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Posted On: 03/21/19 11:19 PM
The NCAA Tournament is upon us with the opening round beginning today. Oklahoma has several players who have helped their team make a run to the big dance. Get a look at the players who made the cut this season.
The Sooners feature tons of talent from in-state. Former Edmond Memorial star Kristian Doolittle is the leader of the group snagging the Most Improved Player Award for the BIG 12. Another key prospect for the Sooners from home is Harrah star, Brady Manek. Doolittle and Manek are the two key contributors as in-state guys for the Sooners. However, there are two others who have played a role for Oklahoma Glencoe’s own, Ty Lazenby and Oklahoma Christian School’s, Read Streller.
One of the best stories amoungst Mid Majors across the country is Utah State. Adding to how cool the story has been surrounding Utah State there are two Oklahomans playing big roles as freshmen. After serving a two-year LDS mission Justin Bean is stepping into a massive role for Utah State. Bean gives Utah State big time energy with huge rebounds and baskets when they need it the most. Just a year ago Tauriawn Knight was leading Edmond Santa Fe to state. Now, Knight has been able to get minutes at the Point Guard for the Aggies helping his team to a tournament birth. Knight and Bean both show that hard work pays off.
Unfortunately, Hayden Howell had to sit out this season due to two-foot injuries. The great news is he had a redshirt year and will be able to return to the court this season. Nevertheless, Howell’s leadership off the court helped his squad get through a tough year at times pushing all the way to the NCAA Tournament.
I had to include UC Irvine. No, they do not have a player from Oklahoma in the tournament, but they do have former Tulsa Memorial standout, Pat Flesher. Serving the role of Director of Player Operations Flesher works his tail off making sure everything is lined up for success each game. Clearly, Fletcher has done a great job (I mean they made the tournament.. right?). In all seriousness, it is very cool to see a young coach with an Oklahoma background in Flesher in the NCAA Tournament.