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76 Classic: WSU vs. Oklahoma Charts of Doom

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Turnovers matter!

 

This is one of those games that makes you want to single out the players who led to our turnover-ignited demise. The leaders were Reggie Moore with 6, Faisal Aden with 5 and Brock Motum with 4. Mike Ladd had 2 in only 13 minutes of play, which puts him right on Reggie's pace in terms of turnover rate. Motum gets a tiny bit of slack from me for being a big man. No one expects a high assist to turnover ratio from a post player.

One thing yet to be determined is if Oklahoma's defense is just really good, or if our offense was really bad at handing the ball over. Since many of the turnovers were unforced errors, I'd bank on the latter. I'd also keep my fingers crossed that this is a one-game meltdown versus the beginning of a long-term trend. Ugh, please let it be that.

Right now, we really don't have enough of a sample size to make any sweeping determinations about Cougar players this year. We do know about our returning players, though, and so we know a few things. One, Reggie has always had a bit of a turnover problem; the difference is his freshman year he dished out enough assists to make up for it. Faisal Aden has to score efficiently to be worthwhile... and while he kinda sorta did last night, he absolutely cannot add five turnovers to the risk he already poses of ending possessions with bad shots.

There's one thing that makes me believe this game was more of an aberration: The Cougars were the 64th best team in the country at avoiding turnovers last season, in terms of turnover rate. That's great for an up-tempo offense like Ken Bone's. We may see some early bumps in the road this season as the Cougars work to integrate players who either weren't playing much or weren't playing at all last season: DaVonte Lacy, Charlie Enquist, Mike Ladd... even Brock Motum didn't see a ton of minutes last fall.

I tend to think this is temporary. The team will improve. Question is: how much?