SoonerHoop Report: All hands-on deck for OU

On3 imageby:Bob Przybylo02/16/24

BPrzybylo

OU basketball had survived the better part of the season without dealing with injuries. But now coming down the stretch? Things are starting to unravel.

Head coach Porter Moser said it was too early to know about the availability of Rivaldo Soares and John Hugley, but it didn’t sound optimistic.

Hugley missed Tuesday’s loss at Baylor with a knee injury. Moser confirmed that occurred during last weekend’s Bedlam victory against Oklahoma State.

Then Rivaldo Soares turned his left ankle with five minutes to play in Waco. OU had Wednesday off and was back to work Thursday.

Still, it doesn’t sound good.

“A little too early,” said Moser when asked by SoonerScoop on Friday. “We’ll know a little bit more later today.”

OU had been able to roll out its ‘eight starters’ every game this conference season. It doesn’t sound like it will be a lingering issue, which is good. But any time away at this juncture of the season is an absolute gut-punch.

“I believe it’s – I’d like to think its shorter term,” Moser said. “That’s what I believe on both of them. We’ll have to wait and see with John on what it is, but right now there’s no indication that it’s season-ending for either one of them.”

It’s a challenge, but it’s an opportunity. It’s the only way Moser can look at this weekend with No. 6 Kansas coming to town.

For everybody who has wanted more of Luke Northweather or Kaden Cooper, this might be your weekend. Moser also mentioned little used super senior Maks Klanjscek as someone who might be thrust into action.

“We’re going to have some different guys in there, and it’s an opportunity to step up,” Moser said. “There’s always been scenarios when one man goes down, next man up. Now we got two men down, so we have to have a couple guys step up.

“I really feel that you’re going to see Maks a little bit more. We haven’t really seen him a lot since the preseason. Kaden Cooper (needs) to be ready. For him, and Luke for him to be in there. And heck, Yaya Keita, if Yaya gets in there. All hands-on deck. That’s what I told everybody: All hands-on deck.”

Moser’s name won’t go away

Moser addressed the DePaul head coaching job Monday, saying he’s had zero conversations about anything like that. How he is focused on building the OU program and getting it where he wants it to go.

But even a day later, his name is still be connected to head coaching jobs and rumors continue to swirl about if he’s going to leave Norman.

Moser addressed the situation again on the Oklahoma Breakdown podcast Wednesday afternoon.

“There’s two things. I don’t enjoy it. But I will say this,” Moser said. “It’s a little annoying because I have worn my love for being here at Oklahoma on my heart, man. I love this. I know where I want to go with this.

“If you really want to be real, if you’re 2-25, they’re not mentioning your name. If you have no history of any success, they’re not mentioning your name. But it is because it’s so much rumor, so much rumor now and stuff to talk about. It has not even been a conversation with me with anything.”

All that and more in this week’s Sooner Hoop Report with Bob Przybylo and Eddie Radosevich.

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