In case you haven’t noticed or drawn this comparison in watching men’s Oklahoma basketball this season, here’s something to think about to help while away all the disappointing losses that have been mounting for the Sooners during the month of January.
Jan 28, 2017; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners forward Kristian Doolittle (11) attempts a shot in front of Florida Gators guard Kasey Hill (0) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Article continues below ...
Freshmen Kameron McGustyand Kristian Doolittlehave been living up to all the acclaim that accompanied their recruitment. The two prized Sooner recruits are averaging 10 and 9 points, respectively, through all games, and McGusty has reached the 20-point level on four occasions.
Could we be looking at the next iteration of the Buddy Hield-Isaiah Cousins dynamic duo in Oklahoma basketball?
I, for one, would not rule that out. So far, both McGusty and Doolittle, are performing at an even higher level than Hield and Cousins did in their freshman season for the Sooners.
While it would be difficult to imagine anyone on the current roster reaching the pinnacle of success achieved by Hield, who is all but assured of having his 24 jersey as the sixth retired number in program history, McGusty and Doolittle are off to terrific starts in the debut season.
In 2012-13, Hield’s first season at Oklahoma, the future All-American averaged 7.8 points per game on 39-percent shooting. Although he eventually became the career leader at OU in three-point shooting, Hield shot just 23 percent from behind the arc in his first season.
Cousins averaged 2.7 points per game in his first season, and shot 25 percent from long range.
With nine regular-season games remaining in his inaugural college season, McGusty is shooting 43 percent from the floor and has connected on 33 percent of his three-point tries. Doolittle, who attended the same Edmond, Okla., high school as Sooner senior team leader Jordan Woodard, is shooting 40 percent overall and an even better 45 percent from three-point range.
Hield ranks 10th among Oklahoma freshmen players with 80 three-point field-goal attempts. McGusty is already at 67. Woodard is 10th all-time among OU freshmen with 27 made field goals in his first season. McGusty is currently at 22 made three-balls.
It is difficult to project what might happen over the next couple of seasons, but if McGusty and Doolittle are able to follow a similar growth curve as Hield and Cousins, the future should be extremely bright for this young, struggling OU basketball squad.