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Dean: Buddy-Mania & 1-on-1 With Sooners

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HOUSTON, Texas -

The Buddy Hield show hits Houston today as we’ve arrived a few hours before the Sooners. Already, people taking bags and checking us in at Will Rogers Airport want to talk about OU’s lovable All-American. Passengers on the plane. The man at the rental car station. Guy taking our bags. You get it. Everyone. Tell them you’re here to cover the Sooners in the Final Four, and they want to talk Buddy. Oh, I left out my wife, who drove me to the airport. Abby didn’t say a word; not abnormal for a two-year old GoldenDoodle.

And they do. But they also praise the other Sooners as well. And their future Hall of Fame coach. But it all starts with the magnetic personality and uncanny long-range shooting of Buddy Love. 

Monday we interviewed most of the team at a presser at Lloyd Noble Center. Guys seemed grounded and as ready as players who’ve never been in this atmosphere can be. 

But they will be overwhelmed beginning tomorrow, when a throng of international journalists begin interviewing and taking pictures. If the local and regional coverage they’ve received so far in their careers is rated  2 on a 10 scale, they’ll soon be in the middle of an 11. It’ll be fun. For awhile. And they they’ll quickly revert to trying to find peace and quiet, not to mention productive practice time. 

Related: Hield, Valentine Head Up AP All-American Team

OU’s two biggest hurdles could end up being how they handled the media and its distractions. And the incredibly low 3-point shooting that other good teams have posted in the cavernous arena that was built for football. The NRG Stadium has caused humongous problems with depth perception issues for teams shooting from distance. 

It will impact all teams, although the already-favored Tar Heels are best equipped to overcome the challenge. We’ll dive into these issues in the days ahead. 

For now, here’s my 1-on-1 interviews with Buddy, Coach Kruger, Khadeem Lattin, Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard. Enjoy! 

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