Did you watch the OU basketball game last weekend? I'd venture to say 99 percent of you conjured thoughts of the men's team. And rightfully so I might add.
Several columnists (none local) clamor for the women's tournament to commence in April. Why share the spotlight with the men when you can have your own platform to promote your own version of the game? I would not, however, go so far as to list the women's box scores in pink.
Now let's put a bow on the 2008-09 college basketball season. Think local. The University of Tulsa deserved its NIT berth. The Golden Hurricane wowed a partisan crowd by defeating a Big Ten team at the Reynolds Center in the opener.
A second round shellacking by Auburn should not sour the progress made at 11th and Harvard. No one suggests head coach Doug Wojcik is on the hot seat. His back-to-back 25-win seasons earned him the right to see this team to the next level.
Since arriving on campus, Ben Uzoh carried the title of best basketball player of the Wojcik era. Having Uzoh back for his senior season is mutually beneficial for the player and the team.
Jerome Jordan is a different beast. The seven-foot gentle giant from Jamaica landed at TU three years ago primarily due to his lack of basketball experience. Jordan has made progress the past three years albeit minimal.
The NBA is not beating down Jordan's door. A top draft pick he is not. However, you would think during the span of a two-round draft some team would submit his name. You know the old saying. You cannot teach an athlete to be seven-foot can you?
If Jordan leaves for the NBA, the Golden Hurricane offense may open up a bit. At times, his presence inside seems to stagnate the offense.
He moves well for a big man but that's like being the prettiest girl in Arkansas.
From his second to third year under Wojcik's tutelage, Jordan has made incremental progress. His scoring average inched from 10.5 to 13.8 points per game. His rebounding improved by less than a board per contest. His blocks actually decreased from his sophomore campaign.
Now, if Jordan eschews the NBA Draft, which is the logical move, let's hope the coaching staff brings in a mentor for him this summer. Can Wojcik pull a few strings and have his former teammate visit Jordan? Would David Robinson rub off on Jordan? Could he teach him a few "big man" secrets?
Thank You, Come Again
Oklahoma State battled Tennessee and Pittsburgh in the NCAA tournament. Congrats on dancing once again. Here is my beef: Oklahoma State's ceiling in the tournament was reached. They maximized their potential with a one-and-done visit to the Big Dance.
Instead of watching mediocre "BCS" schools get prematurely ejected, wouldn't you prefer seeing a "Mid-Major" earn a spot? This isn't an attack on the Cowboys. Several middle-of-the-pack "BCS" schools could be singled out.
When 30 of the 34 at-large bids go to the big schools, we're losing some of the flavor that makes college basketball's postseason tournament taste so great.
The OU portion of this column was supposed to be a breakdown of the Final Four. Instead, we learned a few valuable lessons.
(For the record, I'm watching Tiger Woods battle Sean O'Hair down the stretch of a golf tournament while finishing the column. I think I know how this will end.)
I realize you will have read a minimum of three columns on OU's trouncing by the time you pick this paper up Wednesday. Here goes a fresh take.
OU's number 23 scored 23 in a losing effort against the school that produced the most famous 23 of all time.
Have you read that this week? Me thinks not. Here is something else you will not have read. You need to make shots in basketball to win. I know, I know, it seems like common sense, but we live in the age of over-analysis.
Willie Warren played like a freshman. Tony Crocker shot like pre-Syracuse Tony Crocker. Austin Johnson was invisible. Cade Davis launched one three-pointer and it was the ugliest shot of the tournament.
On a positive note, Juan Pattillo played like a Final Four berth was on the line.
Blake Griffin was a godsend for Sooner Nation. Shocking as it may seem, I know several Sooner faithful who started watching the beast once the postseason tipped off. It's unfathomable to think so-called Sooners fans missed his career. Then again, it's the hand dealt to the average college basketball fan. Postseason > Regular season.
There is a slim chance the nation's best player returns to Norman for another college season. It would be a huge upset.
In fact, if Griffin returns and forgoes the monster payday, it would be a bigger financial blunder than AIG and General Motors combined. His tourney play cemented him as the top pick in the NBA draft.
Now we just need to infiltrate Sam Presti's brain with subliminal messages. We need to convince his team to lose out. Presti is the GM for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They could use a game changer like Griffin but then again, who couldn't? Let's see if the Thunder joins the lineup affectionately known as tankapalooza.
By the way, I just watched Tiger sink a 15' 11'' putt to win another tournament. Have I mentioned I miss that guy? Almost as much as Jeff Capel will miss Blake Griffin.
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