Oklahoma was sparked by the play of junior shooting guard Buddy Hield, a native of the hosting Bahamas. He led all scorers with 24 points while shooting 7-of-19 from the field and 4-of-13 from deep. Hield didn’t have the most efficient day, but is a talented shooter that plays hard on both ends of the floor. He added three rebounds and three assists in the win.
Hield will likely carve out a role at the next level as a shooting specialist. He’s hit 15-of-33 (45.6%) three-point attempts this season and is now averaging 21.5 points per game this year. Hield enjoys getting out into transition and spotting up at the three-point line or attacking the rim to get to the free throw line. He’ll likely be the leading scorer for the Sooners this season.
Another talented Oklahoma prospect to watch is recent Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas. The 6-foot-8 senior forward averaged 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as a junior and finished with eight points and seven rebounds against UCLA. He had an impressive dunk off a bounce pass and was an efficient 3-of-5 from the floor. Teamed with Ryan Spangler, who had nine points and 10 rebounds, in the frontcourt, Oklahoma looks like a nationally competitive program.
While UCLA was unable to win on Wednesday, the Bruins feature plenty of potential NBA prospects. The most notable is freshman Kevon Looney, who has a freakish combination of length and athleticism. The 6-foot-9 forward had 16 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks in the loss and showed why he was such a coveted recruit. He’s now recorded four consecutive double-doubles and will have a bright future ahead due to his length and versatility. Looney has struggled with his long-range jumper early this year, but does have the ability to knock down threes. He’s already a dominant rebounder that can keep adding muscle as a slender combo forward. Looney is a potential lottery pick.
Sophomore point guard Bryce Alford led the Bruins with 19 points that included some tough, contested makes. He was 8-of-18 from the floor (3-of-11 from three) and added three rebounds and two assists. Alford already looks much-improved as a sophomore and will be running the show this year.
Norman Powell was limited to single-digits for the first time this season, but is an NBA Draft candidate. The senior shooting guard was 4-of-10 from the field with seven rebounds and four assists but makes his biggest impact on the defensive end of the floor. Powell is a lengthy and athletic perimeter defender that is also averaging 18.6 points per game this year. He’s slightly undersized at 6-foot-4, but could thrive as an energetic defender in an NBA rotation.
Sophomore Isaac Hamilton is another to watch at the shooting guard position. The former McDonald’s All-American was unable to play last year as he had signed a letter of intent with UTEP, but is a savvy 6-foot-4 offensive weapon with a good feel for the game. He had eight points and seven rebounds against Oklahoma, but shot just 3-of-13 from the field. In his first year of collegiate action, Hamilton is another talented newcomer for head coach Steve Alford.
Oklahoma went on to defeat Butler in the winner’s bracket today 59-46. UCLA had quite a bit of trouble in a 78-56 loss to North Carolina.
Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here. We are looking for interns and sales associates. If you’re interested contact us and forward your resume.