Summer Pick-up Games Report #6


The Red Wig
Nov 2, 2008
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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.

*************Player Notes*************

Tommy Mason-Griffin – The report on TMG’s last couple of weeks has been very positive. He is showing no sign of injury and is running the floor well just like he did during his standout years at Houston Madison. The conditioning is getting better. He needs to continue to work on getting shots off over bigs, but has shown growth in that area over the past couple of weeks.

In talking to a guy who has worked with Coach John Lucas for the last several years, I was able to pick up this description of Mason-Griffin:

"Big-bodied, tough, and fast. He really knows how to hit gaps. He will have no trouble getting into the lane at the next level. I really like his mid-range game, and don’t think that gets talked about enough. He gets some serious elevation on his jumpshots, which will help offset his size."

Steven Pledger – "Bird" has been working hard on slashing and cutting, while handling the basketball. His shot has been sweet money the past couple of weeks. He has made his case for earning some playing time in front of the veterans. One guy remarked that Pledger actually has a game very similar to Ray Willis, in terms of his ability to score and his length. Willis has the edge right now in ball-handling and playmaking. They both have a knack for putting the ball in the basket. The updated bio lists Steven at 6’4” 221 pounds, and that’s mostly good, lean muscle. He is really pretty built for a true freshman. That is a physique that Ray Willis has yet to develop.

Keith "Tiny" Gallon – The guy that worked for Coach Lucas also commented on Gallon:

"He has really impressed me with the way he took the weight off. I have heard good things regarding his conditioning over the summer. The new strength staff at Oklahoma are doing some good things. He is so very skilled. He is a different player than (Blake) Griffin, but he will do his thing in Norman. No doubt about it."

Tiny seems to be fitting in just fine with the up-tempo style offense that the guards are wanting to run. His footwork has continued to impress those watching. He will be valuable in helping to break presses and traps from teams like Mizzou and Okie State. He needs to work on keeping his composure and focus when he is not getting the ball, but that is very common with young, talented post players.

Andrew Fitzgerald – Drew has shown some good basketball IQ during the pick up games. His strength really helps him overcome a lack of athleticism. Quite simply put, he outworks people on the court. I was told that he has a chance to be one of the young leaders of the team.

Ryan Wright – I have a little correction from last week, in which I said that Orlando is in the best shape of any big on the team. While the Big O has continued to work hard to get into shape, Mr. Wright still has the upper hand. I was told that he works out multiple times a day and takes his diet seriously. My apologies to Ryan.

Team Leaders – I asked for some opinions on who would be the leaders of this squad and got pretty unanimous answers. Tony Crocker will be a leader. He started opening up more last season and is doing the same this year. Orlando Allen seems to be the guy that can really get the team amped up. He certainly knows how to be vocal. Willie Warren has been doing a nice job of helping the young guys see openings on the floor. A name that we hadn’t really heard much about in filling a leadership role is Ray Willis. Willis, when not being “goofy”, can be a leader due to his intelligence on the court. Ryan Wright has been a leader in the weight room and is still trying to find his niche on the court.

*************Recruiting Notes*************

>>> Was told that top Sooner recruit, Cameron Clark, reminded some of former Memphis Tiger, Chris Douglas-Roberts:

"CDR had better handles, but both he and Cam are throwback players that love to score from the mid-range. Cam has nice length, and is probably a better athelete (than CDR). One of the things that impresses me about Clark is his ability to guard 2s and 3s at the highest AAU level. He will be a nice catch for the team that lands him."

>>> Sooner target Doron Lamb has seemingly narrowed his list down to three main schools — Oklahoma, Kansas, and Kentucky. He recently took a visit to Lexington and really saw how he would fit into that system. One of the reasons that he is highly sought after is his ability to score from all three zones. He can hit from the outside, score from the mid-range, and finish at the rim. It should be an interesting battle between the Sooners, Jayhawks, and Wildcats for his services.

>>> There are two point guard from the 2012 state of Texas to keep your eye on. The first is J’Mychal Reese (Bryan Texas, Bryan HS). He is a speedy, 6’1” youngster that has been on the national scene ever since he made a magazine cover in the 7th grade. He is a slashing, pacesetter with a decent jumpshot.

The other PG prospect is 6’2” L.J. Rose (Second Baptist School, Houston, TX). Rose is the better shooter of the two, and many believe him to be the better prospect if he continues to progress. Does a nice job of dribbling with his head up at all times. Needs to get stronger. His father played point guard for the University of Houston during the time of Hakeem the Dream. Oklahoma is recruiting both of these kids.

>>> Two names to watch out for in the future are the Harrison twins (Andrew and Aaron) from Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston. Both are already 6’3” and highly skilled guards from the class of 2013. Andrew is more of a combo guard, while Aaron plays the point guard position. They will both be top national guys in the future.

*************Team Notes*************

>>> Was told that true freshman walk-on Ryan Randolph will be a nice addition to this squad. He is a heady player that will challenge the guys in practice.

>>> No updates on Kyle Hardrick and his class that he had to complete to be enrolled, but he is listed on the roster, so that is a good sign. Hardrick would provide valuable depth in practice, and is a guy that plays the game intelligently and makes his teammates better.

>>> Former NBA star John Lucas, who does great work for the Houston high school basketball (and national high school basketball), has been busy this summer coaching the Nigerian National team in the world games.

I asked a source whether or not Coach Lucas’ youngest son, Jai Lucas, choosing Texas would give the Horns an advantage on top talent from Houston:

"Yes and no. Texas will probably have the upper hand in some of the good area kids while Jai is in school. That said, Coach Lucas wants the best for every kid that he coaches up, and wants them to go where that individual can succeed. He has a very good relationship with Coach Capel. The whole Lucas family loves Jeff Capel. So while Texas will get good players, I don’t think they will own the market."

Jai Lucas, in case you were wondering what kind of future the former Sooner recruit turned Gator turned Longhorn would have at Texas, I got a scouting report on his game. One of his biggest strengths is that he is a true pass first style point guard that knows how to lead a team. He has a good looking jump shot and can beat you with an array of floaters and finger-rolls. He is coming into a situation that has several PGs with experience already returning (Justin Mason and Dogus Balbay), and an incoming PG (J’Covan Brown), but I was told that he would still make his presence felt.

>>> A source told me that this team will have a chance to be Capel’s first squad to really play the kind of offensive game that Coach has been hoping to run. It will be more of a Duke style of offense with multiple guards handling the ball. TMG and Willie Warren will both be on the floor a lot together, and will both be able to attack the rim and create shots for Crocker, and easy buckets for the big men.

>>> The first week of December is going to be a fun one at the LNC. The Sooners will get a chance to avenge last year's 96-88 loss to Arkansas on Wednesday, Dec. 2, and then will turn around and host Arizona on Sunday, Dec. 6. Also, Oklahoma's road game against Utah in Salt Lake City is officially set for Dec. 12 and will be televised by Versus.

>>> has recently updated the Sooner roster and bio page. You can check out the new guys and updates on the old guys by clicking here.

Boomer Sooner


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Time and time again, you provide us with refreshing information BT. Thanks a ton!
WOW You really pulled in a lot of information for this report! Great job, BT!

I loved what you had to say about Ryan Wright! Its nice to know he is working so hard and that it is being noticed/appreciated. I'm sure many will still place Big O above him, but this might throw a wrench into the whole discussion?

Great to hear TMG is doing so well. Great quote you got on him and Tiny! I love the idea of TMG shooting the midrange and doing all that we have been told, before.

Awesome news on Tiny, as well! Its great to hear about his conditioning. Sounds like OUr strength and conditioning staff is doing a great job after the changes made to it!

I already knew as much about Steven Pledger, or well most if it. Since I have been keeping up with him so closely and I got to talk to him once (great kid, SOOO glad he is here). He was a great great pickup for Capel!

I love what Drew Fitzgerald will bring to this team. You can never get enough high IQ players, if you ask me! I love to hear that he is pushing people and ready to lead, already!

Oh and what a fantastic recruiting report! Come on Cam! Join us in Norman!

Boomer Sooner! :OUbball-logo: :jcapel :woot :chestram2: :clap
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Thanks for the update. With no news of commits or the new schedule it was just in time.
I always appreciate the kind words guys. They fuel me to try and dig up more info....haha
Great stuff....thanks!!!!!
Good to hear about Lamb as well.
If you weren't going to become a doctor, you would definetely be giving Andy Katz a run for his money.
This is a lifesaver post, BigTime. Any basketball news is a breath of fresh air this time of year, and you always bring some good info to the table.

Keep it up.:OU-logo:
This is a lifesaver post, BigTime. Any basketball news is a breath of fresh air this time of year, and you always bring some good info to the table.

Keep it up.:OU-logo:

Couldn't have said it better myself.
Now that's what I'm talking about! Who needs Football....well, maybe we shouldn't go that far.

Thanks for the great info.
Thanks for the info, BigTime. Stuff like this is what makes OUHoops so great. :D
One thing I don't like about the reports...

Some year BT probably won't be writing them....

Another great one...thanks BT