Capel's Biggest Test

Thursday, January 17th 2008, 10:34 am
By: News 9

By Toby Rowland/NEWS 9 Sports

Well, it's time to see what this Jeff Capel guy is really made of. No Super-Blake for up to a month. That's six or seven games without the Sooners best player and one of the best big men in the Big 12.

Can he cobble together a team that can win a few conference games now two men down? Can he somehow keep the suddenly flickering NCAA Tourney flame lit with Big Blake on the bench?

I have been nothing but impressed with Capel since his opening press conference on campus. Obviously solid coach...great recruiter. But this will be the biggest test of adversity for the young leader.

He's got a team that has proven they're good enough to go to The Dance. Can he somehow keep them afloat, keep their spirts high, pick off enough wins so that when Blake returns the Tourney is still in sight?

If he can, it will speak more to his coaching abilities, more to his leadership abilities than any win over Gonzaga or West Virginia. If his Sooners can persevere through adversity this period could be a team fortifier come March.