Trae Young went over the 20-point mark for the fourth time in four games Sunday, scoring 24 as Oklahoma beat the Cairns Taipans 110-85 in the final game of OU’s foreign tour.
Here are a few takeaways from the game and trip as a whole:
Young, James, Manek all shine
Young lived up to much of the hype in his first live action as a Sooner. He led the team with 22.3 points and averaged seven assists, three rebounds and 2.3 steals in 21.8 minutes.
Young also flashed with his speed and drive-and-dish game. He was easily OU’s most active player, shooting 52.5 percent on 61 shots. Young shot 40 percent (12-of-30) from 3-point range.
Another freshman who impressed on the trip was Harrah’s Brady Manek. The 6-9 forward was third on the team with 13.3 points and also averaged 5.3 rebounds.
And the biggest surprise might have been junior guard Christian James, who had another strong game Sunday, scoring 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting. James was red hot from the field in OU’s final three games and finished the trip shooting 71 percent, including going 12-of-13 from 3. James’ 16.3 scoring average was second-best on the team.
“Pretty much everyone had good stretches of minutes (this trip),” coach Lon Kruger said. “Everyone played their minutes well, and we were really unselfish with the ball, moving the ball well and making a lot of good plays. … It was huge to have an opportunity to spend time together on the court in Norman in practice, and then to have the travel opportunity and to spend that time together.”
OU’s defense play improved throughout the trip, and the Sooners were especially good on D as games went on. Sunday, OU led 27-22 after the first quarter, then held Cairns to one nine points and one field goal in the second quarter. OU won the turnover battles 73-52 on the trip.