The post-Buddy Hield era in Norman got off to a disappointing start, with the Sooners posting just an 11-20 record in 2016-17.
However, Oklahoma is one of the five best long-shot bets to win the national title next season, despite missing the NCAA Tournament a year ago, according to CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone.
At 80-1 odds, the Sooners will definitely fly under the radar to begin the season, but Boone points to the star member of coach Lon Kruger’s 2017 recruiting class — 5-star point guard Trae Young — as the reason for dramatic improvement.
“Young is a point guard with big-time court vision and big-time range as a shooter,” Boone writes. “Young has the keys to the offense after the departure of Jordan Woodard, and he figures to have his foot on the gas pedal deep into March.”
Oklahoma finished just 5-13 in conference play a year ago, losing nine of 10 games from Jan. 21 to Feb. 21. The lone bright spot of the year came after the season ended, when Young committed to the Sooners over Kansas and Kentucky.
Oklahoma has played two exhibition games in New Zealand this week, winning its first game against New Zealand Select 133-91 Monday and its second against Sutherland 129-51 early Wednesday.