Originally Published: Mar 16, 2010 4:57 PM CDT
With the end of the most troubling season in OU basketball history mercifully coming to an end, lets break down what broke down in last nights rubber match loss to OSU in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.
-Support: There were 94 Sooner spectators in the Sprint Center who watched the OSU Cowboys dash to a never-in-doubt route of Oklahoma in the first pull a Sprint Center dash to a 14-point win.
Of the 94 OU rooters I counted in attendance, I had 77 in the stands and 17 players on the floor--coaches and his players.
-Gawking: Front row witnesses once again included flat-footed onlookers Tiny Gallon and Tommy Mason-Griffinthe under-achieving freshmen who rolled into Norman with such unrealistic expectations that this team was a Top 10-20 preseason team.
Ryan Wright was one of several others to do more standing and watching than crouching and defending.
-Double letter winners: These guys did so much standing and watching they "earned" a letter in loafing.
Non-cardio workout: Fans woofing down popcorn and cokes worked as hard as their heroes on the floor. They burned more calories than their team burned on the defensive end.
-Streetcar Not Named Desire: Not making shots is one thing. Lack of effort is another. A desire to play smart, unselfishly, and hard has been a repeating theme from this bunch. Thats a pitiful calling card. I overheard last night league coaches scoffing at OUs overrated and under-performing squad.
-Eyewitness Program: These coaches saw what others saw. A young OU team playing on the defensive end that deserved them a role in an eyewitness program. And this led the way to a losing attitude and a losing seasona pathetic-at best season that saw the season end with an inconceivable nine-consecutive losses.
-Backcourt Deal: The games lowlight came after OU had made a run to begin the second half and cut a 24-point deficit to only to a ten point game. But OSU got easy looks and converted two threes. Then the Pokes plucky point guard Keiton Page stole the ball from Mason-Griffin as he dribbled up court. He finished the three point play with a Griffin foul on the easy lay-up. Last time Ive seen a steal like that was at Norman Central Junior High.
-Glancing blow: Give Griffin credit. At least he was looking to his head coach for instructions. But the glances backfired. Next time he might look away when hes not dribbling ten feet from his goal. Page, who outplayed the stronger, quicker and faster OU point, said the steal was there all game long.
-Griffin can be a magician with the basketball. His upside is huge. But enough of the unnecessary dribbling. Right now hes somewhere dribbling between his legs.
-Kelvins Kids: Maybe Kelvin had it right. Sampson didnt bring in high school All-Americans (ironically prep phenom Ryan Humphrey transferred with his disenchanted attitude to Notre Dame). But the good players he signed won a lot of games by maxing out their ability. By doing exactly the opposite of what we saw this year. No entitlement program.
-Matter of priorities: Priorities for a college coach include helping kids grow up and then getting them to play up to their ability.
-Capel good, but: I believe Jeff Capel is a good person and a good coach. But frankly, next season is critical to the Capel era. He is losing two senior starters and leaders in Tony Crocker and Cade Davis. Who knows how many players with eligibility will be gone?
-Whoever sticks around for next season had best max out; with effort and overall play? And whoever stays, best bring an offseason work ethic and good attitude. Because if not, the diminishing fan base could very well begin to turnand it would get ugly. OU commoners will accept losing. But Oklahomans will not allow losing disgracefully.
-T-minus 94: Another season like this will make the 94 fans that showed up here last night seem like a full house.
-Willie Nelson and Not on the Road Again: Can anyone imagine an injury keeping Blake Griffin or Eduardo Najera or Hollis Price or Sam Bradford from traveling with their teams to play in a conference tournament? There will be excuses come from apologists. But its not flying here.
-Final and sad sign of dysfunction: Were told it was a two-way street. The coach didnt want Willie Warren with his travel squad. And Willie didnt want to be part of his travel squad. Unfortunately a perfect example of the sad and dysfunctional relationship between player and coach.
Thanks for the read.DB