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BIG 12 MEN’s BASKETBALL

Block out, release, go get it: Sooners head to No. 11 TCU needing to mend rebound woes

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Baylor Oklahoma Basketball (copy)

Oklahoma guard Milos Uzan (12) and Baylor guard Langston Love (13) fight for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 21 in Norman.

Oklahoma at No. 11 TCU

Sooners (11-8, 2-5 Big 12) vs Horned Frogs (15-4, 4-3)

7 p.m. Tuesday, Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth, Texas

ESPN+; KTBZ 1430, KMOD 97.5

Coaches: Porter Moser (30-24 in two seasons at OU), Jamie Dixon (132-88 in seven seasons at TCU)

All-time: The Sooners lead the all-time series 27-6, including 12 wins from 15 trips to TCU

Last meeting: The Horned Frogs topped OU 72-63 on Jan. 31, 2022, in Norman

Last time out: The Sooners conceded 30 second-chance points in Saturday’s 62-60 loss to No. 21 Baylor. OU has dropped all four of its Big 12 games against ranked league opponents by a total margin of 10 points.

Storylines

Simple fix?: A question on OU’s rebounding woes against the surging Bears led Sooners coach Porter Moser to reference “Seinfeld” Monday morning.

Despite nine boards a piece from Tanner Groves and Jalen Hill, the Sooners lost the rebounding battle to 39-30 against Baylor. Moser and Co. got beat on the offensive glass 17-9. And in OU’s sixth league game settled by five points or less, the Sooners allowed that disparity to translate into 30 second-chance points for the visitors.

“It’s one of those things where there are a lot of areas of the game I can help them with,” Moser said. “I can help them get free off ball screens. Set up action. Run some plays to get them open. Defensively, give them schemes.

“Rebounding? We have to block out and go get it. I think we only had one or two missed block outs. We’re blocking out, but we have to release and go get it. My mind goes to the Seinfeld episode. It’s not the reservation, it’s the holding of the reservation. It’s not the block out. It’s the release and go get it.”

Moser’s latest callback follows his nod to Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday” following OU’s Jan. 4 loss to Iowa State. The Sooners’ Big 12-worst mark of 31.7 rebounds per game in 2022-23 might draw Moser to make comparisons to some different Pacino films.

Sherfield’s streak: Sooners leading scorer Grant Sherfield went scoreless in the second half for a second straight game Saturday.

After an 0-for-6 showing after halftime in OU’s Jan. 18 loss at Oklahoma State, the Nevada transfer missed all five of his field goal attempts in the second-half against Baylor. Sherfield’s eight points (3-of-10 shooting) against the Bears marked his second-lowest scoring performance as a Sooner behind his four-point outing against Iowa State.

“I’ve just got to know I’m at the top of everybody’s scout going into games and they’re going to try to stop me,” he said Monday. “I’ve got to do a better job of just not losing the flow within the offense. Just having a better pace in transition and trying to find easy baskets.”

Sherfield began the week sixth among Big 12 scorers averaging 17.0 points per game.

— Eli Lederman, Tulsa World

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OU beat Writer

I came to the Tulsa World as an intern in 2019, returned in Aug. 2021 and now cover the Sooners with Eric Bailey. I'm a New Yorker, a graduate of the University of Missouri and an avid soccer (read: fútbol) fan. Let's talk: eli.lederman@tulsaworld.com

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