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OU Basketball - Coach Kruger lands his big man, JUCO center Casey Arent

According to OU Hoops, Coach Lon Kruger has accomplished something his predecessor was not able to do his entire tenure, gain a commitment from a true center.  Sierra Community College 6'10" big man Casey Arent has reportedly committed to the Sooners after an on-campus visit this weekend.  In a somewhat ironic twist, one of Arent's coaches is former Sooner point guard Chris Walker who spoke with OU Hoops about the big man.

"Casey has good footwork, is skilled for a big man and his best skill is that he a good passer," said Walker when asked to describe the 6 foot 10 junior college center.  "He’s very active on defense with good footwork and is not afraid to take a charge."

Arent, like many big men, was a bit of a late bloomer and has drawn much more attention as of late for the way he's been able to transform his body.  He graduated high school at his same height, but only weighing a stick thin 200 pounds.  However now he's worked his way up to a solid 240 pounds and has the frame to add even more good weight in a quality strength and conditioning program like the one OU now has.  

So it's been interesting to see just how quickly Coach Kruger has been working towards transforming his 2011 squad through recruiting when it was widely reported that recruiting was not his strong suit upon his hiring.  In what is sure to be the first time ever, maybe the "experts" in the media got it wrong?

More news on a couple players possibly leaving the program after the jump (fair warning, brace yourself before reading if your name is Matt Hofeld)

Also while we're here and on the subject of OU basketball, we've also heard some rumblings about a couple possible departures.  In what will surely be devastating news for our leader CCMachine, word out of Norman is that Nick Thompson will reportedly ask for his release so that he can transfer elsewhere.  I'll give you a minute to gather yourself.  In all seriousness, I think we all here believe that Thompson is a good kid but he's just not a D-1 caliber player so if this proves to be true, best of luck in your future travels Nick.  Another rumored departure is that of Kyle Hardrick, which should not come as much of a surprise to those who follow the program.  It was reported towards the end of last season that Hardrick was no longer with the team due to some academic issues, so now rumors of his likely leaving is no real surprise when you take into account his grade issues and his lack of any real playing time during his first couple of years on campus.

So if both Thompson and Hardrick do leave, that would likely give Kruger at least one more scholarship to offer for this 2011 class if he can find a kid he believes is worthy of the offer.  Otherwise, he could save it for 2012 which could prove to secure a more talented player if, as it appears, he is able to make a quick turn around on the court.  Long story short, Kruger has done plenty in a short period of time to cause all of us to get excited about the team he'll be putting out there next season!