Prior to Oklahoma’s summer trip to Europe it was announced that sophomore guard Buddy Hield would not play due to an issue with his right foot. A flare-up in the foot, which Hield injured back in February, led to head coach Lon Kruger and his staff deciding to hold Hield out of game action as a precautionary measure.
Unfortunately for the Sooners Hield isn’t the only player on the roster dealing with foot issues, as it was announced Wednesday that sophomore Je’lon Hornbeak underwent surgery on his right foot to repair a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal.
With the stated timeframe of 6-8 weeks there’s the question of whether or not Hornbeak, who averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game as a freshman. His best offensive outing of the 2012-13 season came in Oklahoma’s 77-70 win over West Virginia at the Old Spice Classic in November, scoring 14 points (5-9 FG) and grabbing five rebounds.
With forwards Amath M’baye and Romero Osby no longer in the program, players such as Hornbeak, Hield, fellow guard Isaiah Cousins and wing Cameron Clark (led the Sooners in scoring in four of their five games in Belgium and France) will be asked to do more as Oklahoma looks to make a second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
Hornbeak played in all five of the Sooners’ games on their European trip, reaching double figures in each of the games. Hornbeak scored 16 points in Oklahoma’s 84-66 win over Belgian semipro team Waregem, the Sooners’ second game of the trip. Oklahoma returned home with a 4-1 record, losing the finale.