Buddy Hield is a lock for a spot on most All-America teams and will be leading the debate for National Player of the Year. But his individual brilliance has not been enough to carry Oklahoma through the Big 12 and the No. 3 Sooners fell to 10-6 in league play after losing 76-63 at Texas.
Hield put the home fans in Austin on alert early with 23 of his 33 points coming before halftime, but the Sooners weren’t getting much production from anyone else and only held a three-point lead at halftime. Texas hung around, and when the Longhorns made their move Oklahoma didn’t seem to have enough gas in the tank to match their intensity. The result was a 22-0 run over six minutes of game time in the second half that gave the Longhorns a double-digit lead with one minute remaining.
The comeback started on the defensive end when Oklahoma’s shots stopped falling — the Sooners were just 9 of 31 (29 percent) from the field in the second half. Some of that was simply missed shots, but some of that is a credit to Texas’ defense.
Prince Ibeh, welcome to the block party. https://t.co/3mYWDDBMFs
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) February 27, 2016
The game was Hield’s ninth 30-point performance this season and his first-half performance had this Longhorns writer wondering if Buddy is the Stephen Curry of college basketball.
I’m not saying Buddy Hield is the college Steph Curry. That’d be hyperbolic and dumb. But Buddy Hield kind of is the college Steph Curry.
— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) February 27, 2016
Hield’s seemingly endless range and shooting prowess makes gives him that Curry-like effect with fans, but the key difference here is with the supporting cast. Oklahoma has had these bad stretches of basketball, like the 22-0 run against Texas, throughout this 4-4 showing in February. Normally, you’d like a potential Final Four contender to be playing better ball at this point of the season. Buddy may be on his way to collecting plenty of individual honors, but for the Sooners to thrive, they’ll need more from the rest of the lineup.