Have you submitted your taxes? It's that time of year again! Here's some tips.
The biggest story related to OU sports right now seems to be whether or not OU freshman sensation Willie Warren will stay for his 2nd season, or opt to enter the NBA draft. For those of you running out of patience, it appears he will make up his mind this weekend when he sits down with his mom and Jeff Capel.
According to that article linked (Tulsa World), Jeff Capel had some encouraging comments if you want Willie to return:
"But he says he's going to come back. He's doing well in his classes as far as his grades are concerned. We started individuals (workouts), and he was there. He was doing those, doing a good job there.
"He's talked to me about a jersey number next year and doing different things assisting us. And so I think he's going to be back."
Of course, if Willie takes a look at what Blake Griffin was able to do by returning for another season, he may think twice about entering the draft. But there's a problem for Willie - will he be able to separate himself from loads of other talented college guards with another season in the college ranks? The question is, what if he levels off production and talent wise?
In that case, Willie would probably slide down draft boards from where he's at currently. ESPN's Chad Ford has him at #7 right now. The Norman Transcript had an interesting quote from Ford:
"I would say 95 percent of NBA scouts and general managers would say he was the best freshman in the country this year," Ford said. "I think they see him as an immediate type of kid in the NBA because he’s a great athlete who can score the basketball in a lot of ways."
The biggest question is whether or not GM's see Willie as a legitimate lottery pick. If the answer is yes, I would expect Willie to leave, as his stock is not going to get much higher than it's at right now. If GM's aren't valuing Willie as much as Chad Ford is, expect Willie to stay and try and play his way up the draft boards. Based on Willie's decision, I think you'll know what NBA GM's think of him. Although, Chad Ford posted some quotes from a few GM's and here's what one of them had to say:
"That guy can really go. I think he could be a big-time scorer and distributor in the league. He reminds me a lot of Chauncey Billups. He's strong, athletic and he can shoot it."
One thing is for sure, if Willie goes, the Sooners will have a lot of rebuilding to do.
"I see him almost every day, still. He still comes by the gym and the office. Even when he leaves, we’ll still probably talk every day, like we’ve done since I first met him. More than anything, I’m happy for him. He’s earned it. He deserves it. It couldn’t happen to a better kid."
--Jeff Capel on whether he misses Blake Griffin
In The News
Benedict ArnoldDamion James will declare for the NBA Draft, but not hire an agent so he could potentially back out on that too.
- Isiah Thomas takes the Florida International University coaching position, prompting everyone to wonder just how crazy Isiah Thomas is. Pat Forde attempts to answer that question.
- Greg Paulus apparently has his heart set on playing football now. He's got an offer for a tryout at wide receiver from the Duke football coach now. He already worked out for the Green Bay Packers and reportedly is considering transferring to Michigan to play football there.
- Closer to home, Jermaine Gresham got arrested for failing to pay a seatbelt ticket. Oddly enough, his warrant was issued on February 17th. I guess the police had bigger fish to fry.
- The Cherokee Nation is planning on honoring Sam Bradford.
- Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin has Chris Brown as the 19th best player in the conference. The same Tim Griffin has an article up about the OU spring game.
- The baseball team continues to impress. They now have a 29-8 record after beating TCU.
- The Oklahoma women's basketball team lost Ashley and Courtney Paris, and so they will look to speed things up next season.
- The OU gymnastics team doesn't get a lot of press, but the guys are ranked 2nd in the country and going for their 6th national title since 2002. That's dominance. The women's team is also competing at the nationals.
Secondhand Reports & Rumors
- Really a thirdhand report, but someone on an OU board, posted that someone on a national Rivals board posted that Nolan Dennis had narrowed his choices down to Baylor, OU, Texas A&M, and UConn.
- Nothing else to report in the rumormill really. I haven't heard anything about Willie through the grapevine, so he must be playing his cards pretty close to the vest.
To wrap it up, I'll just mention real quick that a preview edition for football is forthcoming, and it will detail the schedule and who we have to match up against. Also, I'm planning on a piece that will preview Blake Griffin to NBA teams before the lottery happens, and possibly a piece about that elusive college football playoff.