5 takeaways in the aftermath of No. 9 Oklahoma’s loss to No. 3 Kansas 78-66

Saturday had the chance to be a special day for the Oklahoma basketball team. Still, it feels like another opportunity wasted as the Sooners failed to capitalize on a significant chance to beat the Kansas Jayhawks at home for the first time in 30 years.

Oklahoma came into the game after a tough loss in their Big 12 road opener against TCU. The Sooners fell flat in the second half of that game and did virtually the same in the second half of the showdown with Kansas on Saturday.

The Sooners went blow for blow with the Jayhawks in the first half. Javian McCollum had 12 pts, while sophomore Otega Oweh scored seven points to accompany Milos Uzan’s seven first-half points.

Foul trouble plagued OU’s attempts to defend K.J. Adams in the first half as he poured in 15 points. The second half saw the Sooners struggle on both ends of the floor. Oklahoma had two stretches where they missed six of seven shots, allowing Kansas to push the lead to double-digits.

Kansas would cruise to the finish line and win by 12.

We have five takeaways in the game’s aftermath as the Sooners look to regroup from back-to-back Big 12 losses.

The offense stalls out in the second half

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma’s offense was completely nullified in the second half for the second time in as many games. It’s becoming a troubling trend during the worst possible time, as conference play will continue for the next two months.

Stretches where spacing leaves a lot to be desired, live ball turnovers, poor shooting, and a lack of offensive rebounding have kept Oklahoma from finishing games they entered halftime very much in a position to win.

More: Social media reacts to the Sooners loss to Kansas

Defense without fouling is an issue

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the previous point, the Sooners have showcased some not-so-ideal trends.

Aside from the second-half scoring droughts, the foul trouble the team has consistently gotten into has damaged Oklahoma’s ability to defend with aggression.

Foul trouble has been a major thorn in OU’s side, and it’s something that the Sooners have to work through as a team as they attempt to get out of this mini-slump.

Some calls have been questionable, but bad positioning has been a major part of the Sooners’ issues. Players are sometimes late rotating, which will undoubtedly lead to more foul calls.

More: Photos from the Phog: Oklahoma’s second half extends drought at Allen Fieldhouse

Milos Uzan needs to be come more of a scorer

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

As this conference schedule rolls on, the Sooners’ need for more scoring from their primary guys has grown.

Uzan is the Sooners’ best playmaker. That much we all know. However, his playmaking ability has opened up the floor for him to attack the basket more. He should be more aggressive on that front in the future.

OU needs their primary ball handlers to stress teams in multiple ways.

From The Oklahoman: Sooners can’t end Allen Fieldhouse woes in 23rd straight road loss at Kansas

Sooners need the bench to show up

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma’s depth as a team is commendable. The Sooners can indeed go nine deep. However, on Saturday, they received just 11 points from the bench, which won’t get it done.

Le’Tre Darthard hasn’t made a three-pointer since the Sooners played Iowa State. John Hugley went 1 of 5 and had four personal fouls. Luke Northweateher had the best performance of a bench player with six points after he knocked down a couple of threes.

The Sooners need the veteran reserves to play better.

Lack of a rim protector is hindering Oklahoma

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners need a true rim protector. Maybe he doesn’t always have to block shots, but he needs to alter them and deter people from the paint.

However, the Sooners can’t acquire that midseason.

That lack of rim protection has impacted their defense, though. Ball pressure matters, but if your defenders get beat off the dribble, and it will happen, the Sooners need more deterrents at the rim, and they don’t have that. Kansas dominated OU with 46 points in the paint to Oklahoma’s 26.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire