Despite his 5-foot-7 frame, Oklahoma guard Drew Lavender has ran
around and through opposing defenses all season, leading the
Sooners in scoring and assists. But last night, the freshman just
The catalyst of the Sooner offense could not get anything going,
and his team struggled as a result. Lavender spent possession after
possession standing in the backcourt as the shot clock ran down
inside 10 seconds, forcing Oklahoma to take numerous errant
“I think one of the keys for us was trying to contain that
young man,” Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.
“He’s quick, he’s tough, and you don’t want
to give him lanes to the basket. I thought our length at times was
a real distraction for him, not just the length on him, but our
length on the wings.”
Lavender spent much of the Big XII season scoring with his
high-arcing shot, but he drove and scored just once last night. The
Columbus native finished a putrid 1-for-9 from the field and scored
just two points. Fellow guards Jason Detrick and Lawrence McKenzie
shot 3-for-10 and 3-for-8, respectively. The Sooners shot just 35.8
percent for the game compared with their season average of 41
“I think we really buckled down in the second half,
getting stops, getting rebounds, and then converting on the
offensive end with our free throws,” freshman guard Dion
Scrap-happy: Although Michigan’s defense was excellent in
preventing Oklahoma from creating off the ball, the same could not
be said for Michigan’s ability to keep Oklahoma off the
glass. The Wolverines gave up nine offensive rebounds despite
having a superior height advantage.
“They’re a scrappy team, and they hit the glass
hard,” sophomore center Chris Hunter said.
“They’re big, strong, athletic guys that can jump, and
it’s tough to keep them off the glass.”
The Sooners scored 10 points off offensive rebounds, eight of
which came via freshman forward Brandon Foust. Foust was rarely
used during the regular season, but has shined since Oklahoma lost
two of its dominant post players in Kevin Bookout and Jabahri
Brown. Foust tipped the ball in off a missed shot on two
consecutive possessions early in the second half to give Oklahoma a
34-32 lead after being down seven just minutes earlier.
“I don’t think we did as good a job keeping them off
the glass, but that’s how they play,” sophomore guard
Daniel Horton said. “I think our first-shot defense is pretty
good. The problem comes in when we have to box out and get
No Luau, No Problem: After the announcement following last
night’s game that Michigan would be hosting its third round
NIT game, all possibility that Michigan would be making an
unexpected trip to Hawaii went by the wayside. The Warriors played
at home last night against Nebraska in front of a sellout crowd,
but will have to travel to Ann Arbor. The missed opportunity to get
some sun doesn’t bother the Wolverines.
“Classes are too hard,” Horton said.
“There’s a lot of demanded of us in the classroom, so I
was hoping that we would not have to travel to Hawaii.”
Notes: Student tickets will still be $5 for Michigan’s
game tomorrow. The Michigan Athletic Department is keeping the
Ticket Office on State Street open from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.
today in order to sell as many tickets as possible …
Michigan is 9-0 in NIT games at Crisler Arena.