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With Oklahoma's Soares, Hugely Out vs. TCU, Porter Moser Details Plan for Big 12 Tourney

The Sooners will be missing two key players against the Horned Frogs, but Moser explained how "close" they are to returning, possibly even later this week.

Oklahoma goes into the Big 12 Tournament shorthanded.

The Sooners face TCU on Wednesday night in their first-round game at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City missing swingman Rivaldo Soares and postman John Hugley.

OU coach Porter Moser said Tuesday on a Zoom call that both players will be out Wednesday, but reiterated that they are both “close” to playing this week should the Sooners advance, although the real hope is they’ll be back next week for the NCAA Tournament.

“I’ll be able to know more tomorrow night,” he said. “You know, it's one of those things, day-by-day, with both of them. We just felt that, you know, after practice today, there wasn't going to be a chance for them to go tomorrow. So We'll reevaluate after the game tomorrow. We'll see how they (respond) tomorrow night, how they feel. And then we will be able to answer that question a little bit more after that. But I don't look at them both long-term. That's what I'm saying. I think we're close to being day-by-day. It's just not going to be tomorrow.”

OU is 20-11 overall and 8-10 in Big 12 play, while TCU is 20-11 and 9-9. The Horned Frogs beat the Sooners 80-71 in their only meeting this season, but that ewas back on Jan. 10, the second conference game of the season.

“They’re as good a transition team (as there is) in the country,” Moser said. “ … We really got to get back and set that transition defense against TCU.”

Moser described his team’s “resiliency” over the past few weeks through this recent run of injuries. Soares, who had emerged as the Sooners’ energy leader on the floor, was able to return, but then OU unexpectedly lost leading scorer Javian McCollum for the Houston game.

“We stayed healthy almost the whole year. And all of a sudden, seven games ago, it’s been a number of them,” he said. “So we gotta fight through it. I really believe that everyone's going to be back and healthy within a week for the NCAA Tournament, so that's the good news. Right now we're banged up for the Big 12 Tournament.”