Summer Pick-Up games report #4


The Red Wig
Nov 2, 2008
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July is a time for coaches to recruit and players to begin get comfortable with one another. Coach Capel is certainly holding up to his end of the bargain, and has already logged frequent flier miles to Houston, Cincinnati, Akron, Tulsa, Denton, and Augusta. This was just the first week for Coaches to be in contact with the recruits. He is just getting started. Capel has the Sooners in on more top 100 recruits for this class than ever before. With as many as six scholarships to hand out to the class of 2010, Capel, along with Sooner assistants, Cline, Betts, and Taliaferro, will be kept busy all summer long. It will all culminate with Oklahoma holding their top player camp on August 24th in Norman.

Meanwhile, the current team is still lifting, running, and playing pick-up ball nearly every day. The following are eye witness accounts from several sources on the progress of the team. As always, players not mentioned are not indicative of poor play or failing to make an impact.


Tommy Mason-Griffin – Back to playing pick-up at full speed this week. Looked a little rusty with the handles and the conditioning, but some of that is to be expected after recovering from his injury. Showed a really good step back jumper and is money on pulling up on a fast break. Has made really good decisions thus far once he drives the ball into the lane. One guy raved about his court vision. Also, the way he puts passes right on the letters of his teammates so that they can be in good shooting position. Another guy mentioned TMG’s quick first step after a crossover or a step back dribble, and how that made it difficult to keep him out of the paint.


Steven Pledger - Has caught the eye of some of the guys watching the pick up games. Has shown a consistent stroke from the outside, and is even able to use his body to get into the lane. Needs to continue to get used to the work-out level and time demands neccessary of major college basketball. Would not surprise me to see him get some time next year. One thing is clear, Pledger hasn't gotten the memo that their are upperclassmen guards on campus that are going to get all the minutes! Let's hope he keeps playing that way.


Cade Davis - Steady and consistent were words used to descibe Cade's summer thus far. He is really focusing on taking the ball to the hole, and has shown no fear in taking contact. He is one of the hardest workers on the team, and a glue guy among teammates. No doubt that he will get major minutes next year.


Ryan Wright - One major thing noted on Ryan's game is the way he approaches his post moves. He is at his best when he makes a quick move (like a jump hook). He gets into trouble when he tries to put the ball on the floor or tries to make more than move during a shot attempt. Can be a factor on the glass next season with the right mindset. The key for Ryan is to know his role and to not try and do too much.


Drew Fitzgerald

“Fitz is a load down low….gonna draw a ton of fouls.”

Fitzgerald understands how to position himself in the lane for good angles and high percentage shots. He has a nice up fake, and can muscle the ball up amidst contact.


Willie Warren – What a blessing to have had Willie watch Blake’s path to success up close and personal last year. While he may not have the same work ethic as the beast (who does?), it is evident to everyone watching that Mr. Warren is trying hard to be like Blake. He is being the vocal leader of this team, and setting an example during pick-up and in the weight room. His new attitude and demeanor definitely is being noticed by everyone in the gym. Willie drew impressive reviews from his performance at the LeBron Skills Academy last week. He was one of only a handful of college players to be invited to this prestigious event (Link to invite Roster).

Here is a take from a writer at

Oklahoma guard, Willie Warren proved why he ranks very highly on many early 2010 mock drafts. He was clearly the most impressive collegiate player on the floor this evening. Warren displayed a silky jump shot while swishing several three-point attempts. He also displayed excellent ball-handling skills and floor leadership as he often ran the point for his team. The 6’4” guard led his teammates, Greivis Vasquez, Jeff Allen, Edwin Ubiles and Larry Sanders to victory in two out of three games versus LeBron’s team. Warren capped off the evening with a vicious break away dunk to ice the rubber match versus team LeBron.


Orlando Allen – I know it is starting to sound repetitive but yet another source had nothing but good things to say about the Big O:

“He (Orlando) just looks like another person. One guy that hadn’t seen him since the spring came by to watch pick-up and asked, ‘who is the new big guy, and where is Orlando!’. I think he has a chance to have a really solid season.”


- Keith Gallon – Nothing new to report here other than this quote from someone close to the team:

If Tiny were to lose 20-25 more pounds, he can be an elite player in the same breath as a Blake and a Willie. It's the only thing really holding him back.

Well right now Tiny is holding steady at 300 pounds, but he still has several months to improve his conditioning. All reports indicate, the big fella will be a starter and an impact player whether he loses the extra weight or not.


- Kyle Hardrick – Still working on finishing up an English class at another school before he can join his teammates. I was assured that he will be fine and ready to go pending his completion of the course.

….Not much as else as far as pick-up news is concerned, due to a couple of the players having been on vacation this past week.

The Great American Shootout

A few notes from the first two days:

- Lots and lots of coaches on hand to take in this event. Spotted, Jeff Capel and Mark Cline out scouting some of the talent.

-While some of the Texas area Sooner prospects were at other events, was able to get reports on several recruits:

2010 - Rickey Scott, LG, Dallas (Irving-McArthur HS). Rickey is a strong bodied guard (think T.J. Taylor and Terrence Boyd) that can play both the point and the wing. He looks to be around 6’4”. His game is very much centered on dribble penetration, where he displays a nice midrange game and an ability to finish in heavy traffic at the rim. He is a plus athlete and demonstrated this with several big dunks and acrobatic steals. He is an unselfish player sometimes to the point of being flawed. There were several times when his team was down that he deferred to other players instead of taking over the game. He has a decent looking shooting stroke, and puts a good trajectory on his shots. Showed the ability to use the glass from the midrange. Was pretty average at the free throw line. Demonstrated above average court vision and accuracy with his passes. He seemed comfortable dribbling with his off-hand (left).

Needs to work on consistency from the three point line. Would swish a difficult three, then several possessions later, air-ball a similar shot. Also needs to tighten up his handles as it cost him a couple of times in the open floor. He also tended to get caught up in the air, and had to force passes that would get intercepted in major college basketball. He also did not crash the boards like he is capable of doing.


2010- Julian Washburn, SF, Duncanville (Duncanville HS)- Julian is around 6’6” and has an average build with long arms. The most impressive thing about Washburn was his hustle (he was all over the court) and tenacity on the glass from the wing position. Showed some good post moves against smaller defenders. Showed the ability to take over a game with an array of dribble drives, spot ups, and some post moves. Is a plus athlete with good jumping ability. Decent looking shooting form. Good body control. Seems to be a bit of tweener between the wing and power forward positions. He is versatile enough to defend both the post and out on the perimeter, and even showed flashes of being able to lock-down smaller guards.

Needs to work extending his range out to the three point line. He was able to knock down the trey, but not with the consistency or confidence that is needed from a guard. Has decent handles, and average passing skills. If he were to have a late growth spurt (as well as bulk up) then he could really project as a solid PF.


2011 Thomas Gibson, PF, Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill HS) – Thomas is built like a tank, and uses it to bully smaller defenders in the paint. He is a bit undersized for a low post player (around 6’6”) but makes up for it with brute strength and a fiery demeanor. He is a lefty with a good shooting stroke for a big man. Did a nice job of sealing off post defenders, and used an explosive first step to finish in the lane. Throws the ball down with authority. Showed a nice drop step move, and displayed good touch around the rim. Blocked shots on defense, and did a nice job not leaving his feet. Showed good hands and decent footwork.

Let his temper get the best of him on a couple of occasions. Sometimes takes plays off on defense and offense. Could be more dominant on the glass. He has the potential to be the best Texas player in next year’s class and will be a hot item on the 2011 recruiting scene.


2012 Zach Peters, PF, Plano (Prestonwood Christian Academy HS)- Looks like a man among boys with his large frame and muscle mass. Stands at around 6’7”. Plays the game hard and hustles on both ends. Has a very quick first step for a big guy, and showed soft hands and good body control. Able to operate out of the post and on the perimeter. Has a decent looking jumpshot with range out behind the arc. Average athlete with a good motor. Did a nice job staying with plays and finishing up shots. Made FTs at a good clip and got to the line often.

He is going to need to learn to play within himself now that he going against the top aau age range. May have peaked as far as potential goes compared to peers that are similarly rated. Needs to work on some counter post moves.



- 2010 commitment, T.J. Taylor, has fractured his ankle during aau competition two weeks ago. It has been x-rayed, and he will be held out for at least 5 weeks. This is bad news for T.J. as he was starting to really garner some national attention and was beginning to climb the recruiting rankings. Hopefully, he can heal up in time to participate in the Sooners' top prospect camp in late August. T.J. was in good spirits about the injury, but ready to get back on the court.

-In speaking with Taylor’s new high school coach, Richard Miles, I was told that T.J. will be playing some in the post in Denison’s offense next season, due to a lack of height and depth. Miles was very excited about coaching T.J. and trying to get him ready for the next level. He mentioned being excited about next season’s Denison versus Sherman match-ups, because T.J. and Cameron Clark would be going head-to-head. He noted that T.J. hit “around 80%” of his jumpshots during a recent around the floor shooting session, and that he has all the tools to be a high major guard.

-I was told by someone really close to the situation that Cameron Clark and Phil Pressey are "real close" and that "he (cam) may try to go where Pressey goes." Now we all know that package deal scenarios rarely work out, but it will be interesting to see how this develops.


-Coach Capel was on the road Friday morning to check out 2010 PG, Trevor Releford (Shawnee Mission, KS (Bishop Miege HS) ) at the Mullin’s Camp in Tulsa. Scout’s Evan Daniels had this to say about Releford’s Tulsa performance:

Getting word that Trevor Releford is puttin in work in Tulsa. Kid is off to a great July!


- OU may be in better shape with PF Michael Cobbins (2010) than most people think. Cobbins is close with former OU baller, Austin Johnson, and Johnson's father coaches girl's basketball at the high school (Palo Duro). Cobbins seemed really excited about his recent Oklahoma offer, and the Sooners are right there at the top of his list.

-The unsettling news regarding Cobbins is that he dislocated his knee-cap playing aau basketball before the Denton tournament. In talking to one of his coaches, he didn’t sustain any torn ligaments or otherwise damaging injuries, but will be out 10-12 weeks to allow everything to return to normal. The bad news is that he will not be able to play in the Sooners’ top prospects’ camp, but he will most likely still attend and check out what OU has to offer.

- Check out this interview of Sooner Freshman, Steven Pledger. "Bird" offers some insight on his game, why he chose Oklahoma, and news about his team.

- Willie Warren, not to be outdone by his coach or Blake Griffin, is now on Twitter, and has offered some updates here of late. Follow him by clicking here!

- Former OU star, Jeff Webster, coaches the very successful AAU program, ProSkills Select, the star of which is none other than Sooner recruit Zach Peters (see above). Webster still fondly remembers his days in Norman. He was very pleased that Jeff Capel reached out to some of the old players, and he enjoyed his return visit back to the LNC last year (for the Texas Tech game). When asked about his sweet turn-around jumper, Webster replied with a smile, “nah, it died a long time ago.” I am not sure that I believe that!

- Lastly, folks, we want this site to have the most OU basketball fans reading and conversing as possible. The more we have, the better the discussions and information we can share. You can help by telling others interested in this program to come be active on I know that OUHoops himself has worked very hard to make this happen, and has some big plans for the future. The more folks we can get on here, the more insider info and interviews we can obtain for the future. Thanks in advance!
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Excellent report! Thanks, BT. I will continue to spread the word about
-I was told by someone really close to the situation that Cameron Clark and Phil Pressey are "real close" and that "he (cam) may try to go where Pressey goes." Now we all know that package deal scenarios rarely work out, but it will be interesting to see how this develops.

So Clark's more of a package with Pressey than Taylor? Damn, I was hoping T.J. would help us close the deal. I'd really like to know where we stand with Pressey. Has Hale or Scout Rivals done an update on him lately, because Rivals sure hasn't? Great report though BT. I like your version of the Basketball Scoop!
Great job BT! We all really appreciate the time and effort you put into each report.
Great report, but I am dissapointed hearing about Clark because I seriously doubt we get Pressey.
That is a lot of info, great job BT.
I was just about on life support needing basketball news. You made it just in time and GOOD JOB!!
Great work BT.


With the placement of the Nike swoosh, this looks like an ad picture. It just needs a "Just do it".
Good work BT, I have not been this fired up about OU b-ball since Tubbs left, hope coach Capel lands these recruits.
Outstanding report, BT!!! Had me hanging on every word. Add me to the list of those who appreciate your efforts on our behalf! :clap
That Willie Warren twitter feed is pure poetry.
Awesome!!!! Great job BigTime. I visit this site every day for this kinda stuff!!