Lon Kruger: Thunder have raised the bar

The success of the Oklahoma City Thunder is bound to have an impact on the Oklahoma men’s basketball program. OKC’s NBA franchise has changed the landscape for the state and the Sooners.

Head coach Lon Kruger doesn’t consider the change to be a bad development for OU.

“It’s a great thing,” Kruger said. “The Thunder are doing a terrific job and the atmosphere there [at Chesapeake Arena] is outstanding.”

Even though he calls the Thunder’s impact “a great thing,” the veteran coach understands it makes his job a little more difficult.

“What they’ve done is raise the bar,” he said. “We have to do a better job with in-game entertainment and making a fan-friendly experience. We’ll keep working with that ... but it still comes down to winning some ballgames and we’ll do that, too.”

The Sooners finished eighth in the Big 12 in attendance last season, averaging 8,524 fans in 16 home games.