Oklahoma is quietly off to an 8-1 start, but the Sooners will have to enter Big 12 play without one of their key bench players.
Je'lon Hornbeak, a sophomore guard from Texas, will miss four-to-six weeks with a broken bone in his left foot.
“We're very disappointed for Je'lon,” head coach Lon Kruger announced on Tuesday night. “He battled another injury to his foot in the preseason, and now this one. This will impact our team significantly while he is out.”
Hornbeak had surgery back in August to repair a stress fracture in his foot, and was sidelined for an extended period of time. The 6-foot-4 guard started 29 games last season, but has been coming off the bench this year. His numbers are better this season, though, averaging 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Oklahoma has been using a three-guard lineup this season, with Jordan Woodard, Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield forming a talented perimeter group. Those three will have to shoulder an even bigger role with Hornbeak out. Freshman Frank Booker is the only other guard to see extended minutes, and he will now be the first perimeter player off the bench for Kruger.
The Sooners have four more non-league games before Big 12 play, with home contests against Tulsa and Texas-Arlington leading into solid tests against Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech. Oklahoma opens its conference schedule with a road trip to Texas on January 4.