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Lon Kruger took over the OU basketball program in the middle of a time of disorder and confusion.
Instead of crumbling under the pressure, Kruger brought a degree of stability, but not much success
Oklahoma's 15-16 record (5-13 Big 12) might have appeared better than they really were.
The Sooners only won two of their last 10 games.
But the good news in Norman is that Kruger has done this before and is ready to move forward.
"The second season is always a lot different. Now everyone knows what to expect. They know what the program feels like. You're now a step ahead of where you were last year, so now it's different. You have a better feel for what's going on." (ESPN Insider - subscription access).
All five Sooner starters are back from last year, including 6'4" guard/leading scorer Steven Pledger (16.2 PPG; 3.9 RPG).
Also, Kruger is getting some further help from a few talented transfers.
Junior Amath M'Baye, a 6'9" forward, averaged 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore at Wyoming.
D.J. Bennett, a 6'8" junior college transfer from Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College, has a non-stop motor that will help crash the boards and play some tenacious D.
After Kansas and Baylor, the Big 12 is wide open. And even if OU is not ready to contend, they will be significantly more competitive and should win at least 20 games and could be picked on Selection Sunday.