NORMAN — Kristian Doolittle has wasted little time showcasing his offensive skills this season.
Oklahoma’s senior forward has scored in double figures in both games that he’s played in this season, posting 10 points against Minnesota and 19 versus Oregon State.
Compare that to his first three seasons with the Sooners. In the first 10 games of each year, Doolittle only reached double figures twice, with both games coming in his freshman campaign.
He’ll try to continue the streak in Monday’s 6 p.m. game against visiting William & Mary.
OU coach Lon Kruger said an aggressive Doolittle is big for the team’s offense.
“It’s great to see him seeking more shots and attacking the rim more,” Kruger said. “I think we’ll see him get more and more comfortable if he continues to do that.”
Doolittle had a career-high 16 rebounds and added four assists, which was one off his personal best, against the Beavers. He had a mismatch, which the Sooners exploited
Doolittle’s minutes ate into Kur Kuath’s playing time. The junior played a strong five minutes, providing energy and enthusiasm.
“I told him afterward it wasn’t anything about him why he didn’t play in the second half,” Kruger said. “I thought he was outstanding in the first half. If we would have played Kur, it would have allowed them to play their big guy on Kur and it would take away the advantage that ‘Doo’ had on their big guy. It was just a matchup deal. Kur played great.”
The Sooners also excelled on the defensive end in the second half. It’s been like that in all three games. OU has outscored opponents by 13.3 points after intermission.
“Defensively, we’ve been way more consistent than the offensive end, for sure,” Kruger said. “In the second half of both games, defensively we’ve put together some very good stretches that’s allowed us to make a good run. We’ve also made shots during that time. They are all keyed by the stops we are getting defensively.”
Oklahoma returns home after spending five days away from Norman with games in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (71-62 over Minnesota) and Portland (77-69 over Oregon).
It was a bonding experience that could be important in weeks to come.
“It can help a big deal, especially when you win,” Kruger said. “When you win, it kind of pulls everyone closer together. All that is very beneficial.”