Buddy Hield went off for Oklahoma on Sunday against VCU to help lift the Sooners into the Sweet 16. After a dismal first 20 minutes (7 points on 2-for-8 shooting), something woke Hield up in the second half. Now we know what that something was.
VCU guard Doug Brooks says he tried to get into Hield’s head, it’s safe to say it didn’t work. The National Player of the Year candidate scored 26 of Oklahoma’s final 31 points, hit 9-of-12 shots from the field and 5-of-8 from 3-point range. When the dust settled, Hield had 36 points and Oklahoma had booked a ticket to Anaheim.
Hield claims that during his early struggles Brooks said, “You’re the player of the year. You’re supposed to be going to work.”
Brooks admitted it, saying, “I was trying to talk to him and get into his head. It didn’t work.”
No, it most certainly didn’t work.
Hield then told Brooks, “I’m about to go to work.” And he did.
Brooks was deferential to Hield after the game, he also said the following:
I’ll give Brooks credit for having the guts to talk trash to a guy who has been amazing all season. That said, it probably wasn’t smart. Hield thrives on people doubting him and the yapping may have given him the extra motivation and focus he needed to get back on his game.
In the end, Oklahoma pulled out an 85-81 win and Hield had a game we’ll all be talking about for a while.
The lesson here is that if you’re an opponent, you should never talk trash to Buddy Hield. You’ll only make him angry. And you definitely won’t like him when he’s angry.