INDIANAPOLIS — Austin Reaves wasn’t the only Oklahoma senior who had a nice outing in what could be his last game donning the crimson and cream.
Alondes Williams and Kur Kuath, also seniors, did their part to try and keep OU in the game as the Sooners fell 87-71 to the No. 1-overall seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs inside Hinkle Fieldhouse on Monday afternoon.
Reaves finished with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting and said afterward he hadn't given any thought yet to returning to the team in 2021-22.
"I really just stay in the moment," he said. "...I hadn't thought about it."
Playing without sophomore guard De’Vion Harmon, it was Williams who stepped up to account for the production lost by OU’s second-leading scorer.
Williams finished with 15 points after an efficient 7-of-11 shooting display. Though he was 0-of-2 from beyond the 3-point line, Williams gave the Sooners another threat to attack the basket as Oklahoma attempted to hurt the Bulldogs in the paint.
“Alondes was great. He's quick off the dribble, he's powerful at the rim,” Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger said in a video press conference after the loss. “Yeah, did a good job. Did a really good job, got in the paint for us, finished some big plays.
“He played well.”
The guard also added two rebounds, an assist and a block to round out what was his best performance since leaving the lineup due to COVID-19 protocols down the stretch of the regular season.
Williams has not made a public announcement on if he intends to return to Oklahoma next season or not.
Kuath, who already announced his intention to pursue a professional career instead of returning to Oklahoma, logged five blocks against Gonzaga, tying his career high for the fourth time.
Kruger praised the efforts of Kuath and fellow senior Brady Manek as they contended with Drew Timme and Corey Kispert, the talented bigs for the ‘Zags.
“Kur I thought did a great job protecting the rim; not much on the offensive end in general,” Kruger said. “But yeah, those guys, they're two seniors that worked hard and, (I) appreciate their efforts, and again, wish they could have gone out on a little better note individually as well as the group, but what a great career Brady had, and Kur has just gotten better and better, and will keep doing that.”
Though he only finished with two points and one rebound, Kuath also dished out four assists in his last game for the Sooners.
As for Reaves, Williams and Manek, Kruger said he would begin the process of sitting down with the players over the course of the next week to determine if any of the Oklahoma seniors intend on utilizing their extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA amidst the pandemic.
“We'll do that here in the next few days, week, and especially the seniors, we'll have a meeting with everyone, of course, but especially the seniors with the COVID rules and all that,” Kruger said. “We'll have those conversations.”