head coach Lon Kruger. “And that’s a healthy thing.”

Junior center Jamuni McNeace echoed the team embracing the “reset” button and the excitement of a new season for him and his teammates to prove themselves.

“We've been ready for this since the last game of the Big 12 tournament," said McNeace. "That's not the way we like to lose. I'm not used to losing like that. That's not something our team wants to do. We are all going to be playing with a chip on our shoulders.”

As with previous seasons under head coach Lon Kruger, the Sooners’ practices are open to the public and fans are encouraged to attend and meet the team. In addition to Monday’s workout, the Sooners will practice Tuesday (2 p.m.), Wednesday (2 p.m.), Friday (2 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m.). Fans looking to attend should enter via the exterior stairwell on the east side of the Bob and Ann Coleman Men’s Basketball Center.

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Friday, Oct. 13
video Week 2 Wrap Up

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