This is an article from the Nov. 9, 2015 issue
In his fifth year of college, 6'8" forward Ryan Spangler is learning an important lesson about himself. The Bridge Creek, Okla., native is enrolled in a graduate-level course on business conflicts. His takeaway? Engaging in confrontation is crucial to success. "I'm more of a passive type," Spangler says of his demeanor off the court. "But sometimes you've gotta be a little aggressive."
This self-description will come as news to fans in the Big 12, where Spangler has never been accused of being too deferential. His relentless play has made him one of the conference's most jeered visiting players. It has also made him indispensable to the Sooners. Last year he was their leading rebounder (8.2 per game), their top interior defender and an essential back line communicator on the nation's eighth-most-efficient D. Says coach Lon Kruger, "Ryan's [role] is pretty broad."
Spangler ranked third in the Big 12 in overall efficiency and spent last summer honing his jumper in an effort to expand both his range and repertoire. The Sooners already have a pair of high-level outside scorers in guards Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins; Spangler could spread the floor even more. "He'll step up there more comfortably and with more confidence," says Kruger. And with a bit more aggression too.
PROJECTED TEAM STATS
OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY 112.3 (29th)
DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY 92.5 (7th)
BIG 12 RECORD 12--6 (T-2nd)
Juco transfer Akolda Manyang has the size (7 feet, 243 pounds) and swatting skills (2.8 blocks last season) to contribute in the frontcourt rotation, as soon as he fully recovers from a stress fracture in his right foot.
With 2015--16 projections for the top six scorers
Coach Lon Kruger (5th season)
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
|SG||Buddy Hield* 6'4" Sr.||17.7||4.9||2.1||114.4||26.2%|
|SG||Isaiah Cousins* 6'4" Sr.||12.9||4.6||2.6||106.5||21.2%|
|PF||Ryan Spangler* 6'8" Sr.||11.2||9.6||1.5||123.4||16.8%|
|PG||Jordan Woodard* 6'0" Jr.||10.7||3.1||4.3||108.4||20.1%|
|C||Akolda Manyang 7'0" Jr.||7.0||5.0||0.5||104.7||21.3%|
|PF||Khadeem Lattin* 6'9" Soph.||4.6||5.7||0.6||105.6||14.1%|
[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]
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