Kruger quietly leads Oklahoma back to prominence

Lon Kruger has Oklahoma winning again.

The only coach to take five different schools to the NCAA tournament has done it the same way each time - by using his calm demeanor, superior basketball knowledge and knack for cultivating relationships to get the most out of his teams. He has done it again at Oklahoma, leading a team with just one senior starter and no first-team All-Big 12 players to a second-place finish. For that, Kruger was named the league's Coach of the Year.

Oklahoma (23-9), the No. 5 seed in the West Region, opens the tournament against No. 12 seed North Dakota State (25-6) on Thursday in Spokane, Wash.

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