The magical freshman season of Oklahoma freshman Trae Young will end after one NCAA Tournament game.
Young came on late in the game, but cold Sooner shooting in overtime doomed them in an 83-78 loss to No. 7 seed Rhode Island.
At one point, Young scored 13 straight Oklahoma points and 16 of 19 late in regulation and in overtime.
But a 12-2 run by Rhode Island late in overtime was the difference in the Rams’ triumph.
Three foul shots early in overtime enabled the Sooners to claim a 72-69 lead a minute into overtime. But Rhode Island’s perimeter game, which accounted for 11 3-pointers was the difference.
Rhode Island had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. But Stanford Robinson’s put-back at the buzzer rimmed out to enable the Sooners to dodge a bullet that would have
The Rams improve to 26-7 with the victory. Oklahoma drops to 18-14 with the loss.
3 who mattered
- Trae Young: It wasn’t a vintage performance for the Sooners’ top scorer who endured a stretch of 23 minutes without scoring. But then, he finished with 28 points and 7 assists.
- Jamuni McNeace: A big start enabled the Sooners center post a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
- Fatts Russell: The Rams’ 165-pound point guard went for 15 points and 3 assists. But he was injured late in regulation and was barely a factor in overtime.
- Oklahoma never got started with their perimeter game. And Rhode Island’s coach Dan Hurley made an astute idea of forcing the Sooners to live on 2-pointers rather than Young’s threes.
- Early moment destined for “One Shining Moment” video: Rhode Island guard Jared Terrell’s wink to analyst Reggie Miller during Thursday’s game after he rained a couple of threes on the Sooners.
- The Sooners’ lack of playmakers outside of Young hampered them again, as it had most of the second half of the season. But Young tried to play “hero ball” by taking back-to-back 35-footers midway through overtime. It bit them, prolonging an offensive slump that continued most of overtime.
The number: 20
The Sooners hit 4 of 20 3-pointers to finish at 20 percent shooting for the game. It was their second-lowest total of the season, bettering only their 13.6 percent in a loss at Texas on Feb. 3.
What’s next for Oklahoma basketball
The Sooners end their season in what was expected to be a rebuilding season, before Young blew up in November and December.
Now, Young has shot himself onto the cusp as a potential lottery player if he chooses to leave after one season.
Some have speculated Young might be willing to return for another season. But there’s little upside for him returning to college as he likely wouldn’t improve his draft position that much with another season.
But even if he leaves, the Sooners should return four starters for next season. Juniors McNeace and Christian Jams and sophomores Kristian Doolittle and Kameron McGusty will provide the crux of their starters back.
The post Frigid shooting dooms Oklahoma in 83-78 overtime loss to Rhode Island appeared first on Diehards.
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