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Hill looks to lead the Sooners to Higher Ground

Jalen Hill committed to the Sooners back in 2019 as a 3-star out of Ed W Clark high school in Las Vegas, Nevada. When he came to Oklahoma, I don’t think anyone expected him to be as good as he is today. I think it is safe to say that not a lot of Sooner fans thought 4 years down the road he would be this valuable of a leader on the team. Porter Moser has called Hill the leader of this team.  

When Lon Kruger retired back in 2021, many Sooner players left. Hill was one of the guys that stayed with the Sooners. Jalen Hill stayed in Norman after meeting with new coach Porter Moser. Hill has improved year in and year out in Norman. The main improvement has been his 3-point shooting percentage. Last year, Hill shot 20% from the 3-point line. This year, through 21 games, Hill is shooting at a 36% clip from 3-point land, significantly improved from last year. 

Hill’s work ethic has been one of his strong points. Since he stepped foot on campus, he has had the mindset of getting better day after day after day. Porter Moser has been high on Jalen Hill since he became the coach at Oklahoma. He loves his mindset and what he brings to the floor.  Prior to the season, Moser had these words to say about Jalen Hill, in an interview with the Athletic. Moser said, “I think he’s an All-Big 12 defensive player. You can do so many things with him. He can guard the post. He can guard the point. He can really switch. He’s got great size. He’s got great grit, defensively. Great anticipation. Offensively, he got garbage points, he got offensive rebounds, he scored in transition, we posted him up. It’s continuing to move his game out on the perimeter. To really have him be a threat on the perimeter is a next step for him. And he’s worked on it a ton.” Hill seems to have taken that step this year.  Last year, Hill shot 20% from the 3-point line. This year, through 21 games, Hill is shooting at a 36% clip from 3-point land, significantly improved from last year. 

Hill does so many things that do not show up in the box score. He communicates well on defense, blocks out really well, and plays with so much toughness. After having nasal surgery because of a hit in a game against Villanova, Hill played a few days later against a very physical #15 Arkansas team. As this season heads down the homestretch, Jalen Hill’s toughness and physicality will be a key factor in how many Big 12 wins the Sooners can claw out.  

This season, Jalen Hill has been the Sooners’ best defender. He can guard anyone from the point guard to the center. Whether someone is posting up or driving to the basket, Hill is reliable and has the athletic ability to defend them. After the Sooners were embarrassed against TCU, Jalen took it personally as one of the leaders. He talked about it in an interview with Sooner Surge, stating that he, Tanner Groves, and Grant Sherfield met as team captains and talked about things moving forward. Hill said, “We started the very next day at practice, came out with an intense practice knowing that this next game against Bama could make or break our season”. Those three came out and scored 70 points combined, and the Sooners defeated #2 ranked Alabama, with Hill filling up the stat sheet, tallying 26 points and 8 rebounds, while also locking down Brandon Miller.  

It will be interesting to see how Hill will continue to improve this season. He is definitely a versatile and valuable piece to the Sooners surviving the Big 12 gauntlet and getting the Sooners a spot in March Madness. 

Jalen Hill joins the Sooner Surge!

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