Oct. 15, 2011



NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma men's basketball team held its first official practice under new head coach Lon Kruger and staff Friday evening on the Lloyd Noble Center main court.

The nearly three-hour session featured extensive defensive work and teaching, and was deemed a success by both Kruger and players.

"A great first practice, and a pretty typical one," said Kruger, who is starting his 26th season as a collegiate head coach. "A lot of enthusiasm and effort.

"Since we're in our first year with this group, it's going to be a little bit slower of a process early on because everything is new to them. The terminology is new, the drills are new -- everything offensively and defensively. But I thought our guys handled it really well tonight."

The practice was the first at OU for newcomers Casey Arent, James Fraschilla, Sam Grooms, Jarrod Kruger and Amath M'Baye.

Sooner veterans, like junior guard Carl Blair, did their best to help the new guys adapt.

"I thought it was great. We got after each other today," said Blair. "Coach put in a lot of new stuff and we had to pick it up fast. I think everyone had a good attitude and came out and worked hard.

"In our workouts the last few weeks, we worked on a lot of offensive stuff with our transition game. Today we worked mostly on our defense -- denying the ball, not allowing a first pass to get inside, boxing out and just playing hard. Definitely a good first practice."

The Sooners, who will practice again Saturday at 10 a.m., are preparing for Sunday's 6 p.m. "Hoops Jam 2011" event. Free to fans, Hoops Jam will take place at Lloyd Noble Center and include a team scrimmage and autograph session. Doors will open at 5 p.m.